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How planning is sorting out my life. By Cheryl Fryfield (Self Advocate)

March 31, 2015
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In the past 5 years now I have done two PATHs. PATH is about  person centered planning.  It doesn’t have to be for just people with diversabilities.  It can be for anyone.

In a PATH meeting there will be important people there that you have invited. There is a facilitator and sometimes a graphic facilitator who does drawings. The facilitator will ask you two important questions:

  1. Who are you, and how are these people you invited important in your life?
  2. What can we do together to reach a better life for you now, and in the future?

At both PATHs I had some co-workers and my friends. I was very happy after I had done the two PATHs. My friends Aaron and Shelley helped with the two PATHS. My first PATH was about four years ago. Most of my goals came true. Here are some of the goals that I came up with.

One of them was to do a presentation at a conference – which I did. I am still doing presentations 3 years later! Another goal was to get healthy. I have had a rough time with my health, but now I am eating better, exercising and trying to sleep better too. This has helped me be healthier. Another long term goal I had was to get the proper papers for my Canadian citizenship.  I was born in San Francisco, California.  I am grateful that my mother is a Canadian.  I did not have to take the citizenship test. Instead I had a friend who helped me with the papers. After many months I got my Canadian citizenship card. She is now helping me with the forms for my Canadian passport.  Another one of my long term goals was to have a little bit of financial freedom.  With the help of some of my friends my finances are in better shape and I feel less stressed.

I co-facilitated the Cheryl’s Star Raft Salon group. Most people in the group did a PATH, including me. On the second PATH, I wanted to get better in my writing skills, become more confident in public speaking and keep in touch with some of my SALON friends. I am doing all of these things. There are other goals like wanting to volunteer at the “Bard on the Beach” that I have not done yet. But that’s ok as I was busy doing other things.  Laugh out Loud!! I hope to do a toastmaster’s session one day.  Another one of my goals is to have something like a Stone Soup gathering, that’s like a potluck. I hope to do that some point this year with a few friends.

I think planning is important because:

  1. It helps people gain control of their lives.
  2. Pictures and drawings are also good to have so you can see for yourselves the actions you will take. I keep my PATH pinned up on my wall.
  3. It’s a positive booster.

So go for it. Trust me, it worked for me.

Cheryl's 2nd PATH, in 2014 (friend David Wetherow is on the laptop screen)

Cheryl’s 2nd PATH, in 2014 (friend David Wetherow is on the laptop screen)

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