As you all know, our house needed de-cluttering before Christmas, so you can imagine the state it is in since then! Being the youngest of two pretty big and generous families, Little Lady and Little Man are spoilt!
I think it was William Morris who said that what you had in your house needed to be either useful or beautiful, otherwise it had no place being there! (Do let me know if I am wrong in this). Item by item throughout the house, I am easily able to identify what we use and what is beautiful to look at. Everything else needs to go!
But here is the rub… it is really hard to let go of things when you know how much they cost you. Surely you should be putting them up for sale on EBay! Yet for me, the faff involved in taking a picture, writing up the listing, paying for the listing, working out the packaging price, hoping it will sell for something that makes it all worth my while and then packaging said product and traipsing to the post office to send it is all too much. And that’s just for ONE item!
The lesser amount of stress involved in putting said items into a bag and dropping them off at a charity shop, job done, is a win-win situation all round. So why the reluctance to do it?
Yes we could do with the money, but what would we spend it on? More items probably. The money would never be worth all the hassle as we would never get anything close to what we paid for the items. They lose their value the second you take them out of the shop! Besides, shopping for them was a pleasure, the EBay process mentioned above, for me, is anything but!
So no, we are not getting back the worth of the goods and the money we would get involves time and trouble that I don’t have to give. More importantly, there are other people and charities who could benefit from what I hand over.
And there is the key. Make a gift of what you have. Whether it be to an individual you know who could benefit, a advertisement on freecycle to anyone in need of it, or to a charity of your choice. My Big Sister just takes her stuff to the charity shop where she is able to park! Fair enough. I wanted more. So I have chosen Save The Children and later today will deposit many bags of items at my not so local shop. No angst, no stress, less clutter and ultimately money to those far more in need of it that I am. As I said, a win-win situation all over!
As I lie here feeling very sorry for myself – think sore throat, weak, upset tummy, vomiting and temperature – I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to achieve anything ever again! Yet here I am making the time and effort to write this blog.
When we are up on our feet we don’t make the time to look down, it takes all of our effort to keep all of the balls we are juggling up in the air. When we are on our knees though, as much as we may feel like giving up that’s when we need to look up, not give up. Look up at all the people we love, the things we love to do and the places we love to visit. That will help us in the mental and physical fight for recovery and for those who will not recover, it may still extend their life.
As you know, I am in the middle of reading this book right now. It’s Superb! Kristine Barnett is Superb. So often as I read I have the biggest smile on my face and tears at the back of my eyes. Those of you who have been reading this blog for long enough know the lifelong path that we started on once we met Autism and its spectrum so to see what someone else on the same journey, further along than us, has been able to achieve has been wonderful. As usual, child or relative on the spectrum or not, I absolutely recommend that you read the story of Jake, his Mum and his family!
I could have ended the post right there, but I haven’t got to my reason for posting yet! Something truly shocking happens about halfway through the book. Well two things actually and to hear Kristine’s version of them, you see that she is genuinely surprised at their occurrence. Needless to say, she cracks on and sorts them out like the trooper she is, and I presume will always be, and the story will go on. Kristine Barnett is an amazing woman and her husband an equally amazing man, but even phenomenal people need to know their limits.
You cannot work all the hours that God sends running a nursery/daycare business, have a child with Autism, have another child with a life threatening condition, go on to set up a charity for lots of children with Autism to get them into Reception/Kindergarten and then have a third child, whilst keeping all of the above going. Underlying condition or not, something is going to give and my first bet would have always been her health. For your Other Half to then have to pick up all those reins, plus keep his own job going with new and unwelcome challenges being presented there, I would have bet that his health would be next. I will need to keep reading to find out what happens next, but I am absolutely sure that the fantastic family that they are, all will be well.
If you are like the Barnetts, achieve the outstanding and amazing, but look after yourself too. Rest, take breaks, relax and try not to overdo it. Yes hon, you are one of those of which I write! Balance is a wonderful thing. As is your health!
Got to have a date afternoon (parents with children in school, full-time version of a date night!) with Other Half yesterday which was lovely. We went to the cinema to watch Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. What a fantastic film! Sad, beautiful, inspiring and one of those movies you watch in awe. If you have ever been sad, specifically or about life in general you must go and see this film. Of course please tell me what you thought about it afterwards!
That isn’t what this blog is about though. I worry that this amazing film will not be doing the circuits for too long. If it is so amazing then why on earth(excuse the pun) not? Simply this – the trailer shows 3 people in space having a problem! That’s it! Other Half wanted to see this film because he loves anything to do with space and really should have become an astronaut! I went to see it because it was Other Half’s day off and it would have been pretty rotten of me to hijack the day by insisting we go and see ‘The Butler’, although I am hijacking his next day off in December and we are doing just that! Essentially we saw the movie by default, for completely different reasons to the ones that we and you will love the movie for. In this, whoever did the marketing for the movie has seriously messed up!
Someone once told me to go and see the Shawshank Redemption. What is it about I asked. Well, the Shawshank is a prison and I can’t tell you about the redemption or I will ruin the film, was their response. Gravity is a similar sort of movie. I don’t want to ruin the film for you, but in the light of this blog being called, How Do You Think It’s Done? trust me and just go and see it.
This newspaper is my one little treat a week regarding keeping abreast of what is going on in the world. Beside daily doses of Radio 4 that is! Never being on top of anything these days – remember the 3 jobs – and generally being a chaotically natured person, the papers and enclosed magazines are taking many weeks to get read.
Hence my excitement at seeing the above, ‘What I’m really thinking title’ as I opened one of my many unread Guardian weekend magazines. We think Little Man is on the Autism Spectrum. He has been assessed, but so far the results have been inconclusive. As a Mother, I can’t tell you how far I have come since the day his pre-school raised concerns about his behaviour. Yes, he knew his numbers, name, colours and shapes etc. and was a lovely little boy, but he didn’t talk or play with the other children and he got extremely upset if routines changed. There were other things too, but you don’t say this to a Primary School Teacher, with a Health Visitor for a Sister, a Nurse for a Mother-in-Law and two friends who either Manage or Own a Nursery and not expect me to go into overdrive to get to the bottom of their concerns.
It wasn’t a good 7 months for me. I couldn’t sleep, going to bed in the early hours of the morning only to awake in fear a few hours later. I either didn’t eat at all or ate rubbish trying to make myself feel better with my drug of choice, sugar. I would cry on a daily basis and just look at Little Man for ages wondering what the future held for someone so beautiful in every way.
At the end of the 7 months we got our assessment. More tears! Understanding too though, putting everything in context, telling us what the future would probably hold for our Little Man and essentially saying that as our son, as his parents and as a family we would be ok! Which is why this particular article struck a chord with me and I am sharing it with you.
This was not what you had planned. It isn’t the journey you expected to be on but like the article says, it is your journey. It took me 7 months to begin to make my peace with my journey. I don’t worry about Little Man’s future anymore and just enjoy each day with him and marvel at what he can do (amazing things with numbers, a computer and a piano, considering he is still only 3!) and at who he is.
It was never Other Half’s journey and when I showed him the article he got nothing from it at all. Yes, he thinks Little Man is unconventional. So is Little Lady for that matter – can tell you her talents another time- but for some reason, from day one all Other Half has ever done is encourage Little Man’s strengths and infinitely love and be loved by him. Period.
You may not have a child on the Autism Spectrum, but if you are going through some sort of struggle now; loss of a loved one, a serious illness or disability, a relationship breakdown, loss of housing or employment, this message is still for you. Accept the journey that you are on first. Then you will be able to see what to do about it.
Little Lady goes to a Spanish class where I have gotten to know some of the other mum’s quite well whilst she is having her lesson.
I just received an email, that the Mum of one of her classmates died of a brain haemorrhage on Friday. She leaves a daughter the same age as mine and a partner. This mum and I talked together every week and she gave me some wonderful advice for my little girl’s future and lots of advice in general – call it words to the wise. I can’t believe she’s gone. We sat and talked last week and I fully intended to speak to her again at the next lesson.
Why wouldn’t I? This woman was attractive, intelligent, interesting, funny, kind, informative, friendly, and seemingly very healthy. A second mum to all of our children. More fool me! Don’t take the next second for granted, it isn’t guaranteed.
In tears, rest in peace my friend.
“But I don’t want to seem neurotic…” a. friend shared as to why she was reluctant to return to an unsympathetic doctor about yet another, probably related symptom. Being the gentle soul that she is, and the not-known-for-keeping-my-mouth-shut type that I am, I didn’t want to scare her. When it comes to your health though, DON’T PLAY! I couldn’t care less what the doctor thinks of her or me, something is not right with her body. I hope and pray that it is just stress, but even that has long term consequences if not addressed. More likely it is something neurological, possibly serious and her doctor needs to be sending her for every test available to get to the bottom of it. Until then they should not rest and neither should she. Whether she shouts it from the roof tops or quietly turns up on a regular basis until they get sick of the sight of her is irrelevant, the point is that my friend must not give up until something is done.
My sister – the most wonderful storyteller I know, told me about a woman who needed an operation http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2700364/Patient-refuses-to-leave-hospital-after-operation-cancelled.html. It had been cancelled so many times it was untrue, until eventually this woman had enough. When having been admitted to the hospital again, only for said surgery to be cancelled again, this woman refused to leave her bed and said that she wasn’t going anywhere until she’d had her surgery. Don’t you just love people like that? The surgeon took pity on her story and operated, whilst at the same time making clear to the newspapers that this would be a one off act of kindness and that it did not set a hospital precedent! I DON’T CARE! The woman got her surgery. To my friend and to you all, whatever it is that you medically need, make sure you that you get it.
I haven’t posted for a couple of days. Not because I haven’t got lots to share with you, but because I was run off of my feet. Yes, physician heal thyself and all that, but let the record state now, I AM LEARNING TOO. Essentially, something had to give, hence for a couple of days it was blogging, amongst many other things. Sometimes life is like that. Knowing what I do about Time Management (which with time I will share with you) I know how to begin to return life to manageability and the vision I have for it. In the meantime, I thought it a good reminder to us all, that when our backs are up against it and something’s got to give, make sure that the something isn’t you!