Transitions into a Quieter Life.

As the leaves start to show more yellow than green and the weather turns mild, people start to say, “It is time to get back to the old grind.”img_8433 They are talking about school. I understand the statement, but I never felt that getting back into the routines of school were a grind.  For us it is the opposite. I look forward to the autumn like a cold glass of water after being lost in the desert for three months.

Autism can make summer the hardest time of the year.

Most kids with Autism thrive on routine. They feel safe in a predictable world. Summer strips away the predictability and leaves chaos in its wake.

Summer is just a season, but people treat it like its some sort of free pass from prison. Perhaps that is true for some. Kids are out of school and people take vacations, go camping, and “really live”.  I sometimes wish that we could have the freedom to go on vacations, or go to the swimming pool, or let my kiddo ride his bike around the neighborhood just like all the other kids, but Autism is in our lives to stay. Structure, supervision and routine are the foundations of our existence.

We try every year to keep to some kind of schedule during the summer months. Getting up at the same time, eating at the same time, doing some educational stuff like worksheets and having recess all on a schedule, but it is so easy to fall off the routine. We have no bells or classrooms, we have no teachers or other kids. We only have mom. Anything can throw off the routine, an unplanned trip, a doctor’s appointment, or even the weather. Even the long hours of summer work against us making bedtimes a fight because it is still light until almost 11 pm.

I struggle every year to keep us on track. I start out so optimistic but day in and day out being the only one here makes it hard to keep up the pace. It’s 24 hour a day vigilance. It’s exhausting and I lose my way.

img_8432So as the leaves change, I feel like my path is clear again. School has started. That means schedules and schedules mean calm. Everything settles into its proper place. I find myself relaxing and not just because of school.

I feel like summer is noisy and crazy. When fall comes, the world quiets. The busy buzzing in the air that come with summer falls away. The sounds of lawn mowers fade. Even the wind isn’t as loud. And I find myself slowing down.

I found myself sitting on a stool just inside my door for about 15 minutes just watching this bird sitting on my front railing. That is not something that happens in summer. The bird would have flown away as soon as it saw me.


I feel like I begin to notice my surroundings again. We went to the football game  Friday night and between plays I looked up and was awed  at the beautiful color of the sky.img_8437

How often during summer do we notice things like the sky? Oh, people notice it is clear or cloudy, but do we really see it? Maybe some people do but I feel like I never have the time. I’m so busy trying to deal with the chaos of summer that I miss the beauty of it.

I’m so relieved that summer is ending and autumn is here. I feel like I can breath again. My head is clearing and I feel like I can handle my life again. I feel like I have transitioned into a quieter life.


Expressing Anger the Right Way


Anger is often blamed for all the wrong doing in this world. However, anger is not the problem but how we use it. Yelling and screaming at people because you have made bad choices causing a chain of events leading to a really freaking bad day is not helpful.  Lashing out or hitting someone that has irritated you is also not helpful.

No one loves drama, well, I guess maybe some people do, but generally speaking people like a quiet life filled with harmony. Many people think that the opposite of harmony is anger but that isn’t true. Anger can disrupt harmony but it can also be the step toward harmony that you were missing.

When the world becomes skewed and is malfunctioning, it is alright to be angry. Anger will motivate change if it is directed in a positive way. This is generally refereed to as righteous anger or a reaction against a mistreatment or injustice. However, you can’t just go around shooting people that you think are part of the problem. Righteous anger must be turned into a positive force that will HELP people. For example, you see someone beating their child in a drunken rage. You can use your anger to help that child find safety, but you CANNOT go around taking the law into your own hands.

Also there is nothing wrong with being angry about something bad that has happened to you. Someone raped you- damn right you should be angry! Someone broke into your home- you can be furious! These are violations!

anger quote

This kind of anger is dangerous. It will not only make you feel out of control, but also victimized and terrified even if you don’t realize it. You’ve lost the keys to the safe bubble you lived in and you can’t get back in. You feel betrayed by everything and everyone. Those that promised to protect you didn’t and you start losing faith in the people and the society around you. It eats away at your soul because often you have nothing to fight against just a vague feeling of injustice and betrayal. Constant anger stews in the background coloring everything that you do and every decision you make. Suddenly you are plagued by despair and anxiety that every decision you make will lead to a similar incident or situation. You don’t need to be ashamed of this anger or try to hide it, but you do need to address it and manage it.

Often the suggested ways of dealing with anger are very effective.

  1. Taking a breather. 

Stop and realize that you are getting angry and why. Then remove yourself from the situation or conversation. Take deep breaths and remind yourself that it isn’t as bad as you think it is. Learn to recognize when you are overreacting or when you are getting frightened or overwhelmed.

       2. Keep track of anger triggers

Watch for patterns in your anger. See if the same things are occurring when you are angry. Be aware of your bodies reaction to anger: breathing, tension, headaches, heart rate, etc. Try to regulate these patterns.

    3. Ask for help. 

There are lots of counselors, help lines and doctors that can help you learn to manage anger in a positive way. Make an appointment and get a plan in place.


For those of us that are under stress and are constantly being bombarded by things that make us feel out of control, here are some other ideas.

Aggressive Boxing Girl

  1. Ride the anger.

I know this sounds bad but there is a thing called Primal Therapy created by Dr. Arthur Janov. It involves feeling the emotions instead of repressing it. I’ve never been involved in formal Primal Therapy but in my own experience, I have learned that trying to control anger only works so long and then it explodes in very negative ways. So I’ve learned that sometimes just letting it out shortens the duration.

For example, let’s say my kids are pushing my buttons. Arguing, whining, not listening, acting out trying to get their own way and it builds and builds day after day until eventually I can’t control my anger any more and I want to commit violence. I don’t, of course, but I can go somewhere away from them and let it all out. Go out into the garage and scream my head off. No words or specific complaints just pure emotional screaming. It sounds horrific, but it has a cleansing effect. Suddenly I’m not so angry and I can deal with their antics again without feeling dangerous.

    2. Physical exercise.

This one is wonderful for getting anger out as well as keeping fit. Two birds one stone. Let’s take the same example above: buttons have been pushed so much they are broken.  Getting the anger out by physical movement also cleansed. It gives all that energy that anger creates somewhere to go. I use push-ups or jumping jacks. There is a lot of movement and no danger to others. My family also bought me a large punching bag that hangs in the basement. Believe me, once I’ve hit the anger wall, going downstairs and punching the bag until my knuckles hurt is very therapeutic.

    3. Hard labor.

I don’t mean chain gang type hard labor but I do mean physical labor. It works like the example above but it is much more productive. When my brother and I were kids, we fought as all siblings do. Drove my mom nuts. When she finally reached her limit she would send us out to do something. We lived on a farm and there was always something to do.  Cleaning the barns, stacking hay, and my mom’s favorite task for us, chopping wood. Lots of physical effort to work off our anger and we still accomplished something in the meantime. Although later my mom did say that she wondered at the wisdom of her choice in sending two teenagers that were already fighting out with axes to chop wood together. She always said it was a wonder we didn’t kill each other.

The point of all this, yes, anger can be bad but it can also be a good thing. Examine your anger and treat it accordingly. Do any of you have other things that work when you are angry?

Traveling with an Autistic Child

People are always saying to me that I should take my son places and get out and see some of the fun stuff around us. Well, that requires travel.

Traveling with children is hard. Traveling with an autistic child is really, really hard.

First you have the packing.

IMG_8194Whatever you try to pack or organize it gets a little askew as they try to help. Sometime you even end up missing things because you thought you packed them and he moved them when he was trying to be helpful. Then there is all the extra stuff you have to take along because he can’t sleep at night without it. Like his pillow, his stuffed animals and the little plastic Smee characters (from Peter Pan) that he has to hold while falling asleep, there is also the music he has to listen to all night and the book you read to him until he sleeps. Thinking about it now I should have added his night light but, ah well.   That’s just the list for bedtime.

There’s also his tablet, the ear protection in case it thunders (he’s terrified of storms), the extra pairs of clothes in case of accidents and snack in case of anger episodes to get him back on track.  Hats, sunscreen, toys, and all the regular stuff you pack for a trip like clothes and toiletries.

And that’s just his stuff.

By the time you are ready to leave half the house is packed and I packed sparingly.

But it isn’t just the bring of extra stuff that makes travel with an autistic child hard. It’s the upset to the routine. Most kids that I know that are on the spectrum need routine. Mine certainly does.

For example if you are driving then you need to stop for food at the right times. If you go to long or eat too soon after the last time they get grumpy. Sitting in the care too long makes them grumpy, they need to move around a lot more than the seat belt will allow. If they get grumpy there is the possibility of a meltdown and that is not easy to handle when you are driving down the interstate. Mine will kick the windows or grab my shirt and try to yank me into the back seat. There has also been instances of kicking and pinching. I even got hit in the head with a half-full water bottle once while I was driving. Not the best thing at high speeds.

Another issue is the strangeness of where you stop. I have taken to driving straight through to my mom’s house from Montana. It’s about a 15 hour trip. It’s exhausting and it makes him grumpy but stopping overnight in a hotel is even worse. The last time we were in a hotel he freaked out completely. He was scared of the lights outside the window and spent the whole night trying to get out the door. Well obviously I couldn’t just let him leave. Where could he go? So we fought all night. He screamed and cried. By morning my arms and neck were scratched and bloody and covered in bruises. I took to sitting in front of the door so he couldn’t open it. When he finally did sleep it was about two hours before we had to leave again. So now we drive straight through.

Then once you get where you are going you have to get him settled and that often takes a long time. Luckily we only go to Grandma’s so he’s familiar with it. After trying to keep the routine while you are there, which can get really difficult, you must then make the trek back home again which involves going through all that craziness again. By the time you get home you want to hide and cry but you have to keep going and get unpacked and settled and try to force your reality into some sort of normality.

I know that he needs to be out and see the world but sometimes it is way to hard when you are alone. There have been times when we have gone as a family. My daughter and sometimes my husband are along and that makes it a little easier. Ish. When my daughter is in the back and he is having a meltdown it becomes dangerous for her because he will attack whomever he can reach. So I usually take the seat beside him so he can take it out on me and not my daughter. It is not an easy thing to have to protect one child from the other like that but there isn’t much choice when his is in an angry trance. When he calms down he snaps out of it and he is very apologetic but the damage is done. Better me than my daughter.

So if you see me and ask why I don’t take him places in the summer…it’s just better that way.


What is wrong with me?

I know I’m a couple of days late with this. Just goes to show you that something has gone wrong with me. What you ask? Damned if I know.

I was so on top of things a while ago. I had blog posts every day. I had a clean house and mostly balanced children. I was working toward my goal of being a published author and I was writing every day. I even had time to watch movies.

And now look at me. I’m running to catch up every single moment of every day. I barely get posts done in time for once a week much less writing everyday. I haven’t had time to write in weeks. My house is mostly clean but there always seems to be something that needs fixed or sorted. There is an overwhelming pile of paperwork that needs gone through and filed or recycled. I never bake anymore and my meals have turned into convenience food.

I don’t know what happened. It’s like a mud slide off a mountain. One moment you are fine and then next you’re up to to your neck and can’t move an inch to help yourself. Can I blame it on summer? Suddenly the kids are home and nothing stays put? I could, but I’d be lying. Can I blame it on the fact that I’m on my own and my husband is gone for work a lot so I have to do absolutely everything? I could, but I don’t know that that is the whole problem. Is it time management? Organization? Maybe. Is it that I have too many irons in the fire? Possibly.

I think it is just that I’m tired.

I know we all get tired. But I don’t just mean tired, I mean TIRED. Bone weary exhausted tired. Mentally exhausted tired. Time to lay down and surrender tired.

But guess what? I can’t stop. I have kids.

Parenting can be hard especially in this day and age with all the crazy crap that goes on not only in real life but in cyberspace. I get mentally strained just trying to keep up with all the problems that my kids are facing and I get overwhelmed trying to find ways to guide them through the  alligator infested waters of growing up. Then add to that the feeling of fruitlessness because they don’t listen and do what they want anyway only to come back saying, “Mom, why did that happen to me?”

SO the question is how do we get back on track? How do we resurface after that massive wave we were managing to surf on has swamped us?


I can throw all kinds of words at you. Hope, Faith, Belief.

But what it comes down to is Perseverance.

One day at a time.

One foot in front of the other.

Never stopping no matter how tired or overwhelmed you feel.

Please by all means take some time to yourself, have a bath, take a nap (If you can!) Try to give yourself a break. But realize that you will have to get back in those trenches. You will still fight the good fight for your kids and you will have to do it while juggling the rest of your life responsibilities.


It’s not easy, believe me. You will have to choose between a clean house and a blog post, writing or playing with your kids, house work or yard work. You may need to let the yard go because you can’t watch your kids and landscape at the same time. Just go with it and ask yourself: what is really the most important thing right now?

In the end you will hit that sweet spot where you are riding the wave and not drowning under it, where you are standing on the mountain vista now sliding down it into a muddy pit. It will change, but it will take time and that is okay.

A Mother’s Letter to the Teachers in Crisis

“What are they gonna do, fire me?” This statement has been said thousands of times by countless people who are leaving their jobs, whether by their choice or because they were asked to go.

I know the sentiment. I understand the motivation behind saying it. When you are parting ways from a job that you hate or that hates you, you want some kind of control or outlet for your frustration and anger. I’ve said it myself a couple of times but that’s not important. What is the important thing is where and when you say it.

And that place is NOT in a school and NOT in front of students.

Our schools here in Conrad, MT are in a budget crisis. Money that should have been there in a flex fund is not available anymore and so the school district is trying to find ways to cut costs. This includes closing one of the buildings and combining the middle and high school, unfortunately it also includes staff cuts.

No one wants to lose their job and I believe that a teacher losing their job due to money is a crime against our civilization as a whole. For what will become of our society if our children get bargain basement educations. But it is not up to me and it is not up to our teachers. Budgets must be made and cuts will happen. What is important is how these cuts are handled. Unfortunately they are not being handled with dignity in many cases.

Some of the teachers whose contracts have not been renewed have stopped teaching. They come to class and tell the kids to do whatever they want. Projects go unfinished and grades no longer matter. Others are becoming irreverent and going off topic in class to the confusion and astonishment of the students. When they are called out on it by a student the response has become, “What are they gonna do, fire me?”

I understand their feelings. I have been in jobs where downsizing laid of many of the workers or the regime change in management made me lose my job. However, I still worked. I still did the best I could to accomplish my tasks until the very end. It has been all for the good. Yes it stressed me out but I maintained my work ethic and my reputation as a good and reliable worker allowing me to get other jobs in the future.

Their future employment possibilities aside, what about the example they are showing to the students? Instead of continuing to teach with dignity and grace and being the living breathing example of how to handle a bad situation, these teachers are showing the students that an F-U attitude is the way to go. Like little parrots the kids are going home and repeating, “What are they gonna do, fire me?”  Pretty soon they will be at work and when they have a rough time of it they will start doing a half-assed job and their response will be, “What are they gonna do, fire me?” And they will lose their jobs.

Most of the younger generation already doesn’t know how to handle adversity, now they are getting an up-close and personal view of how not to handle job loss with dignity. This could be a great teaching moment when the teacher says, “Yes, I’m losing my job and it sucks! But this happens sometimes in the real world and this is how you should handle it.” We could be really teaching our children one of life’s most important lessons right now, HOW TO PICK YOURSELF UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF AND KEEP GOING WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

Kids look up to teachers. They are some of the most influential people in their lives. We live the rest of our lives by what our teachers showed us when we were children. How many times have you looked back and thought about a teacher from your past and how that person changed your life. This is the moment that will change these students’ lives forever.

Please, I beg you, think of the lives you are influencing with your behavior right now.

Writing Prompt: Guilty Conscience?

Once again. Write for 15 minutes…

Guilty Conscience?

The text message simply said ‘very clever’

Her heart slammed against her chest. Who had sent it? She looked at the number it was sent from. She didn’t recognize it.

Quickly she glanced around. Even though she was in the middle of the quad no one was watching her. She looked back at the two word text. Very clever. What did it mean? Her chest constricted. What did they know about her?

She glanced around again then copied the number, opened Google and pasted it. It should tell her who it belonged to. Google knew everything right?

No results found.

“WHAT!” She yelped drawing the attention of a couple of co-eds sitting on the bench across the grass from her. She smiled apologetically and tried the search again. And again. And again.

“This is impossible.” She muttered. “They sent the text the number has to exist!” She tired just looking up the area code. That at least told her it was from the same state. But who could it belong to? Why couldn’t there be a cell phone phonebook like landlines?

She stared at the number for the longest time debating if she should text back. Should she ask who they were? What if they were waiting for that? What if they were testing the waters just waiting for her to take the bait so they could do something awful to her? Did they know what she’d done? Did they want something? Blackmail?

She jumped up and hurried to her dorm room. She had to check and make sure no one had found her secret. She riffled through the back of the closet trying to find the box. Finally her fingers scraped against it. Relief flooded her. She hadn’t been found out.

She sat back on her heels and stared at the number. She knew the only options now were to wait or text back. Slowly she began to type. Who is this? Then she changed her mind and deleted it. Replacing the words with several questions marks.

She hit send.

She waited. And waited.

Finally the little bubbles showed they were typing. The text popped onto her screen.

Sorry, this wasn’t for you. Wrong number lol.

Her heart dropped to the floor and she with it. A mistake? They didn’t know? Tears streamed down her face as she realized the misguided text missile had missed her guilty heart.

She crawled to the closet and pulled the box out. Looking around desperately she finally grabbed the metal trash can and dumped the box in then grabbed her roommates lighter and set the box on fire. She swore to herself that she would never stray from the path of right again. She never wanted to feel this kind of terror again.

Overwhelmed and stressed out

Kid Schedules…Writing… Work… Cooking… Hobbies… Doctor Appointments…Research…Laundry…Volunteering…

…the list never ends

stressed out mom I know that there have been a lot of posts about stress and what it can do to you. I am a walking case of what stress can do to you. Chronic pain, anxiety, depression, over-worrying, headaches, lack of sleep, physiological imbalances-you name it I’ve got it. I don’t want it but I got it.

I suffer from an over conscientious personality. I don’t want to fail at anything and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to do the best that I can for everyone. For a while that didn’t include myself. I always let me come last on the list of importance. Everyone else came first. That didn’t work too well. Everyone preached at me that I needed to take care of me because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be around to help anyone else. Okay, fine that made sense. So I tried to get in some of that ME TIME they always preach about.

I started working on my dream of becoming an author. I’ve been writing since I was eleven and I thought I’ll really start working on it full time. Full time being from September to May during the school hours of 8:30-3:00.  Well that sort of worked except for all the times that the kids were out and all the vacation times.

Then there is that driving force in my head about needing to be a productive member of society and this family and I need to contribute financially not just be a mom. I’m gonna sell the stuff I make. Well my bright ideas in the craft department include all sorts of things, jewelry, sewed items, painting bottles, making recycled paper journals, sculptures. I have enough creative juices to do all these things and I really want to.

Then there is the Autism thing. I have to find time to be a better parent and research more and find more ways to help my son. There has to be something that I can do that will help him more.  So out come the books and the websites. Oh and while I’m reasearching that I should keep learning better ways to write too and how to market myself on the web so everyone can find my stories or my crafts to sell.

Oh yeah I need to start working out that’s part of me time right? Get in shape and feel better.


I just managed to turn ME TIME into a job!

I’m more stressed out than ever now!

Then it hit me. I’m doing it all wrong. I realized that I’m trying to do everything at once which is how I got stressed in the first place.  I had an epiphany. LIFE IS A BUFFET.


When you go to an all you can eat buffet, you don’t take everything at once. You start with one trip, fill your plate and eat. Life doesn’t need to happen all at once. It’s okay to take one plate and fill it but when it’s full stop. Sit down and eat it. There is always another trip available.

I know that most of you are nodding and thinking, Prioritize. And you are right, but it is also about time management and balance. I don’t have to do all the things I want to all at the same time. However I don’t want to just stop doing all the things I want to in order to do the things I have to. That was where I was before I tried to get some ME TIME in.

So here is my solution.

I have to ACCEPT that I am only going to get done a few things each day. AND THAT IS OKAY! If Monday is bills and social media catch up day and I don’t get any writing, research or jewelry made- that’s ok. Tuesday is doctor’s and shopping day-accept it! Wednesday is laundry and writing- good, Thursday is writing or crafting-nice! Friday is writing. Saturday is housecleaning and laundry-yay me. Sunday is playing with kids, video game and popcorn day! I have to realize that I’m not going to get everything done today. Rome wasn’t built in a day- cliche I know, but cliches exist for a reason.

It’s okay. I’m not going to win any races. I’m the turtle and I’ll get there in the end one plate at a time. I won’t starve and I won’t over eat. The buffet will still be there when I’m ready for another trip.

A little Autism quirk

My son has Autism. He sometimes has outburst due to frustration, anger, fear, or sometimes excitement. Sometimes we can tell when they are coming but other times not so much. Thunderstorms or perceived thunderstorms that aren’t actually there are a big culprit in the summertime. The other night he thought he heard a thunderclap when it was actually a car going by and he ran through the house and slammed into our storm door ricocheting off of the top panel with both hands.

Thank God it was made of Plex-glass.


The top panel shot out of the metal frame and down the concrete steps busting out a large chunk of one side.

He was really upset and sorry that he had broken it but he was even more upset that I couldn’t fix it right away.

It’s one of those Autism Quirks that they don’t quite get the cause and effects of their actions.

I spent some time with packing tape and tried to put “Humpty” back together again. Finally with a lot of growling and snarling I got the piece back into the door. You almost can’t tell.

IMG_6273 IMG_6274

There is no such thing as I can’t!

There is no such thing as I can’t!

Don’t try, DO!

Can’t is for quitters!

All these statements are shoved at us from all angles during our “formative years” from coaches and teachers and team leaders. They are trying to get young people to understand that it doesn’t matter how hard something is if you quit you’ll never succeed at it. I understand that principle. I approve of that principle. This is where we learn our work ethic from. The never give up attitude is quintessential to life in America.

Unfortunately sometimes it backfires.

Ambition and drive are wonderful things. Success is sweet. However, slow death from stress is not.

I have spent my life under the premise that if you want something done do it yourself. Relying on other people is not always a possibility. I’m a work horse that just goes and goes. It doesn’t matter how little sleep I have, if I can afford my bills, or even if I have lost my job. It doesn’t matter. You get back up and drink some coffee, rob Peter to pay Paul and get another job. Having a miscarriage? NO problem clean yourself up and go to work. There are no excuses for giving up.

How stupid am I?

I had to learn to say I can’t. I was recently told by my doctor that I had to realize that I had limitations. WHAT! No I don’t. I’m super mom. I can do all things! and I can do it on no sleep.

No I can’t.

I can’t manage 9 years without a good night sleep. I can’t keep putting my body through the ringer hoping that it will bounce back with a little extra coffee. I can’t be vigilant watching my Autistic son 24 hours a day. I can’t keep my daughter safe from the world, she is going to have to live in it sooner or later. I can’t fix everything by myself.

I need help.

This revelation has thrown me into a massive depression. To the point where I don’t even want to try. How do I deal with everything that is on my plate without the help that I need? Where am I supposed to get help? Family is too far away and friends aren’t always capable of doing what I do on a daily basis. Quitting isn’t an option because I have too many people relying on me. So what do I do?

They don’t teach you that in school. They just tell you that you have to keep going and never quit. So what happens when you have to quit? When you have to realize that you can’t do it all?  How are we supposed to cope? Nervous breakdowns? Prescription drugs? Recreational drugs? Alcohol? Heartattacks? Suicide?

What kind of a message is that sending to our kids?

My never quit attitude has shown my daughter that she needs to work hard for what she wants. That’s good. However she works so hard that she makes herself sick and she collapses from exhaustion every couple of weeks and sleeps for 36 hours. How did that go so wrong?

I always say in all things balance. I wish I’d listen to myself.  We have to find a balance between never quitting and learning our limitations. I love those statements that come from “helpful professionals” who tell you that “You just need to reduce your stress.” Yeah, didn’t think of that thanks. Or how about “Take some time for yourself.” Where? Which kid do I give up time with in order to get some time to myself? Do I give up what little sleep I get to have some “me time?” It doesn’t work that way. Our society is set up to tear itself apart not because of cultural issues but because we have not support structure for our mental state.

Some of you are thinking, Counselors would help. Yeah, no. I’ve tried that. She shook her head and said “I don’t know what to tell you, everything I could suggest you are doing already.” Well that helped. So now what? I need coping skills butI needed them about 25 years ago when I was in school and setting out on my journey through life. I needed them to be in place before the world crashed on to my shoulders and I had to play Atlas so that I had something to turn to when my  limitations showed up.

Imagine how different the schools would be if we taught our children how to cope with the problems in their life instead of just telling them they can’t  say can’t.

The Enforced Slow Down

I recently found out that I inflamed my bicep tendon at both ends, both where it attaches to my shoulder and my elbow. I was advised to rest my bicep and not lift anything heavy or least a week. Considering I’m the only parent in the house at the moment that seemed rather ridiculous. However my deltoid muscle was on fire, and my shoulder hurt so I thought I would go ahead and try to behave myself.

I suck at sitting still.

I am used to constant activity I have a lot of things to take care of. I don’t know how to do Nothing. I’m the person who thinks that if I’m watching TV then I should be doing something with my hands at the same time so that I’m not wasting time. I’m the one who reads while making dinner.  I’m the one who takes care of social media while eating breakfast. I’m the one who does research while  I’m waiting to pick up the kids from school.

I tried for several days to not do as much. I still ended up doing too much. As a result, my bicep and deltoid ached and my tendons became more swollen. So after using lots of ice to get the swelling down I decided to actually rest.

I suck it resting.

I decided to actually take time off.  I sat still. I watched TV. I ate popcorn for lunch. I decided to drink what I wanted to and eat what I wanted to the whole day  long. It was hard at first. But then it got easier the second day and then I found that I was sleeping better. I was waking up easier. And my imagination seems to have come back a little.

I’m still working on it I’m still trying to sit still because my arm still hurts. I don’t know how long I’m going to have to sit still, but the enforced slow down has helped my mind more than my arm. I’ve learned a couple of things.

First:  I think I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself to get so much stuff done and be a super mom and an author and a home improvement specialist that I’m killing myself slowly. I realized that I’m working so hard towards making sure everything is okay for everyone else that I’m forgetting to make sure everything’s okay for me. Everyone keeps telling me that if I don’t take care of myself, there will be no one to take care of everyone else. But it’s so hard to make time for yourself when you’re trying to squeeze so much into a day. I have so many things to do and so little time to do them. However the more I try to do the less I get done. So as I keep telling my daughter. Quality over quantity. I need to do less, but do it better.

Second:  I learned that actually giving myself time to do something that I enjoy made it seem a lot harder to go back to working. I think that I have been depriving myself of fun for so long that I’m desperate now to have as much of it as possible. I find that dangerous. I’m  tired of fighting the good fight. I’m stressed out enough right now, that sitting down and letting the world tick away to its inevitable conclusion is easy. The more I sit, the easier it is to want to keep sitting. It’s so much easier to sit and just enjoy. American culture is based on leisure activities. Unfortunately most people can’t afford them, but they’re still there. Work hard play hard. I want to. Bumming around is kind of seductive. I don’t want to go back to working that hard. But the work still has to be done and I’m the one who’s here to do it.

But I guess I need to listen to something else that I always tell my daughter. In all things, balance. I need to start working hard and enjoying what I work hard for. I need to learn that it’s okay to take time to enjoy a movie or just sit and read a book and not feel guilty about it. Perhaps I wouldn’t have injured myself if I had listened to that place to begin with.