Periodically ‘ya’ll’ comment/post on how bad it is, or how junior isn’t making progress. I’ve been more than enthused that many of the readers have jumped in to help by providing some uplifting comments and thoughts.
Makes me feel that writing this blog is worthwhile – for all of us.
I also visit a number of blogs – focus on each is different, but for the most part they are written by moms or dads dealing with autism and the ‘collateral damage’ that comes with the child (or in some cases, in the plural!).
My gosh, I’m often impressed with the efforts many of you make to best integrate and/or educate your children with the world around them. I sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day, but most of you do all of these things AND BLOG! I’d be wiped out. I just blog about it – ya’ll are doing it and blogging about it. Impressive.
That said, one thing seems to be consistently missing from the conversation, me thinks – what are you guys doing for ‘you’?
I’m a chubby guy, but I’ve always been active… and I get up before the crack of dawn, so I go to the gym and am at the doors when they unlock them. When Demetrius was first diagnosed I pounded the weights pretty hard. It really didn’t do anything for me in terms of dealing with the pain/anger/disappointment/mild depression. In fact, looking back, I’m not too sure it didn’t make me angrier.
Then we got Buddy, I started taking him for long runs and I found that I could ran harder, faster, longer when I was worked up about the boy. I also started shedding weight. I felt better physically and mentally. I was then running and it wasn’t about him…it had become ‘about me’.
All this kind of ‘well-being’ mumbo-jumbo is well documented. But honestly, it is working for me. I’m running 10-Ks and find I’m just in a better place to deal with the autism, the stress, and the other responsibilities in life beyond the boy.
I’m at that place in life where this is the best I can do, so I embrace this time. It’s me, the dog, my headphones and the road. I can think about things. I can not think if I want to. I can daydream. I can imagine what it would be like watching Demetrius play soccer as a regular kid, with me being a regular dad (well, the second part of that is debatable)…or I can try to sort out my ‘facts’ from ‘feelings’ approaching an IEP or pediatric appointment.
I’m not running to race, nor am I running away from anything – I just feel better about me, my life, and where it is all going.
Truthfully, my boss was prodding me to start a blog, but it was after a long run on Friday morning last April that I decided I needed to do it. I’m here, you are reading this, because I started running. I’m glad we’ve met!
My wife, Kim, has her art. She’s an amazing artist, I only wish she would just head down into her studio (aka, extra room in the basement) more often and just get lost in painting or printing.
Outside of the cyber world, I know many of our ‘autism’ families here in Atlanta could do to get out more and find something that is ‘theirs’ that would take their mind off of their worries/concerns.
I hope many of you are doing so also, but I also get posting about being tired, or at the end of your ropes – and many of these postings come through at 3am, or so…
All I’m saying is that whether it is heading on a Sunday to Starbucks to buy a book and a latte or get out in the backyard and garden some…whatever it is….make some time to do something you love, or at least like. Find your time, and then find your switch. Try to turn it off. Or turn the glare down if you can’t turn it off.
Make time for you. Because then the time you give your child will be more positive and powerful.
I could definitely do a PBS special, don’tcha think?