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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Is Not About Plants

As I was taking care of my plants tonight I was mourning how neglected they were. How when we take something out of its natural environment it becomes dependent. It does not mean the plant submits to us or that the plant is flawed. It simply means they look to us to meet their needs to survive.

My plants have been sorely neglected for years. I was seeing it in their twisted trunks and steams. In their lack of height and fullness.

And all I could think was “Look at the damage neglect has done! And still, it is not abuse.”
I wiped the limp discolored leaves gently with a damp cloth. I marveled at how amazing they were. How by just this little attention they would be greener in the morning. They would hold their leaves a little stronger.

I wondered at how little it takes to keep a plant alive. I marveled at how much you need to know to help it thrive. In fact, you really do nothing but meet its needs and it does the rest. You both enjoy the benefits.

As I moved from plant to plant I began to wonder. It is so simple to keep a plant and so easy to neglect a plant… at what point is the neglect abuse? Their colors were pale and blemishes marred their surfaces, I noticed as I washed each leaf.

I looked at my neglected plants and wondered what would they look like if they were abused? It was about then that I found a plant that had at first looked green on top, but when I moved the foliage to water it, I was met with a mass of twigs. I don’t think this one will bounce back.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A very fine Focus

I am finding I have to have a very fine focus to stay moving at this point in untangling the threads. So I am breaking things down into small steps. I decide what is the main goal today… then break it down into smaller steps but I am not going very big.

So basically we want to watch a movie as a family tonight so that is our goal. I then back track to what do I need bare minim for that to happen and build my actions from there. To watch a movie I can skip all the first steps up to 'have the movie'. It is the first thing I will need that I don’t already have to watch the movie as a family tonight. And because I want the movies over by a reasonable time I start with how late the movie can be started… movie takes 2 hours and we plan to watch 2 so we need 4 hours before bed to watch the movies. I need to go to the store to get the movies… so add time and flesh it out as it goes until I have in my head every step that I will need, bare minimum, to meet my goal adding in things like meals.

It gives me a daily focus. If I have routines in place, things that need to be done each day for me to function, and complete in the morning I am doing really good cuz it give me time to move my focus to beyond just day to day. In those moments I can look farther and start slipping daily goals that will lead me to a weekly goal that is slowly moving me toward and other bigger goal. And this is slowing allowing moments of spontaneous creativity that get to grow from tiny sparks into a small flame as I find ways to complete more spontaneous things… like making potato candy to go with the movies tonight.

Tomorrow I am giving over to looking at my week and farther goals to see what I can do next and start mapping things out about Balancing Hearth & Home, Mind, Body & Soul, Self, Mate, Relationships, Work and the infinite other aspects that need Balancing. That’s why I guess I’m only a goddess sometimes. It is a very precarious Balance to make.

Well… I need to go make myself dinner and potatoes candy, because if I don’t start now I wont be able to watch the movie on time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Focus The One: Family Dream Board

As I said in my last completely rambling post I am learning how to focus. I recently graduate from Massage School and as a project in our business class we made a Dream Board. If you are not familiar with Dream Boards it is simply a place to but visual representations of something you wish to achieve.

A movie I really enjoy is Last Holiday. In it the main character, played by the amazing Queen Latifah, has a photo album she title Possibilities. She had pictures of places she dreamed of going, the wedding she'd like to have, food she'd like to try... A visual representation of her hopes and dreams. As I am learning about Focus I am learning how helpful such a thing is.

One of the big points of conflict we have at home is the lack of communication and constant conflict it causes. I had been thinking on all the supports we have in place... timers, routine, calendars... and how somehow they aren't being used to any benefit. Then it hit me. No one really knows where anyone is going anymore. They can't see how their little piece fits into the picture, because they really don't know what the picture is. They don't really understand why we need chores done because all they can see is the chore.

So basically, yeah, the house and family are in just as a knotted & confused state as my own mind. 

To try and get us all with the same picture in our head of one goal I settled upon doing a Dream Board for the house and yard. At this point my intent is to get a poster board; on half the board put a map-like drawing of our home and yard and how we hope to have it. Draw out the planed garden beds, dog areas, new trees, pond... The base Drawing would be done by My Love and I. then we would have a family meeting where we can all as a family add things in ... color it, cut out magazine pictures and words... and hopefully at the end have a picture in everyone's mind of what our intent is with the house and yard this year.

The second half of the board I am hoping to add Things to DO as a family... concerts, camping trips, diners, bar-b-ques... what ever we might want to have as family goals of Doing for this year.

I see right off several obstacles I will have to figure out. There are the simple ones of what exactly will I need to have, make, and do to have this event of making the Dream Board. The other is how to keep the control freaks in the family from taking over and enviably destroying the plan.

To the first I figure a step by step list:
  1.  Pick a day to have the meeting
  2. Get supplies
  3. Refreshments
  4. Other
I can see this easily getting over whelming so I am leaving it this complex for now.
So This week I'll focus on Step 1... Pick the day.
You'd think that would be simple enough... but of course it's not. LOL!
But you know what? I will make it work.

Friday, January 22, 2016

"You are going to blog." or RambleRambleRamble

How I came to that decision...

It's complicated. But really, what isn't? 
As I said in my last post I've been depressed. But that's not all. I have a great deal I am trying to sort through. Things that I need to figure out... big questions like: Am I crazy? Is It me? Stuff like that. 
Also, I noticed I am happier when I am writing. I don't get so stuck in my head or stuck in the cyberverse. There is so much more here to what started this thought but I can't seem to find the way to say it yet...

 So, yeah.... Like most modern humans in a first world country I am battling to heal my Mind, Body & Spirit.
I'm going to do the modern thing and put everything out there. But, by telling you both everything about who I am, but not telling you exactly who I am. Hopefully.

I have to figure out things and the only way to is to look at it from many points of view. It seems blogging fits that bill.
I think I stopped writing my blog out of fear. Fear of judgment I sometimes think.
But sometimes, it was more truly a fear of the consequences of my thoughts.

Because, when I write it is in that internal narrator voice ... You know... The one who's in charge of internal monologuing, snide comments, paranoia ... 
Or at least mine is... 

And I got side tracked. 
See... That's part of the problem... How can I trust my thoughts, my internal narrator, if she's always getting off the main focus?! How can I be sure that's what really happened and why I reacted the way I did?
Basically everything is so Jumbled in my head that I am not sure of anything. And the being unsure led me to fear and I stopped blogging... talking... But it is also completely natural because I have been so completely busy.
And as a dear friend is so fond of saying,"Stress does strange things."

So instead of trying to untangle the past I am going to move forward... See where these threads I've laid down can lead. Maybe see if i can adjust them to make the best future from Now that I can. 
Oh dear! That sounds frighteningly like Hope.
And if there is one thing I learned about Hope... She is a Badass Warrior!

*deep breath*

I am learning about focus right now, I think. So I will share with you what I learn.

One thought I had tonight was on making a Dream Board as a family so we can all share a focus on what we want our home to look like and then the thought expanded into adding a part for things we want to do as a family... A side thought being this might get the kids thinking about doing dream boards for their own life paths. 

Then the thought expanded into what would be the purpose behind this?
What was it doing?

I thought on that for a moment and found that at the very least we spend a little time together around the table as a family.

Then that thought expanded...At most we would make magic and change our Universe.

Learning to focus is hard. In comes in waves and layers. There are so many things that need focused on I can't even name the threads!  
Which then side tracks my thoughts to the goddesses of Fate. Funny, because I don't believe in just Fate. I am one who is sure we can see just enough of our pattern to change it or at least we can adjust it just enough. "Of course," the Fates might whisper, "that is what all the finest threads say." ... I'm arrogant like that. And that is what I intend to do.
I think that's what I shall write about as I figure this knot out. 
I'll start with the dream boards and how we do that...
1. Make a plan for family making dream board.

Friday, November 27, 2015

And again...

I've been depressed.
Did you notice?

Ive set a small goal for myself.... I know I'm exhausted, emotional and physical. I do need to rest but that little voice in my head needs to be distracted first.
Translation: I need to do something so I can tell that little voice to shut the hell up for the rest of the day.
Oh wait! I'm practicing being nice to me... So we won't tell that voice to shut the hell up, we'll just say, 'relax. We met a goal that is moving us the right way.'
Little voice, our goal is *drumroll* 15 minutes in living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom!
HUGE goal here.
Sadly, at this level it truly is.
But, I've got my timer and I've retouched my sometimes goddessness and I can do this!
It really is kinda surprising and satisfying what you can do when you stay in your skin and focus on a goal or 15 minutes.
The best part of the timer is it brings to back to focus if you get lost and let's you know you made it!

Alright, no more procrastinating this.. *sets timer*

Friday, November 9, 2012

Life Sucks!

a letter to my son

Yes, life sucks.
So, now that you know life does indeed suck, what are you going to do about it?
Are you going to to ask why life sucks?
Now, you can be stuck forever asking why  and always looking for the excuses
Or you can DO something about it!
  What?!? How am I supposed to figure out what to do?
Here's how:
Look at your life, figure out one part of life that you can do something about and do it.
Perhaps it will be something as small as setting your shoes 2 feet to the left of where you like to take them off, so they are out of the way. It's not much, but it is now one part of your life that does not suck, as much. Now keep looking. Soon you will find things that you can not do anything about... bu that is okay.
Accept that Yes, that does indeed Suck.
Remember ii, acknowledge it, and let go of it.
Keep doing what you can to not trip over your shoes and soon you will find a way to do something about what sucks in life.
and if you keep doing that you just may find life does not suck so much all the time.
**** **** **** ****

The above letter was written to my son after a teenage fit  that ended with the words "Life Sucks!" and a door closing to his bedroom. I figured he needed to hear the truth. Isn't that what being a grown up is? realizing life sucks and then doing something about it?

I find it interesting, in my own reflection, that in the notebook I wrote that letter to him in I had the following entry.... sometimes this is all I can manage. I know others feel like this as well so I am sharing the second entry so they will know they are not alone.

No title
I want to wear clean clothes: decide if you want clean clothes enough to do laundry.
If so how much laundry: 1 load, but no dry.
If I put it in now I can let it run while I sleep and then decide in the morning if it's worth the effort to lay them out to dry or not... if not what are options, what is consequence?
But enough thinking for now... put in laundry.
shut off lights
go to bed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sleep, please!

Sometimes the kids surprise me with the things they want to know about or the questions they ask. I usually enjoy the moments that the kids make me do a double take over something they ask about. This evening was one of those moments between The Thunderous One and  me. He walked up and not really looking at me, but standing beside me asked, “Mom how did you get me to sleep before I looked at people?”
I was surprised at his choice of words, he has never mentioned that fact that for years, till he was about 5 years old, he didn’t see anyone else. He looked right trough them, and sometimes tried to walk through them too. He started to occasionally notice other people but has never seen them the way most people do.
He caught me off guard.
I am trying to remember… am I blocking out the trying memories?

I told him a summary of what I would do and he was disappointed, none of it would really help him now. So, we are looking over it again to see what we can pick out that may help him.

Most of the time I sat by his bed and he held my hair in a death grip and I would sing to him till I was tired of singing… then I would pretend to be falling asleep.. You know, breath slower, let your eyelids droop, head fall… then when he was finally asleep (and I was hopefully not) I would have to take my hair away from him. If he woke up while I was untangling my hair from his fingers we would have to start over.
I learned to slowly take my hair away as he fell asleep so it was easier. He liked to hold a certain amount…so some nights it was a big fight.
We tried a few suggestions from other people, like:
Cut a lock of my hair off and give to him to hold… Painful for me, no dice for him.
Get a soft animal for him to snuggle, a start, but only worked if he fell asleep holding my hair, then I could move his hand to his animal..
Just tell him No. I didn’t sleep for over a week while we tried this one.
Unfortunately, I am not exaggerating.

What finally work was a long process broken down into smaller steps.
Step One: a bed time routine.
Now as anyone with an Autistic child can tell you a routine for them is a different thing then a routine for an average kid. The bed time routine started back at 4 o’clock. Things like watching how much he ate and drank and of what till we figured out what would keep him up. He ended up not being able to drink anything, but water, after 4.
The Routine included things like:
Check calendar (that way he knew what to except),
Lay out your clothes for tomorrow,
Take a bath… I’ll have to get back to that but bath had it’s own check list.
Go to the bathroom,
Brush teeth,
Glass of water,
Story or song,
Lay down.

We added one thing in at a time so as not to overwhelm him … or ME! Our long term goal was for him to be able to go through his routine with little prompting from us. To help him on that we made Routine books for each of the kids.  I loved the Routine Book!

For me they were fun to make, I love the chance to be creative and some times when you have kids you forget to take the time and be creative. Or some times there is no time to be creative!
(To tell you the truth it seems the more I type about what we did the more I remember it!)
We had fun one day… I had to keep looking at it as fun, because he was not good with transitions and making the routine book called for a lot of transitions.  I wrote it on the calendar a few days before we did it., I told him and the girls what we were going to doing… act out getting ready for the day, for bed,  to go, and take pictures of it!
It was mostly fun, there were some trying moments as kids had to wait their turns, but we got through. I didn’t have a photo printer… this was back in the olden days of film getting developed. So we had to wait for them to get developed. Then I cut out them doing what ever was on the check list , cutting out as much of the background as possible so the main focus would be what they were doing. Each of these was glued to a page ,I may add a few stars or hearts to the page with stamps, and the simple phrase of what they were to do.
I put them in the little photo albums that are one picture wide, I think they are called event photo albums.
Each of the kids had their own set.
So now Bedtime routine became, “Go get your book and see what you need to do!”
That helped me a lot. I didn’t have to think about what needed to get done, so there was less stress. Anything to reduce stress!
We got to the point in his bedtime routine, and inability to sleep, where I could not miss any more sleep, I was losing my mind! Sleep deprivation will do that. I was worn out. So we made a deal, I would sit by him and sing, he could hold my hair, but it was only 3 songs total. I would sing one or two by his bed and the other in the door way. I usually ended up singing one in each bedroom and the last one in the hallway so they all could hear. When I left he had to stay in his bed. He didn’t have to sleep, but he could not get out of bed. Most of the time it worked. He began to hold onto the mane of his stuffed lion after I left the room. Sometimes he still wasn’t asleep when the grown ups went to bed, but he wasn’t out of bed so that was good enough for me.
We also found that if he got out of his schedule it was easiest to fix it from the morning side.
If they were going to bed later and later or having more trouble finishing their bedtime routines, we started making sure they were up exactly on time. This way they were tired when it was time for bed, and since bedtime routine makes morning routine go better the routine wasn't ignored.

So here we are years in the future and none of that seems to be what my independent  asperger’s teenage can use so he can fall asleep and get the rest he wants. We still have the rule (even on the weekends and summer) that when the parents go to bed the kids do too. They do not have to sleep but they can not be up walking around the house.
If I look at his problem the way we learned to when he was young it looks like we need to simplify. He gets up every day at 5:30, but lately he has been staying in bed moaning till almost 6:30. So that will be change number one.
Change number two will be thinking up a new and improved bed time routine. But, this time instead of pictures we may just have a check list that he can post on his wall or put in a notebook. He can be in complete control on the formatting of the list, so it will look exactly the way he wants it to. Maybe not as fun for me as the photo album, but this is all him this time.
Change number three will be taking a close look at his after school till bed time activities so we can see if there is anything we can tweak there.

I think the hardest thing will be getting him to stick with this all on his own. He is not excited about this. I pointed out that a check list will make the logical side of his mind happy. He countered that the logical side of his mind is never happy.  So I replied, :”Then let’s aim for Content,.”  I think shrugging and walking out of the room for a glass of water was his way of agreeing.

Do you have anything you do that helps you when you get hit by a spell of insomnia?
I would love to hear more suggestions that I can pass on to him to try!