Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's Time for REAL

It's bogging me down hard today. The weight is slowly becoming too much to bare. It is exhausting at times to go through the motions. To pretend that everything is OK when it's not. I feel numb, really numb, like I'm in a fog and I can't see the other side kind of numb. I've got so much going on in my head, can't seem to put it all in order. So I close down. I want to sleep, like every minute of the day sleep. Don't want to face it. Don't want to acknowledge it. I'm tired of being strong. Of spending my everyday with blinders on to what is really happening on the inside.

I feel so fragile. Like any minute I'm going to break. Life is so damn hard. This is the side of me that I don't want anyone to see. The side that doesn't have it all together, because trust me when I say that I don't. I don't have all the answers. I'm not always happy, grateful, positive, loving, encouraging. I'm human, very real and feeling downright raw with my emotions today.

I've been hearing thoughts in my head for days now, "you'll never be good enough" "you can't do it" "things are never going to change" "it's going to keep getting harder" "you'll never be free from this" "you're not strong enough" "you are not beautiful" "you are..."

I am not happy with me.

I said it, those six words are the root of it all. It's not the never ending housework, the challenges of raising a son with autism, the challenges of a son who is struggling to read, of a husband who works long hours, of a teenager who can be mouthy, house not big enough, never enough money, no social life any longer with friends whom I miss, etc. Of course, those things all add to it, but it is not the root of it. I've been giving to everyone else for way too long without first filling my own bucket.

I truly believe what brought these thoughts to the surface was a homework assignment that I had this week with Shannon Sewell's online class at The Define School | The Inspired Child. At first I was digging deep with the subject of photography in mind. And that was great. I mean, this was the homework assignment after all right? To take some time to reflect about this whole journey and passion I have with photography. There are genuine fears to this journey. Fears like wondering what the heck I'm doing trying to start a business. Will I ever truly get all this technical stuff down right to the point that it's second nature? Damn manual mode is so hard to perfect. Will I ever be able to truly share my style and others will want to pay me for it? I don't want to be a part of this journey if I can't allow myself to fully create an art that I'm going to be in love with. That's a scary thing to realize. These are some of the thoughts I have been pondering over homework this week. But then I realized that there were emotions still brewing. I needed to dig deeper, but honestly, who wants to do that hard stuff? The stuff that makes you take a good look inside and really be true to yourself.

The inner voice telling you, who's going to hire an overweight photographer? I mean really, you don't look the part. You don't look hip enough. How are they going to trust your keen sense of style when you don't look too stylish yourself? 

WOW...that was so, so freeing to finally let out. To put it into words. To face it, stare at it on the screen and know it can no longer stay in that deep dark place inside that it's been hiding in. To acknowledge it for what it is...FEAR. Fear that I don't have what it takes to change what needs to be changed to get to where I want to be....happy with ME. Not for my husband, or my children, or my clients, but for me. My grand revelation is realizing that I'm not portraying myself as the photographer that I want to be because not even I am buying the bullshit. How can I expect someone else to believe it when I'm not even feeling that confidence that has to begin with me. Gosh, this is some really scary stuff to write and let others read. I feel so naked right now. But at the same time I feel like I'm able to take a deep breath and let it go. I'm no longer a prisoner to these thoughts. I need to face them for what they are. I am the only one that can do something about it. So for the photographer in me I think instead of worrying about learning anything else, I think it's time to fix this image that I have of myself. I need to get healthy, not just physically, but mentally. You know what I mean? I think only then will everything else fall into place. This isn't going to be easy. But I need to promise myself I will make some changes, even if they are small. I owe that to myself.

Am I alone? I dare not think that I am. I would even go as far as to say that I'm like any other woman, who knows she has more blessings than she can count, but who's mundane and challenging life gets the best of her at times. Who has fears and secret negative thoughts of being a failure. Of failing not only herself, but those who matter the most; family. I would only be lying to myself if I didn't admit it. Admit that today, right now, I'm not winning, and it's OK. I will allow myself to feel this; to be still. To reach the point that I cannot avoid the obvious any longer.

I'm finally admitting it. Everything else that I'm blaming my depressed thoughts and stress on is only a band aid covering up the true reason to this unhappiness. There it is in all it's glory. <viola>

Grateful for the people God places in my path; and there are so many. People whom I don't even know, like Shannon Sewell, who has shared so much this week with words, blogs (awesome blogs), so inspiring. And the other ladies in the class, whom are also sharing and being bouncing boards with thoughts and ideas and realizing that I'm not alone with my fears and doubts. Honestly, this class is true to it's title "The INSPIRED child".

I give myself an A+ for this weeks' homework. I think I've earned it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A New Perspective

At the end of this week an online class titled "The Inspired Home" that I have enjoyed being a part of with The Define School, will be coming to an end. While I am so sad that these four weeks have passed by so quickly, I am equally happy for all the insight I have been given from a group of women who are dedicated to enriching the areas of their lives that truly matter. This class has been led by Kristin Rogers, whom I do not know personally, but at times feel like I do. I came across her feed on Instagram and have been hooked ever since. There is just something about her feed of photographs that stirs something in me. I don't feel like I came across that feed by accident. I think in God's perfect plan, everything happens for a reason. I think for me personally, it was meant to remind me to get back to that place that I have abandoned. 

Somewhere along the way on this journey of life, I have gotten off track. I have allowed busyness to rob my family of ME. I'm still doing everything that I have always done, but how can I put this, "I don't feel present." Sometimes I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I think as moms we have all felt this way at one time or another.

I have been forced lately to slow down. Take my thoughts captive. Ponder on changes that need to be made.

The boys are not getting any younger. These years truly are fleeting.  I spend too much time focusing on things that I shouldn't. I have forgotten how to have fun. I want to be more present with what they are doing.

 This class has helped me realize that I needed to stop, reflect and change the way I have been doing things. Thank you Kristen and all the ladies in The Inspired Home group. It has truly been wonderful learning from all of you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shift Change

In this photo, the aide is leaving and Matthew is standing with his favorite toy watching her leave as the verbal behavior therapist is approaching my front door.

I was sitting in the living room with my camera this afternoon because I've been working on teaching myself to shoot in complete manual mode with my camera.

Pretty amazing what you can capture when you just sit back and watch. Jorgie was doing homework at the dining room table, Tristan was playing on the computer in the other room, and Matthew was there...standing right in front of my lens, waiting. Waiting for his aide to leave and his therapist to arrive.

You see, to someone else, this picture might not make any sense. No faces? No smiles?  But to me, it spoke volumes.

The thought that came to my mind was 'shift change'. You might be thinking, what? Let me explain...

Every day of the week, minus Sunday, there is someone in my home who does not live here. From the time Matthew arrives home from school, until an hour before he goes to bed, and all day on Saturday.

This has been going on since he was 16 months old. At first, this took some getting used to. Sometimes you just don't want to be hospitable, put a smile on, or put a bra on for that matter! lol But this is the fabric of our home, our normal, our here and now.

You know that saying, It takes a village to raise a child.

I'm so thankful for the people who bless my life on this journey called autism.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Survival Mode

Truly, truly they are.  I know it's coming every summer and yet I'm never ready for it. The last four weeks of summer before school starts. Matt's camp doesn't run all the way through the summer, thus why the last few weeks are torture for not only me, but for him too!

He thrives off of routine. When he's not going to school or camp for a number of days, he becomes confused. Confusion for him = Behaviors.  Behaviors on his part = frustrated and anxious Mom!

I try to keep him busy. Go for drives, play outside, run errands, therapy; but even a trip to Publix or Target has its challenges.

You would think that after 11 years of being Matt's Mom, I'd have this autism thing down to a science. But each day brings it's hardships and to be quite honest, no two days are ever the same.

If I'm going to be real honest with myself and what I'm feeling today, I would venture to say that I'm just 'pissed off'. Pissed off that life can be so hard! I hate autism and what it does to my beautiful boy. My son who is trapped in his own mind, without a way out. It must be so hard for him. Makes me feel guilty for even complaining.  I wish I could make it better for him. I wish I could be stronger. But today I'm going to just go with what I'm feeling. Ride this wave out into what hopefully will be a better tomorrow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher's Appreciation Week

Some people ask me why I stress myself out during the week of Teacher's Appreciation by sending in a little something special everyday of the week. My answer to them..."Because what they do matters." And, I'd like to let them know just how grateful I am to them and for what they do.

I have three boys, Jorgie is now in 9th grade and doesn't want to take anything to his teachers. Totally not cool mom. Tristan is in 1st grade. Can you imagine a room full of seven year olds and how you would feel at the end of the day?  And my Matthew has autism and is in a special school for children just like him. Those teacher's deserve angel wings! I don't know how they do it day in and day out, but they do.

I truly believe being a GOOD teacher is a calling. It's not for everyone, and it's apparent in the ones that don't enjoy what they do. But so many times teacher's get a bad rap through the news, facebook, YouTube, etc. and it ruins it for all of them.

I have been fortunate that my boys have all had a good experience with the teachers that they have and have had.  Many of them have left heart prints on them that will last a lifetime. Working in a school office for six years, I was able to see first hand all the work that they do with our children, especially the younger ones.

So this week, show your gratitude to your teachers! They deserve the recognition.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Relentless Rainy Day

For those of you raising children on the spectrum you can understand what I mean when I say that when it's a long hard day, IT'S A LONG HARD DAY!

It has been raining all weekend here in Miami and that makes for torture for MC. Today especially has been a non-stop drizzle. His favorite past-time while at home is to be in the backyard. He loves to swing and play with leaves off of the ground. We call him our personal tree pruner. Not being able to be outside has caused him to be bored and thus act up with behaviors. Some of my most favorite, (insert sarcasm) would be banging his behind against the back door glass, pulling at my arm ALL day long, biting his knuckles, banging on the bedroom doors, and trying to get into every/any thing in the kitchen cupboards.

Needless to say he has been up since early this morning at 7am (and this is a good day), and by this time, I am ready to just melt into a pile of tears on my bedroom floor.

I feel like such a horrible Mother when all I can think about is tomorrow, Monday. Back to school and back to his routine. Because without routine MC simply doesn't know what to do with himself.

At this moment, I have stolen a few minutes to vent, while my husband plays a game of chess with our oldest son and we have classical music playing throughout the house to see if it will soothe MC.  Not working...

My mind often daydreams about what a typical household might be doing on this rainy Sunday afternoon. Maybe watching a movie together, working on a puzzle, reading a book, TAKING A NAP! Ahhhh, that just sounds so yummy. Nope not I, I'm doing laundry, picking up things that MC has ripped, i.e. paper plates, paper, etc., and just simply surviving.

Don't mind me, I'll be back tomorrow, but for now, I just need to vent and feel sorry for myself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat
Who hasn't been inspired by the books and words of wisdom from Dr. Suess? I know he was a big part of my childhood. I have fond memories of my mom making me greeen eggs and ham when I was a little girl. So glad to see that after all these years, his books are still inspiring readers young and old. Some of the best quotes of all times are from Dr. Seuss. Here are some of my all time favorites!

“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” 
 Dr. Seuss

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
 Dr. Seuss

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” 
 Dr. Seuss

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” 
 Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. SeussHappy Birthday to You!

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
― Dr. Seuss

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” 
 Dr. Seuss