This is the most neglected of my blogs so I am hereby resolving to either do away with it completely or make more of an effort. Sadly, it will likely be the former. It will certainly resurrect in some other form in the new year in the form of one catchall blog which has been put on the serious back burner since our relocation to Nashville. Unfortunately, I haven't had the creative time I'd hoped for but I can see that changing slowly and surely.
I don't really believe in resolutions. Not ones for New Year at any rate. I resolve to do loads of things during the year either with distinct and clear intention or in some lofty it-may-happen-one-day fashion. What can I tell you, I've always struggled with a mind that has the energy and interest of 20 but I am 1 and therefore attempt to cut myself some slack. But I feel the need to set some "rules" at least for this year and, as I've told my husband, make recovery and reinvention our number one goals.
Of course reflection would be a better word to toss around in the beginning of any year. If I can't reflect on what I did, what I didn't do, what I hope to be more of, better at, and etc. etc. I will doubtfully get any of things in my 2011 bucket list accomplished. Quite frankly that bucket list hasn't changed much but I feel like we have and are.
Recovery = finally getting back on solid ground post un-and-under-employment. The first few months of unemployment feel sort of like a vacation from reality. Not necessarily in a good way but (when you've worked for the Wicked Witch & her little flying monkey) not necessarily in a bad way. After about six months, things start to get pretty hairy and even now, six months in to gainful employment, we are still in recovery mode.
One thing I am grateful for that unemployment has taught me is how to be careful with our money. So on our path to full financial recovery, I am hoping we pass Debt Free Lane and can get off on it. Save the student loan that has a six year shelf life left on it, perhaps even seven, the forceful redirect of our funds have proven a mighty catalyst for getting things paid off. I like those bumper stickers, "be weird, be debt free." I'm down with that -- on both counts.
On the kid front, we are still holding steady in a pattern of progression, slight regression, then progression again. This is pretty standard fare for atypical kids and while on our worst day it equates a bit of exhaustion for all 3 of us, it is something we are able to handle quite easily now that he's 7 (most days anyway).
I've been doing a lot of research on Sensory Perception Disorder/Sensory Integration Disorder. It sounds so very familiar when I read it, like someone wrote it specifically about my child. But as I reflect over the accomplishments and the struggles we've had this year with the gray area he sometimes falls into, I am resolve to focus more this year on 'this is how he is' vs. 'this is what we are doing to change it.' My kid has a lot of spirit, he's ridiculously funny, incredibly curious, reads like a demon and has musical skills that I cannot really even begin to understand. Screw changing him to try to make him fit. We hold fast to the notion that if an environment cannot roll with our son, we will simply roll him out of that environment. Not always easy, but sometimes necessary.
Recently he wanted to buy a Barbie. Granted, this child spends hours playing video games and is known to be a shameless flirt. But he wanted the Rapunzel Barbie. So I let him buy it. Why did he want it, I asked. Because she's pretty, he said. Makes sense to me. He brushed her hair a few times and doted over her -- and now I'm pretty sure she's being eaten by dust bunnies under the couch. Most couples I know would probably flip the absolute hell out over their son wanting a doll. This year, it's all about embracing the different and whatever that means to him or us.
On the personal front, I'm exhausted. I feel a little bit like a whirling tree that is looking for soft ground to plant its roots in. Not to say that that land isn't somewhere in Nashville, we just haven't located the proper neighborhood yet. With the exhaustion, however, comes a constant spike of excitement. We have so much more opportunity creatively here -- it gets my heart racing just to think of. But like that whirling tree, my brain goes at about 600 miles an hour thinking I can do all of it. So, my other focus this year? Just that --- focus. Fine-tune the crazy. Reel it in and hone it. G-d gave me a certain set of skills and while I'd like to do absolutely everything I think of, I am 36 and it's time to get organized. Reinvention. (I realize most people "organize" in their 20's but I'm not most people and I believe in late blooming. I spent the first part of my 30's organizing my mommy self, now it's time to incorporate the rest.)
One other tender subject I've been want to post about here on Atypical Mother is the fun and enthralling conversation of weight and diet. Have I lost all of that weight yet? No, I haven't. But my stamina kicks ass lately and I'm looking forward to a full schedule of belly dance, ballet and burlesque. Apparently, I'm also looking forward to a half marathon. According to my sister, this is a good goal to have -- ok, it's been on my private to-do list for a year or so but she asked me to sign up and I conceded. I signed up -- doesn't mean its going to happen. This is part of the reinvention plan as well -- reach for that lofty goal of running a half marathon with your sister but don't beat yourself up if you only make the smaller 5k runs you'll no doubt have to run to prep for the big one. The point is to try, right? Yes!
While all of that sounds great and looks pretty right now, I really can't ignore the number one most abused New Year's resolution known to man: weight loss. Working daily in a health & wellness environment, I can tell you I was somewhat prepared for the onslaught of people at our doors today -- somewhat but not enough. Droves. People came out in droves. Every machine was full, every room was bustling, people signed up left and right for a year's time -- I was...wow. Well, I was ready to run and hide is what I was ready to do. But I can't say they are alone.
I'm starting a weight loss program (never thought I'd say those words) on Jan. 8 because although I have never had a hard time losing when I put my mind to it, I simply cannot seem to shake these last 20 and (I hate to say this) I just don't have enough time in my day to go it alone. Bring in Ideal Protein Weight Loss. It's a 30 year-old program from France that made its way to Canada about 10 years ago and has now finally been available in the US for 2 years. Am I a little freaked out? Yes. Weight loss/gain/struggle/discussion is a very private thing to me.
But this is the way I see it now that I'm 36: if you aren't lucky enough to be a celebrity or have god-like genes, odds are post-childbirth fat did not leave your tummy looking super great. And as I near that fun fourth decade, I have no intention of slowing down. Statistically, adults with dense "belly fat" are more prone to heart disease and diabetes. No thank you to both. This is not about fitting into jeggings for which I do not have the thighs, it's about being proactive now to reduce the risk of complications later. Sure, I'd love to rock a bikini this summer for the first time in 8 years but I'm going to feel a lot better knowing that Buddha belly the obstetrician obviously forgot to remove post-c-section will no longer be wallowing underneath my ticker. The resolution? It's a good time to be more serious about my health. Reinvent.
Depending on how the first week goes, I may chronicle the journey a bit here on Atypical hinging on its survival. Either way, hopefully you'll be "seeing" a bit less of me in the months to come. Until then, here's to a new year, new perspective, new lives, new ideas and the rebirth of old ones, but most importantly new momentum. May 2011 be everything you want it to be -- and more. My only real hope is that we are all happy with who we are.