A perspective on the world of disability from a mother and an educator. Follow my blog!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

In years gone by I have tried to do New Years resolutions. One year I printed off a checklist of things to do, laminated it and stuck it to the fridge. Hubby and I each had our own list though many of the things were similar: read x number of new books, eat at x number of new restaurants, visit these places etc... As you can tell that list was pre-children, pre-disability lense.

2013 was not a good year for me in so many ways. I don't intend to share it all here as I don't believe in sharing every gory detail of my life, and I'm not denying the gore. I started this blog 12 months ago because I wanted to express my ideas and explore my context/construct of disability which is through the lens of a mother and an educator. I'm extremely happy with how I've done that.

2014 will not start with a checklist of resolutions for good reason. Hubby retold a joke he saw on Facebook at our New Years Eve party.

"This gym will change its operating hours to 24 hours, 7 days a week for the first two weeks of January. Thereafter it shall revert back to being a pub".  Resolutions based on a change in date never last long.

I couldn't agree with that sentiment more. Resolutions have never worked for me. They don't seem to be all encompassing. They are not a change in attitude or lifestyle. That's why it is so hard to keep them. Long term goals are similar in that you can easily loose sight of them. IEPs are written so that the goals are only ever short term and the focus is on the everyday difficulties and adjustments. This is my way of life for now. The everyday. In a way I'm writing my own metaphoric IEP.

During our New Years Eve party, while the kids were distracted with glow sticks and sparklers, the adults gathered around the table got talking about our own personal struggles. Anxiety, depression and panic attacks were hot topics. I suggested a beautiful app called Smiling Mind that was recommended to me. It focuses on living in the moment and has been a wonderful addition, not just to my life, but my girls' and my friends' lives as well. Mindfulness is a great therapy tool for anyone. I would highly recommend the app, especially as it's free, works for all ages and not time consuming. I want to set my girls up with the strategies to deal with whatever life has to offer/throw at them.

When my big girl was just a baby and receiving intensive early intervention, I learnt to revel in all the little things she mastered like grasping, rolling over after a month of teaching her how, identifying a triangle and then being able to say it as well. How many parents remember the first time their child uses an adverb and celebrates it? I mean really rejoices in that one little word? The experiences of a parent of a child with a disability shape the way you view and experience the world. You can choose to be helpless and let the grief engulf you or you can be empowered and find joy in every little thing.

I love my stationery and one of my little things to enjoy is coloured pens. I never mark school work in red. I remember the joy in marking in a rainbow gel pen. Hubby bought me the most adorable diary for 2014. Writing in it in beautiful colours brings joy. Playing Lego with my girls over the holidays and finding those tiny little shining pieces right down the bottom of the barrel brings joy. Listening to my big girl make up a song on the spot that includes all our guests at our party brings joy. Having my chickens come up and peck at my toes because they think the new polishes hubby bought me are lettuce or corn brings joy. Finding joy is a choice. Disability/life doesn't need to be debilitating. 

My intention for today is to live in today, for today. I'm not even going to say that's my intention for 2014, I'm not planning that far ahead. If I do the best for my girls today, tomorrow will worry about itself. One breath at a time, not looking back, not peering forward. I've no intention of missing the now.

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