MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Posts Tagged ‘life’

Live Unapologetically

Posted by mbamommy on July 31, 2012

Have you ever said you’re sorry without meaning it? I sure have.

I’ve apologized to get someone else to own up to what they’ve done.

“I’m sorry about hitting your car.”

“No, it was my fault, I was texting, I’m really sorry”

(note, this didn’t really happen, but it does add color, doesn’t it)

I’ve apologized as an intro.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I just happen to overhear you say….”

I’ve apologized for my existence.

“Well, excuse me for breathing.”

I’ve apologized for someone else.

“Sorry my son just knocked down your kid’s tower. He didn’t mean it.”

I’ve apologized to get reassurance.

“Sorry I burnt your dinner.”

“No honey, it tasted great. I love charred burgers.”

I’ve apologized for guilt.

“I’m so sorry I forgot your birthday.”

What I don’t usually do is apologize to myself.

“Self, I’m sorry I make you feel guilty for not doing things perfectly. It’s really ok and you’re doing a bang up job with this life of yours. Keep it up!”

And, you know what? It’s really not that sincere. And, just like I wouldn’t want to say ” I love you” without meaning it, I don’t want to say “I’m sorry” without meaning it. It cheapens the emotion behind the phrase when it’s tossed around indiscriminantly.  It negates the real apology I listed above.

So, I’ve decided to live unapologetically. I vow to try my hardest not to apologize if I don’t mean it. I also vow to try my hardest to live in such a way that I don’t feel it necessary to apologize.

And the first order of business is NOT to apologize for being absent from this blog. Every time I have a self-inflicted sabbatical, I start out again by apologizing to you, my reader. But not this time. I got busy. A lot has happened since I last posted which has dropped the importance of this blog down a couple notches. It happens.

I’m not sorry.

The good news about a sabbatical is that it allows for post ideas to build up and I’ve got an arsenal of things I want to write about. I am going to start blogging again. And, I’m going to take my own advice. I’m always telling clients that the most important thing about increasing readership on a blog or making a presence for yourself in social media is to have consistent content. I tell them to decide on the cadence of content you’ll post, create an editorial calendar and block time on your schedule. And then stick to it. Write.

Here we go…..

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Last Night

Posted by mbamommy on March 7, 2012

Image

Last night, my evening consisted of:

  • Great kids eating all their dinner and happily splitting the last cookie for dessert
  • Both kids in time out (z with his pants around his ankles) because i couldn’t get them to stop playing long enough to wipe them down (no bath tonight, my call)
  • Every single fire alarm in the house going off at the exact same time (or triggered by each other? dunno)
  • Me running around frantically trying to turn off said alarm because everyone was completely freaked out
  • A dog who hasn’t left my side since said alarm (well, once she agreed with me that it was ok to come out of the closet)
  • A failed attempt at reading books because kiddos couldn’t stop fighting over toys so i sent them to bed without books
  • A failed attempt at discussing said punishment with sarah and telling her i wasn’t going to listen to her screaming and when she was ready to talk, i’d come back in
  • A rushed shower listening to sarah scream at the top of her lungs “i’m ready to talk!”, not to be outdone by zach yelling “mommy, sarah says she’s ready to talk!”
  • A rocking/calming down session with sarah while still in my towel
  • An agreed upon second attempt at books, this time only one and mommy’s choice
  • Two kids pulling out all the tricks to get me to stay in their rooms longer
Stick a fork in me. I’m done.

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An Ode To Shel

Posted by mbamommy on January 24, 2012

Listen to the Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me–
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Listen to the Should’s

Listen to the SHOULD’S, mama,
Listen to the MUST’S
Listen to the OUGHT TO’S
The HAD BETTER’S, the WOULD’S
Listen to the HAVE TO’S
Then listen to your SELF–
She knows what can happen, mama,
EVERYTHING can be.

-MBAMommy

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Labels

Posted by mbamommy on December 15, 2011

I am….

a mother

a wife

a sister

a daughter

an advocate

a friend

an ear

a shoulder

a heart

a brain

a body

a life

a tear

a smile

a giggle

a tickle finger

a Mommy monster

a squeeze

a hug

a kiss

a hand

a sigh

beautiful

strong

willful

independent

curious

scared

unsure

confident

loving

angry

sad

joyous

…me.

I do…

autism

a job

an exercise

a meal

some housework

a lot of talking

a lot of reading

a lot of writing

some yoga

some meditating

errands

pick up/drop off

child care

driving

discipline

…things.

There’s a difference.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Shout Out

Posted by mbamommy on November 24, 2011

I was perusing Facebook this morning, seeing everyone’s comments about Thanksgiving and what they’re thankful for and it got me thinking. I wasn’t planning on writing a Thanksgiving focused post, but everyone’s comments made me realize I had something to say today. What am I thankful for?  Of course I’m grateful for my friends and family and for their and my good health. That, in my opinion, goes without saying. Without friends and family and without health….well….that’s just not a life I want to lead.

So, then I got to thinking about are all the things I’m thankful for that allow me to live my life. This life. Not the one I imagined. Or had conjured up in my head when I was young and naive. But my day to day real life. So, below are the list of things that I’m giving a shout out to today (in no particular order). And, I promise to do my best to support these things as much as they’ve supported me.

I’m thankful for….

  • HIMAT – without which we would never be able to consider private school or purchasing a home
  • My Angels – without whom I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Early intervention – without which I would be completely lost in this world of Asperger’s
  • Weighted vests – which have made such a difference in impulse control and executive functioning for my little man
  • Education – on so many levels: my degrees, my kid’s budding bilingualism, my understanding of my son
  • My husband’s job – for providing us with so much
  • My job – for its work-life balance
  • That I live today and not at an earlier point in history – all in, I think we have it pretty good
  • My iPhone (yes, it’s made that much of a difference in my and my family’s lives)
  • My arms and legs – which allow me to do all the things I do throughout the day
  • Living in Colorado – because no matter what happens on a bad day, it’s happening here and that makes everything brighter
  • My daughter – my constant ray of sunshine
  • Social media – because how else would I be able to re-connect with people I haven’t seen in 15-20 years?
  • Straight irons – without which my hair would be a complete mess
  • Skype/FaceTime – which allows me to be with my family no matter how far away we are
  • My blog – for being my outlet  and YOU for loaning me your ears (eyes?) and hearts
  • Toddler alarm clocks that change when it’s time to get up – because otherwise I’d be starting my day at 5am
  • Kid’s Clubs at the gym – for giving my little sensory seeker a means to get his squirmy worms out while mommy gets to exercise
  • My Toyota Highlander – the most reliable, safe-feeling mode of transportation I’ve ever had

There’s more…and maybe throughout the day I’ll continue adding as I think of things. But, for now, I think this is a good start.

What about you?

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Gifts of Autism

Posted by mbamommy on October 11, 2011

I’ve finally decided to write this post (it’s been on my list of topics for months now) because I just found out that very dear friends of mine are having their son evaluated for autism and they find out the results of the eval today.  I only know this through a very quiet grapevine and I respect their need for being secretive about it.  It took me months before I was able to speak openly about Z.  I didn’t start writing about it until at least 6 months after the fact….when I finally was able to breathe again.  But, I also know that they read my blog.  And, I’m hoping that they finds this post at an appropriate time….when they’re ready to start breathing again too.

Z was officially diagnosed in May of 2010.  But it took us 6 months to go through the process, which began November 2009.  Among all the advice and words and noise I heard from others at that time there was one theme that I just couldn’t wrap my head around.  It was the idea that there could be positives about having an autistic child.  I kept hearing all these Moms talk about the gifts their autistic child had given them, how they wouldn’t change them for the world, how much they had learned from them.

And I called complete and utter B.S. on all of them.  I figured that they were all these amazing women who were just better people than I was. Better women, better people, better Moms.  Because for the life of me I couldn’t think of one positive aspect about Z being autistic.  Of course I loved him.  Of course I would have laid down in front of a moving train for him.

But, the day to day?  The constant fighting and negotiating and meltdowns and trips to various therapists and fear and exhaustion and lack of understanding of my own son?  I would’ve been quite fine without all of that, thankyouverymuch.  I loved my son but I’m not sure I really liked spending time with him.  He was so……difficult.  I didn’t get him.  He didn’t get me.  And I was a bit resentful of him.  I had a lot of Why Me?  Why Him? going on.

I remember watching an episode of Parenthood when Christina went to a support group for parents of Aspie’s and a woman in the group was saying (paraphrased) “I feel like I’m stuck all day in a place where the rules are different.  And they don’t make sense to me.”

Boy, that struck me.  I could’ve said that myself.

And then there were these women….these annoying, frustrating, full of crap women, talking about how much they had learned from their kiddos.  Talking about how they were better people for it….more patient, calmer, more open, how they could celebrate the smaller things in life so much more intensely than a parent with a NT kid…because those milestones, those achievements were so much more challenging to get to.

I didn’t get it.  I guess I just wasn’t one of those women.  But….where were the women like me?  The angry ones?  The frustrated ones?  The ones who couldn’t see the silver lining on that gray cloud?

Well, the joke was on me.  These women were one and the same.  They were angry.  And sad.  And frustrated.  But, they also had the benefit of time and distance.  They were able to breathe.  They had time to understand their children.  They had time to recalibrate to their new lives.

It was about a year after his diagnosis that I started to (grudgingly) see that these women weren’t full of it.  I had read enough and educated myself enough that I started to understand Z.  And because of that I had more patience with him.  And all of a sudden, because I wasn’t so angry all the time, he started responding better to me.  And our relationship has turned into what it is today.  I get daily hugs and kisses.  I get daily “Mommy, I love you”s.  I can talk to him about anything and am just amazed at how that little brain of his works.  The meltdowns are rare now.  The enjoyment we get from each other is not.

Not only would I still lay down in front of a moving train for him, but I started to enjoy him in all his quirkiness.  I got that when he was bouncing around, making noise JUST to frustrate me and ignoring my repeated attempts to get him dressed and out the door, it wasn’t that he was trying to make us late.  It was that his little body was running a little too fast for him to calmly get dressed.  And, I finally knew what I could do to help him.  And, how amazing was it when I could actually calmly and gently implement a strategy to get his body to run at the proper level so as to get dressed and out the door without a meltdown!

And, what about the day when he first tried to make a friend at the playground….and was successful?  And, what about after working with his teachers and implementing various strategies to help him through his day…and receiving positive reports on his behavior….and how he was able to do the things that all the other kids were doing….only better…because his little aspie brain works differently than theirs?

You know what?  Those women….with the benefit of hindsight, time and distance….were right.  Autistic or not, all children are gifts.  They teach us a lot more than we teach them.  They teach us humility.  They teach us patience.  They push us to be better people.

I still don’t believe the line “God only gives you what you can handle.”  And, while I appreciate the “Z is lucky to have you as parents.” comments that our friends have said to us, I don’t quite believe that either.  What I do believe is that there are gifts that come with autism.

It just takes time to see them.

To my dear friends: I hope you read this.  I hope you reach out to me when you’re ready.  Because as slim as that silver lining may look right now, it’s there.  Just breathe.  And be patient.  The gifts will come.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MOM | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Be Real Not Perfect

Posted by mbamommy on September 30, 2011

I’ve been ignoring my blog for a few days now because I’m trying to get this post straight in my head.  But, I also can’t get it out of my head so I might as well dump it here, right?

The other day I read this amazing post from Single Dad Laughing called “The Disease Called Perfection“.  I found him because a friend posted a link on Facebook, I in turn re-posted it and several friends of mine re-posted again.  Viral, anyone?  And, here’s the thing.  The post is SO FLIPPIN WORTH READING.   It shocked me, made me cry, made me re-evaluate everything I’ve ever thought.  Literally.  I was already a fan of the Imperfect Movement.  And, now I am a HUGE fan of SDL.  I guess the perfect/imperfect issue isn’t limited to just  special needs kids.

So, here it is.  Me Being Real.  Wait….please, read SDL‘s post first, otherwise this list won’t make a lot of sense to you.

There are days when getting out of bed is a chore.  Well, not really getting out of bed.  It’s the getting through the day that’s a chore. When I’d rather just sit and stare into space than work, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, pick up and drop off the kids, cook the meals, playwith the kids.  These are the days that I daydream of escaping.

I hate the way I look.  I’m embarrassed about my weight (and, sadly, if you looked at me, you’d probably think I was nuts).  And I tend to not have the follow through to really do anything about it.  As soon as I start to see a difference in how I look, I sabotage myself.  And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.

I’m extremely critical of others.  And I think it’s to make myself feel better.

I scream at my kids too much.

I don’t have enough patience with my kids too much.

I’m short with my husband too much.

I’ve spanked my kids before.  Out of sheer anger and frustration.

I pick my nose.  And then I get mad at Z when he does it.

I’m extremely hard on myself, beating myself up for ever error and mistake I make.  Whether it’s large or small, it’s completely all-encompassing in my own mind.

There are more Real things about me…waaaayyyyy more imperfections…I could go on and on about those imperfections.  But, I’m not going to because that would be a downward spiral that I don’t want to get myself into right now.  Instead, I’d like to point out where I think SDL comes up short.  He challenges all of us to Be Real.  To show our Imperfections.  OK, I did that.  But, what about the things that are good?  That I should be proud of?  That I NEED to shout out about as much as I NEED to shout out the imperfections.  Isn’t that a part of being real?  Not just being honest about the tough stuff but also being honest about the good stuff.  All too often we focus on the negative, shameful things in our lives…even if it’s in our own head.  We don’t give the good stuff enough light.

So, here it is again.  Me Being Real.

I’m a good friend.  I may not have a ton of time to see them, but at the end of the day, I’m someone my friends know they can call.

I’m a good advocate for my son. I’ve changed my entire life plans and aspirations in order to give him the tools he needs to be happy and successful.  No, it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  But, it’s what I needed to do.

I’m a good role model for S.  And, it’s because of her that I continually try harder.  Because I want her to grow up to be like the best me.

I’m a good wife.  I support J in any new initiative he wants to do.  I rarely say no to his plans.

I’ve got some good ‘guns’.

I have a pretty face.

I’m smarter than the average bear.

I’m a good writer.

What about you?  Be Real.  Here.  Now.  Tell me everything.  Especially the good stuff.

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From Here to There, From There to Here…..

Posted by mbamommy on August 4, 2011

…funny things are everywhere.

I realized yesterday that it was a year ago this week that our migration to Colorado began.  J had just received his job offer and I jumped on a plane and spent 4 days looking at rentals, schools and therapy providers.

Was it really just a year ago?  It feels like a lifetime and a minute all rolled into one.  So much has happened in a year and so much more will happen as we go forward (ugh….I shouldn’t try to be philosophical before I have my coffee in the morning…that was terrible).

I have an analogy I like to use to describe my family’s situation right now.  You know how when you play a slot machine, you pull the the lever (or, I guess these days you just press a button), and the slots spin around and around, slowing down one by one until they line up along the line?  And then you see what you’ve won?  I feel like our life is kind of like that slot machine.  The first slot has stopped spinning….the kids/school situation.  The second one is slowing….J’s job situation.  The third one is still spinning and will need to continue until the other two are in place (me!).

To go in more depth about that, I should give a (semi) brief update on how everyone’s doing.

Z is doing amazingly well.  When we first got here and he started preschool with his IEP and private therapy services, they had to do a lot of interventions to help him regulate his sensory overloads and learn how to play with other kids.  We (J, I, his therapists and the teachers) literally had to teach him how to play.  And, not just the turn-taking stuff that every kid has to learn. We also had to teach him to read expressions, understand the give and take of a conversation and how to be flexible enough to allow other people (adults first and then kids) influence the games they were playing without having a complete meltdown when he wasn’t scripting everything.  In the beginning, the OT would bring him in from recess early and take him to the ‘motor room’ where she had a swing and a dark, quiet corner where he could wind down.  Otherwise, his sensory system completely overloaded with the transition from playground to loud, chaotic bathroom to sitting down in a classroom.  By the end of the year, not only was he a part of every minute of the class, he was helping other kids resolve conflicts and the SpEd team was using games/therapies they usually reserve for kindergarteners because he blew through the more age appropriate stuff!

It wasn’t an easy road in the least.  I spent a lot of my time driving him to and from school and therapy (he spent 10 hrs a week in school and 10 hrs a week in therapy).  But the teams he worked with were all angels…truly seeing my son and his strengths and using those strengths to work through the weaknesses.  One example: Z is obsessed with airplanes.  Has been for as long as I can remember.  So, his school OT created a game where she’d ask him “How is your engine running?  Fast, like an F-16?  Just right, like a Blackhawk? Or slow, like a Bi-plane?”  She used it to help him identify how he was feeling and she altered the traditional usage from Winnie the Pooh (fast like Tigger, just right like Pooh or slow like Eeyore) to something he could relate to.  She made charts for school, home and his private therapy so we could all use it.  He loved it and was able to identify how he was feeling and we could help him regulate from there.

A year ago, Z would scream when we washed his hair during bath.  He HATED getting his hair and face wet and we’d have to take extra precautions not to get water in his face or ears….I think it actually hurt him somehow.  We started swim lessons at the beginning of the summer and for weeks he would cry and get upset whenever his teacher wanted him to put his head under water.  And then…one day…BAM….he was swimming.  Something clicked in that little head of his and now we can’t keep him ABOVE water!  He graduated to the next level of swim school.  He’s extremely strong and can swim a good ways across the pool underwater.  We’re at the pool all weekend, with him jumping in, swimming to us and back to the wall, jumping off our shoulders, playing with older kids…he even ventured into the deep end last weekend!  J and I look at each other sometimes and say, “Is that really our little Z?!”

Before we moved here, I heard horror stories about services available in Colorado.  How the schools weren’t great, how there weren’t experienced service providers, insurance didn’t cover autism related services, etc etc.  I have to say that I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with everyone who’s worked with Z.  They were right about insurance….the situation is abominable….I’ve even thought about getting in touch with Erin Brokovich to see if she could make a difference, but I’ve been a little busy with my own little life so far.

So….Z’s doing so well that we stopped therapy for the summer.  I don’t think we’ll be starting ABA again but we are in the process of getting OT rolling again.  He’s still got some challenges regulating himself (what 4yo doesn’t, right?) and because of his new school environment (more on that in a minute) we think it’s still important to have outside support.

The biggest change (for me, at least) is my relationship with me.  A year ago, he could take me or leave me.  He was ALL about Daddy.  I would have to coerce affection out of him.  For some reason, he just wasn’t interested in hugging and kissing me…or anyone else for that matter…just Daddy.  There were nights when I would go into his room to say goodnight when he and Daddy were reading and J would be close to threatening him with timeout so that he’d give me a hug. I always stopped him before it got to that point, satisfying myself with just blowing him a kiss.  And, I understood what was going on.  But, it still sucked.

He still fights me at every turn.  His logical little brain constantly looks for ways to rationalize his way out of doing his chores or anything else I tell him to do.  He questions everything and refuses to accept a half answer, which I mistakenly try to give him sometimes.  But instead of hitting, scratching, biting, kicking when I say no to him, he (mostly) accepts it.  Pouting and telling me he’s mad at me of course…..but a FAR cry from our arguments of a year ago.  Folks, he TELLS me he’s mad.  Do you understand how HUGE that it?

Anyway, our relationship has changed and evolved into something I treasure.  He asks for me to read books to him at night.  He asks me to cuddle with him.  He comes to me when he’s upset.  He freely gives me hugs and kisses, even sometimes without me asking for them.  He tells me he loves me and squeezes even harder.  Those parents of kiddos on the spectrum that are reading this will understand how unbelievably precious this is.  Those parents of NT kiddos…..please cherish each and every hug, they are a blessing.  I find myself waiting until he lets go to end an embrace because every hug reminds me of when I used to not get them.  And I never want them to stop.  Hopefully now they won’t (at least until high school and I’m a constant embarrassment to him).

OK, so now little S….who’s not so little anymore.  My baby girl.  What can I say about her?  Well….not much without getting teary.  She’s our angel, she’s our diva, she’s the light of our house and she can just as easily bring our home crumbling down around her with her tantrums.  She’s growing a very funny, very sweet, very LARGE personality.  Her teachers all love her and comment on her dramatic way of talking.  She’s all hand gestures and exaggerated facial expressions.  She’s a smart little lady who excels at everything big bro doesn’t: relationships, friends, reading people….street smarts to his book smarts.  She’s a tough little girl who won’t back down to bullying by big bro.  She’s a natural athlete who can throw a ball better than Z.  She’s not afraid of anything and is usually the one leading Z into trying new things (like swimming).  She’s my girly-girl who loves all things pink (including her elephants) but is dirty from head to toe at the end of every day.  She idolizes big bro, is a Daddy’s girl and has an amazing bond with Mommy.  She’s a snuggler and a cuddler and a jokester all in one.  What’s the saying?  “When she’s good she’s very very good.  And when she’s bad she’s terrible.”?  Something like that.  Well, that’s my S.  She’s stubborn, independent and opinionated. (I have NO idea where she gets that). She keeps us on our toes and laughing all the time.  I remember being terrified of having a girl….and now I couldn’t imagine life without her.

So…school.  We’ve decided to send the kids to a language immersion school to learn Mandarin.  They’re in camp at the school this summer and they both LOVE it.  They come home every day with new words, new songs, new friends.  J and I are so far extremely impressed with the school, the community, the education….we’re so excited we found this for our kids.

And, because that first slot has stopped moving, everything else can slowly fall into place.  The kids are in a great spot…they’ve got their groove on.  And it’s so wonderful to see after all we’ve been through.

As for J….well, he’s getting his groove on too.  I’ll write more about his marathon in another post (or, maybe have him write it? hmmm….) but as far as getting involved in the Denver community and finding a good job fit…well, it’s all there.  Now that my gregarious, outgoing husband is out from behind his desk and doing what he was born to do, his career path is bright and solid.  His “thing” this summer is golf and he’s taking full advantage of the Colorado summer to get out on the course and hack away.  Recently, he and I began a workout program called Insanity.  The workout is hard….insane, if you will.  But what’s truly insane is we get up at 5:30am in the morning to do it.  Crazy, right?  But, it’s been fun.  It helps your motivation when the person who’s sleeping next to you is pushing you out of bed when the alarm goes off.  It’s motivating to hear the huffing and puffing and under-your-breath swearing going on right next to you.  It’s an amazing way to wake up and keep your energy going throughout the day.  And, if NOTHING else goes right for the rest of the day, at least you worked out!  J and I end every workout high fiving and fist bumping.  It’s fun to have something new to do together.  And, boy, do we sleep well!

I know I was the driving force behind us moving to CO, but he’s certainly a willing participant.  He drank the kool-ade and we’re both loving living here.

And, finally, me.  Well, my slot is still spinning.  There are a lot of things that still need to be finalized before mine stops.  Things like finally selling our house in NC (we have a contract but it’s contingent on them selling their house).  Things like figuring out whether I want to/need to and can/can not go back to work full time.  And, what will that look like?  Where would I work full time?  Do I  formalize the contract/consulting I’m doing now?  Do I want to?  And, what’s best for my family?  For me?  So many questions.

But, that’s all really ok.  Because, I’m having the time of my life right now.  J and I have dubbed this summer the “Summer of MBA Mommy”.  I’m working part time and the kids are in camp all day.  I’ve got free time to do the things I want to do (yoga, blog, reading, writing, walking, seeing friends) and free time to do the things I need to do.  I’m making some money….not a ton….but not nothing either.  I’ve written before about wanting to Be Present in my life and I will write more about Finding Balance.  I feel that I’ve struck the perfect balance this summer.  Frankly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery.  Freedom during the summer in Colorado?  There’s not much more I could ask for….well, except for someone to buy our buyer’s house so I can stop my obsessive online house hunting and start for real….anyone in the market for a new house in Raleigh?  I know a GREAT one you could buy. 🙂

Because then? JACKPOT.

Posted in ASPERGER'S, AUTISM, MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Responsibility

Posted by mbamommy on July 29, 2011

I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time.  Which should be obvious in that I haven’t posted in a long time.  But, that’s neither here nor there.  We all know that I’m terrible with this whole blog continuity thing.  I go through spurts where I want to write all the time.  Except I don’t have enough time to write a ton all at once to carry me through the dry periods.  You know, like budgeting so you can evenly spread things out.  I *know* that the most important thing in social media is consistency.  No one likes a start/stop relationship.  I *know* that those Mommy bloggers that are successful are writing all the time (or at least have a stock pile of posts saved up from their more verbose moments).

I don’t.  And…..if truth be told, it’s not even that I don’t have the time.  You always have the time if you make it a priority.  Dinner or blog?  Yoga or blog?  Sleep or blog?  Kiddos or blog?  Hubby or blog?  Dexter or blog?  You get my point, right?  As much as I love writing this blog and love even more getting feedback on it….having that conversation with you….it waxes and wanes on my list of priorities.  Ah well…..what can you do?

Which leads me back to my first sentence….I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time.  I heard somewhere that the origin of the word responsibility comes from the words Response and Ability.  Further, the origin of responsible comes from Response and Able.

Well, that blew my mind (I know, it doesn’t take much, right?).  It got me thinking of the implications of those two words and how we’ve distorted them in modern history to mean something else.  Or, rather, that there’s a disconnect between how we use the words responsibility and responsible and how they were originally meant.

Let’s take a look at these words (definitions borrowed from dictionary.com):

Responsibility

1. the state or fact of being responsible.

2. an instance of being responsible: The responsibility for this mess is yours!

3. a particular burden of obligation upon one who isresponsible: the responsibilities of authority.

(note: hasn’t dictionary.com ever heard you can’t define a word with that same word? Ugh.  So, let’s look at the synonyms: answerability, accountability.)

Response

1.an answer or reply, as in words or in some action.

Ability

1.power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally,morally, financially, etc.

2.competence in an activity or occupation because of one’sskill, training, or other qualification: the ability to sing well.

3.abilities, talents; special skills or aptitudes: Composing music is beyond his abilities

Ok.  So according to the origin, responsibility is having the power or capacity to answer, either in words or actions.  The ability to respond.  I can buy that.  That makes a lot of sense.

But, I think that in modern day conversation we use the word much to casually.  I tell my kids all the time it is their responsibility to clean up their toys.  But, what I mean is that with 2 arms, 2 legs, and a constantly moving torso, they have the power for action, the ability to respond physically.  But, what if they don’t have the mental capacity?  What if what I’m asking them is above and beyond their 3 yr old brain?  What if they don’t understand the words I’m saying?

As parents, we are told we have the responsibility of doing our best when raising our kids.  Which assumes we have the ability to respond appropriately.  But what if we lost our job and don’t have the financial ability?  What if we are handicapped and don’t have the physical ability to run after our spirited child?  What if we’re suffering post-partum depression and don’t have the mental ability to respond to their colicky cries?  What if we were raped and got pregnant?  Do we still have the moral ability to raise the child?

I think maybe a better word is obligation.  If we’re unable to take response-ability for something we should be obligated to do something about it.  To look for a new job or ask for help when out and about with our kids.  To take proactive steps to dig out of depression or put the child up for adoption or have an abortion if we can’t raise them.

Weighty stuff, I know.  And I totally didn’t mean for this post to be so heavy.   I’m just fascinated by the idea that responsibility…in modern language…is used as a synonym for obligation.  People use the word as a way to criticize another individual.

But, we don’t know the whole story.  We need to take a moment.  Take a breath.  And then open our ears to listen to others instead of quickly passing judgment on them.  Maybe they aren’t able to respond in the ways we think are appropriately responsible.

Words are important.  Perhaps the strongest weapon we have in our arsenal.  Let’s take responsibility for them at least.

Posted in MOM | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

I am Zen Mommy

Posted by mbamommy on April 12, 2011

(Jacquie W, if you’re reading this, yes, I’m borrowing your FB post line from way back when.  Hope that’s ok!)

In this recent quest of mine to stop being stupid via focusing on one thing at a time (aka STOP multitasking), I’ve discovered meditating.  OK…..stop laughing…rolling your eyes….groaning…I KNOW. Meditating?  Really?  Dude, I’ve totally moved back to CO, right?  Next thing you know, I’ll stop shaving, grow dreadlocks and start following the Dead.  Oh wait…they’re dead (at least Jerry, and, come on, he’s the only one I know).

Besides, I already tried on the hippie bit back in college in Boulder….it didn’t fit….I like showering too much.

But, I digress.

Yes, folks.  Meditating.  Now, you have to understand, this is not the first step down this path that I’ve taken.  I’ve been eating (mostly) Primal for about 6 months (more on that in another post), with much leeway to fall off the wagon, I buy almost 100% organic, I get my milk delivered to my doorstep from a local dairy, I work out regularly (including yoga) and I recently went to a Naturopath.

I’m guessing your starting to say “Huh?” and “Why?”.  Or just shaking your head and thinking “Man, that altitude has really gotten to her.”  And, yes, folks, even though it’s legal in this state for medicinal purposes, I am NOT smoking anything.

This is all in the pursuit of being a better ME.  Being a better MBA, a better MOM, a better MRS…and mostly just a plain old better ME.

See, I didn’t realize it while it was happening, but the past few years have been nuts.  With so much going on, so much to deal with, so many changes, I kind of lost touch with the present.  And, apparently, that’s what meditation is all about.  Being present. Frankly, that’s what all these life changes are about.

I know that sounds a little odd, but think about it.  How much of your time is spent thinking/reliving the past or stressing/planning for the future?  When you’re multitasking: getting the kids breakfast ready, checking email, feeding the dog, thinking about the day, remembering something you forgot to do, writing up a grocery list, thinking about your work project, forgetting to shower or brush your hair…..how much are you actually missing?  I mean, do you actually taste the food you cook?  Do you look at your kids?  Do you listen to what they’re saying?  Do you see their desire to interact with you?

Sadly, I sure don’t.  I’m so focused on doing, finishing, checking things off my list, moving, moving, moving.  And, at the end of the day, my to do list is still there….but my kids will be in college.  And, I really don’t want to look back and think about all the times I missed out on.  Honestly?  I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the past at all.  Because I want to be able to enjoy NOW.  I’m realizing that as much as I keep saying I want a break from my life, to take a vacation or just sleep in….what I really want to do is focus on the here and now.  ‘Cause you know what?  It’s pretty damn good.  My kids are amazing and getting more amazing each day.  And my husband is wonderful.  And I don’t want to ever take any of that for granted.

In the immortal words of Ferris, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So, I’m trying it.  Just like I’m trying all these other things.  So far, eating Primal is making my body feel better (my mom has celiac’s….I’m guessing I’m at least slightly gluten sensitive), eating organic and local just plain tastes better (and makes me feel better knowing I’m doing something ‘green’), working out…well, we all know the benefits of that…..and the naturopath has given me some options outside medicine to even out my crazy mood swings (and oh by the way….working a heck of a lot better!).

I’ve only really meditated a few times, but I can already feel the difference.  You’re probably saying, “it’s just in your head”.  Well, yeah, it is.  And that’s where it’s supposed to be.  I’m calmer, more relaxed, more willing to play and SEE my kids, more focused and less “multitasked”.

Who knows if it’s meditation, any of a combination of the above changes I’ve made or simply a placebo affect.  But, you know what?  Who cares.

What about you?  What do you do to find your inner Zen?

Posted in MBA, ME, MOM, MRS | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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