Mallory Paige Designs, Inc.

Moving Mountains for Adults with Disabilities

The Little Big Things

Tiffany McDowell

Mal doesn't like deviations from schedules. She doesn't, particularly, like change. However, in watching her develop into a woman, there are things I've learned about myself:

For example, she doesn't stray from a bedtime routine. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are midnight bedtimes and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday are 9PM bedtimes. Whether you think that's absurd or not is beyond the point - she doesn't really care. What I've learned about myself is I HAVE NO CUTOFF SWITCH! I could use her devotion to daily rituals. In fact, there is actual scientific evidence that shows these habits are the things that separate star performers and average performers in several realms. I've noticed for the past several months I've gotten less and less sleep -- roughly 6 hours a night. Not because I'm important and busy, but because I lack the ability to STOP.  I have trouble sitting still, and as I busy myself with ten million things to do, I suddenly look up and realize it's midnight and I have to get up at 5:30. This wouldn't happen with Mal. Not more than one night in a row, at least.

Mallory also knows what she likes to wear. No one gets much input on that in regards to her daily routine. Wasn't Steve Jobs perspective that he had too many important things that need his mental energy, so he refused to waste it on deciding what to wear every morning? So his signature look - black shirt and jeans - was born. Mal isn't quite that intense, but you better believe you'll catch her in all black on Friday's (what she calls "Black Friday!!").

She sticks to her "workout" routine every. single. day. 30 minutes of jumping on a single-person trampoline is one of her secrets to keeping in shape (I'll post transformation pics - INCREDIBLE!!). I'm a runner. I genuinely enjoy running. But I'm inconsistent at best with a routine. Granted, I have several things to juggle, but that doesn't matter to Mal. She jumps. That won't be sacrificed according to what's going on that day. I need to learn!

The "little things" as we would see them, aren't little to Mal. They're worthy of her attention and dedication because they add up to big things. We all know this, but somehow we fail to stay devoted to keeping them in order. Again, Mal makes me question what we label a "disability." She seems much more "able" to do many things that the rest of us struggle to get done.