Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Top 10 Things the RV Will Include

10.  Table tennis

 9.   Bouncy house

 8.   Bowling alley

 7.    Four TVs

 6.    Guest room

 5.    Four bunk beds

 4.    Couch with built-in refrigerator

 3.    Swimming pool

 2.    Creek running by

 1.    Pawn shop

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

On a Lighter Note

Top 10 Nice Things that Happened Today

10. Called SSI, and the person I was calling was in, and answered the phone!

 9.  Was told, "You are right, we were wrong. Go ahead and shred that." (So many things right about that.)

 8. Wil went to the dentist and has, miraculously, no cavities.

 7. I sat in the waiting room and read bad (by bad, I mean great) magazines.

 6. To celebrate, Wil and I went out for an early dinner - so early, we were still in time for the lunch special.

 5. At dinner Wil told me all about his plan to buy a three-story motor home, and move into it, in our backyard.

 4. He said, and I quote, "I'm thinking way outside the box here, Care." His RV will be multi-colored, multi-level, and will require his permission before entering. I'm to live in my own house, and leave him alone.

 3. The pass code to his new digs will be F-A-R-T.

 2. When we got home from "linner" (lunch/dinner), I found a lovely card and flowers from a secret admirer.

 1. Now I'm on my way over to Nancy's to watch more bad (and by bad, I mean great) TV and have a few (laughs).

The Inspection

Had a dream last night that my cousin, Emily, and I, each had received mysterious notes telling us to arrive the following morning at some designated location, and that there would be an "inspection."

Now, I am many things, almost first among them, is punctual. In the dream, I was dragging my feet, purposely stalling, intentionally not making it in time for the "inspection." I found Emily, she needed to use the bathroom before we could leave. I was happy for the extra time that took up. On and on the dream went, until we eventually got to the mysterious site - very late.

All kinds of people were there that we both knew (including her mother and two sisters). First thing said to me was the event went until 8:30 PM. 8:30 PM was news to me, and I wasn't having it. I proceeded to spend the next while doing more stalling, hovering around the perimeter of the gathering, watching from afar, all under the pretext of having to make arrangements to stay that late, as I hadn't arranged for anyone to be with Wil that long.

I never did join in.

I never even found out what the point of the gathering was, and what the attendees were actually doing.

I successfully avoided the inspection.

I'm certain that was not the point.


Monday, April 27, 2015

As Within, So Without

Not only have I been on a purging-the-house-and-garage kick for a couple months now, I've been simultaneously trying to figure out what I'm eating and/or drinking, that has been causing me horrible reflux for months, and purging that from my diet.

It's been a much more daunting task than cleaning the house from what I don't need. I appear to be somewhat of a mystery. What seemed to be your run-of-the-mill GERD has not responded to treatment. It's not responded to me eliminating most of the things I love: coffee, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes (actually, tomato sauce), onions, citrus, garlic, cheese, nuts, avocado. It's not responded to aggressive antacid treatment. It's not responded to buying and sleeping on a ridiculous wedge to keep me nearly bolt upright at night.

It's not responded.

It's shaping up to be food allergies that are causing the problem.

And stress.

Removing the causes of both seem impossible.

Saw an interview with Christiane Northrup, MD last night, when I couldn't sleep. She said that what we believe, is more important than our genetics. She quoted all kinds of fascinating studies of people proved what we tell ourselves about ourselves, what we accept from what our culture tells us about ourselves, and what we focus on, can dramatically change our health.

"Health is contagious," she said. "Everyone talks about disease being contagious, but health is contagious." She said that if one person quits smoking, the ripples go as far as four degrees of separation.

Last Wednesday evening I was just minding my own business, when I suddenly got "that" feeling that I might throw up. I'll fast forward to the end of the story: 10 violent hours later, I finally got into bed to rest, and stayed there three days.

When what you're doing isn't working, it's time to do something different. For me, for now, it's about eliminating what isn't working: junk in my house that bogs me down, foods and drinks that burn my body, stress that can be avoided, or at least better managed.

In through the nose, out through the mouth.

Exhale slowly.

Repeat.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CTSD

Through a wild small world and no accidents kind of thing, I recently had a conversation with a woman that had read my book, and shared it with a bunch of people at work. I then learned that she is a mental health professional, specializing in PTSD.

I came home from the encounter and was telling STM about it, and mentioned I would consider going to her, as I'm sure I have PTSD. "PTSD? That implies the trauma is in the past, that it's over. I have CTSD!"

"Chronic?" I asked.

"Current," he said. "I want PTSD for my birthday!"

Then we, of course, belly laughed, because what else are you going to do?

Wil was listening, and nothing makes him belly laugh harder than hearing others belly laugh (or watching them get injured, but that's another post).

"Well, I have ETSD," he quickly added, "Elmo traumatic stress disorder!"

By the looks of Elmo, I would say he's the one with the trauma.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Grounded

"Keep your eyes on the stars, and 
your feet on the ground."
- Theodore Roosevelt


When we say someone is "grounded," we mean they are sensible, practical, balanced, down-to-earth, low-maintenance, realistic, without pretenses or illusions.

To feel grounded, to be grounding, to ground someone -  all good things.

Even when a child acts out and a parent grounds them, it can be a good thing. A time when distractions and privileges are removed, and one is forced to stay and be "home."

Most of us are in need of more grounding.

Recently, someone I greatly respect and admire, who happens to have English as his second language, said, "Wil puts me on the ground."

And while there are moments/hours/days that he puts me in the ground, for the most part, he is my biggest grounding influence.

It's very difficult to be high-maintenance, full of pretense and illusions when you've got someone forcing you to keep it real all the time. If you think, for one minute, that it's all about you, or even a little bit about you, then you're welcome to borrow any number of special needs "children" I know, to get you over that, fast.

Have a friend who recently had abdominal surgery. From the time she was told she needed the surgery, to the time she had it, was a short period - not enough, probably, for her special-needs son to get used to the idea. Shocker: her surgery and recovery were not about her. Her son had one heck of a time with "her" recovery, the changes and disruptions to the status quo.

If you believe that you co-create your life with whatever/whomever you call your higher power, that you signed up for these exact challenges and opportunities to evolve your soul and learn whatever it was you came here to learn, then you have to accept that getting over yourself is part of it.

It's not about "you."

I believe that's because there is no "you," there is only "us," and "you" are not separate from the collective Us, You are  Us.

We are one.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Echo in Innocent Souls


I have a meeting today to discuss one of my many hot buttons. The "button" is the way in which many people view those with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and the various slang, attitudes, even gestures and facial expressions used when casually throwing around words like "idiot," "stupid," "dumb," or the forbidden r-word.

It's pervasive and to a large degree, acceptable. I just heard someone say, "The man developed a horrible disease which left him unable to speak, and he was not able to share his brilliant mind with anyone. Nobody could see how wonderful he was."

One does not need to be "brilliant" to be "wonderful." 

Because there are no accidents, one of my favorite daily e-mails today spoke on this issue, 
Piro-o-Murshid Inayat Khan in the daily e-mail called Bowl of Saki:

"The great personalities who have descended on earth from time to time to awaken in man that love, which is his divine inheritance, have always found an echo in innocent souls rather than in great intellects. Man often confuses wisdom with cleverness, but a man can be clever and not wise, and by cleverness a person may strive and strive, and yet not reach God. It is a stream, the stream of love, which leads towards God."

We've worked so hard to bring awareness and equality to the marginalized, the oppressed, the minorities of this country. Let us not forget to include those with intellectual/developmental disabilities in our streams of love.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Things We Know Are True, But Still Don't Believe

There are no accidents.

Worrying doesn't solve anything.

Most of the things we worry about, never come to fruition.

It's the little things.

The qualities in others that bug us, are the qualities in ourselves we need to examine.

We are one.

What we resist, persists.

We can't change others, we can only change ourselves.

There is no scarcity.

Cooperation does not involve a fight for power.

Honesty is the best policy.

The first person to say, "I'm sorry," wins.

All we have is the present moment.

Love is all there is.








Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Purging and Pondering

Life, we know, is cyclical. Some cycles follow the moon, others, the seasons. I find myself very effected by the light/dark rotation, the days-of-the-week, the patterns, rhythms, and circles of nature, and of life.

It's been over seven years since I gave this house a good purging. I was 44 and in a definite period of Then-and-Now. I'm 52 and in an altogether different space and place in my body, in my thinking and in my soul.

I've got something going on now that has probably crossed over into OCD, but I don't care. There is an urgency, a deep need, a craving for "space." With my children about to be 21 and 19, there is more than ever, a clarity about what was in the past, what is in the present, and a making room for What is to Come.

I don't need my high school cap and gown.

I don't need my children's baby teeth.

I don't need the shoes I wore for my wedding.

I don't need every card or letter ever written to me - regardless of how sweet and lovely they may be.

I don't need the old crib and matching bedding, complete with bumper.

I don't need the photo albums containing all the pictures of students I taught over 20 years ago.


I don't need all the old Barbies and trucks, and any attachment to what my theoretical grandchildren will want to play with.

There is a lot of things I'm able to identify as being Not What I Need Now, as I clear and make way, empty and leave open the drawers and spaces made clean.

I recently heard that it's important to remember that acceptance is not the same as resignation. Resignation will take you down. Acceptance will lift you up. 

There is nothing more concrete than going through your earthly possessions and physically holding them in your hand, and being lifted up by the understanding that you aren't the same person that first beheld it.

As Easter was about to roll around again, Wil started talking about Devohn, the Easter Bunny. Some of you will remember that Wil has had a long infatuation with the Easter Bunny, and came up with the unlikely name of Devohn many years ago. 

Wil and I were asked to lead a small group of kids preparing for baptism at Easter. We enjoyed the experience very much, and were excited to stay up late on Holy Saturday, and welcome them into the waters at the Easter Vigil. We went to Bi-Mart and made up little gift bags to give "our" kids: a chocolate Cross, Easter candy, and a toy Devohn for each one. "I need to have a Devohn, too," Wil said. So, of course, instead of four Devohns, we bought five.

Wil came home and wrote this note, taping it to the mantle in the living room, just as he does his yearly Santa note (Go to my room top of stairs and say hi to me, Love, Wilson):


I sent a text to Devohn's helper, and reminded him that we were expecting him to reappear outside our house, as he had graciously done the year before. I prayed Devohn was still in existence, and easily accessible, as we'd not communicated about this beforehand. Devohn did not disappoint.


Now, each morning, Little Devohn wakes up, goes downstairs, and gets ready for his day while his "dad" is at school. Wil gently prepares a few snacks and some entertainment. "Now, you stay there, Devohn, and wait for me. I'll be back later. Be good."



And Devohn is good.

And that is where I "am." I am home with Devohn while he plays with his toy and eats his carrots. I am purging and pondering. I am coming face-to-face with the past, and being in the present. Every empty drawer and inch of extra space on a shelf a reminder that if we don't make room for things, they can't find their way in.