Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Days Go By

(One of my favorite Keith Urban songs. My family and I are actually in the video.  If you look in the back of the crowd, we're there somewhere...)

So, another week, and no posts.  But Spring Break is over, as of yesterday, and I have a bit of time now.

On the health front (Warning: Talking About Birth Control!) I may need to have my IUD removed a year early.  It may have been displaced, and I'm having pain.  Gotta go get an ultrasound tomorrow and see exactly what's going on.  And since I can't take hormones, we'll have to figure something else out.
Ah, well.

I'm also working with an online group for peri- and menopausal women.  Tracking food, exercise and sleep to see how we can help ourselves feel better.  I'm using a site called MyFitnessPal to track nutrition, and it's pretty cool.
And free, which is nice.
And I haven't had a stomachache since I started.
Which is REALLY nice!

Last night I used Hubby's 15-lb weights to do my workout, rather than my somewhat-wussy 8-pounders.
So I think I'm going to stick with the heavier ones 2x a week, with one lower weight/higher rep workout per week, like Slim in 6 or Barre. 'Cause I like those, too.

I'm walking a lot, which is great for my sanity.  :)  And I did hot yoga on Sunday for the first time in a while.  I always forget how challenging it is, and how sleepy it makes me, lol!

Also been doing some writing.  Haven't touched my play (wrist slap), but just jotting down things that come into my overactive imagination.

Last Friday we took the kids to the Chabot Space and Science Center, and MAN did they enjoy it!  It's a fantastic place, and both kids were REALLY into it!
When I was a kid, the Museum of Science in Boston was my absolute favorite place to go, and I'm glad the tradition continues.  :)  It's such an amazing thing to see new worlds open up for your kids.  LG especially like Bill Nye's Climate lab.
It's also nice to see people looking forward and working on progress.
Oh, and I tried the lunar landing simulator.  Let's just say it's probably a good thing I never pursued my childhood dream of being an astronaut...
Every Friday and Saturday night they open the observatory to the public, weather permitting.  There are 3 telescopes, and I'm itching to get a look.  We were going to go last weekend, but the clouds rolled in, and it wasn't open.

But they have footage of Earth as seen from the International Space Station.
Is it weird that it made me cry?
Just goes to show that the little girl who looked into a telescope, saw Saturn, and fell in love with space is still very much alive inside this nearly 45 year-old.

Anyway, gotta run.  I have a Groupon for a haircut at a chi-chi salon I can't otherwise afford.  So we'll see how it goes.

And I have to move the rocking chair so the dog can sit in his sunny patch.

Not that he's spoiled or anything...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Intentions...

OK, so I haven't posted in nearly a week.  In my defense, your honor, my kids are home on spring break, and LG had 1/2 days of school most of last week.  Plus, I've been REALLY exhausted lately, more so than usual.  Like, to the point where it's hard to stay awake during the day, even if I get a full night's sleep.

Onto a completely different subject: I've been getting Messages From The Universe lately.  (Is it weird that, as I typed that, I heard it in the Announcer Voice from The Muppets?  The guy who introduced "Pigs In Space"?)
Ever since I was a kid I've often heard songs on the radio that speak to whatever I've been thinking about.  It could be coincidence, but I choose to believe otherwise.  I think it's one of my ancestors doing the cosmic equivalent of hitting me on the head with a spatula and yelling "Pay attention!"
Probably one of my grandparents.  Maybe my Nana: She was a deft hand with kitchen utensils...

Last night, as I was falling asleep, I was, as usual, Worrying About Something. This time it was, I think, Russia and the Ukraine.  And the song "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities popped into my head.
This afternoon I was listening to the news on the radio & started feeling anxious again.  I changed the station and Corinne Bailey Rae was singing about 3 little birds telling her not to worry.  (BTW, Bob Marley has OFTEN appeared on my radio, telling me that "every little thing is gonna be alright" just when I needed to hear it!  Thanks, Bob!)
Later, as I was having another pity party, thinking about how I "always" come up short, that I'll never achieve anything ever again, yada yada yada (cue, once more, Don Music from "Sesame Street."  "I'll never get it, never!"  Yes, the Muppets play a significant role in my life.  And?), Sara Bereilles came to the rescue, telling me to "Say what you wanna say" and to be brave.  Which had me sobbing in the car.  (Luckily the kids are used to it. Or, at least, resigned to it.)
And there are other examples, which I won't get into.

I'm not a huge believer in the whole Law of Attraction thing.  I don't think people necessarily bring bad stuff down on themselves (unless it's karmic).  I highly doubt that all the folks in Chile who have been killed or left homeless by the wildfires there "attracted" it.  (And, if you can, hold good thoughts for them!)

However, I do believe that what we put our mind to is also where we put our energy and effort.  Like that joke about the old man who goes to church every day and prays to one of the saints to let him win the lottery.  Finally, one day, the statue comes to life and says "My son, please buy a ticket!"
If I put my focus on what I DO want, rather than what I'm trying to avoid, I'll, GUESS WHAT? probably be more proactive in making it happen!  There's another quote I love: "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."  Goethe, I believe?
Basically, ya gotta ask for what you want, and then work toward getting it.

Again, cosmic DUH! (or possibly Nana) hits me right in the noggin.

So, here we are.  Time for some optimism, some positive reinforcement, and good ol' hard work.

Oh, and one more thing: Remember that fan letter I wrote?  Well, that person's assistant sent me an autographed photo with a little note.  I wasn't expecting anything, and that was really lovely of them.  :) :) :)

Mighty forces, indeed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rebel, Rebel

When our kids were very young and first diagnosed with their autism, I listened to every piece of advice I was given.  By their doctors, their teachers, their therapists, online forums, other parents, the Guy Who Dressed Like Jesus in Burbank and rolled a 6-foot cross up & down the road, all day every day (yes, the cross had wheels on the bottom.  But I digress...)
After a few years of this, I stopped driving myself insane and started listening to my instincts.  After all, I was the one who was with them 98% of the time, who took care of them, fed them, cuddled them, gave time-outs when necessary, all of it.

And it made me realize that some folks, even if they have a whole lot of experience, are full of it.

At least as far as my kids are concerned.

Yesterday I had another meeting with the potty training lady.  OK, she's a Behavioral Therapist, but, to me, she's PTL.  And she was chock-full of not only advice, but disapproval of some of the ways we do things around here.  Fine.  She's entitled to her opinion, she knows what has worked for her and many of her clients, and she has a great track record.
However...that doesn't necessarily mean she knows what's best for US.

After she left, I felt like the Worst Autism Mom In The World.  Then, as the day went on, I moved from guilty to plain ol' pissed off.  And lemmee tell ya, that felt GOOD!
Because she's here once a month for 30 minutes, while the kids are in school.  She's never even MET them, fer cryin' out loud!  I'm glad she's hyper-organized,  thrilled she can run her own facility practically single-handedly while keeping up a private client base of 30.  Terrific, mazel-tov.
I'm not that way.  I will give my kids a schedule and structure, but I REFUSE to schedule every second of their day!  Because you know what happens?  The moment we deviate from said schedule, even just a bit, we hit Meltdown City.
I pride myself on the fact that my kids can go out in public and not freak out.  That we can take a vacation with them and they're excited and curious, not scared.  Is it always sunshine and rainbows?  No.  But we can do it, and I think that's fantastic.

The thing that got me was that she was knit-picking.  We've worked hard to teach our kids things that come naturally to other kids.  If WG wants to bring a snack into her room because it's noisy and chaotic in the kitchen, and her cousin is driving her nuts?  Fine with me!  I'd rather sweep up crumbs than have her become completely overwhelmed.  She now knows ways of calming herself, and one of those ways is to go to her room.  It took YEARS for us all to learn that, and I am SO PROUD of her for doing so!  THAT is more important than keeping her in the kitchen while she eats her snack.
And, sorry, we cannot remodel the entire house.  First of all, it's not OUR house.  Secondly, we cannot afford it.  Lastly, they are very adaptable kids; they learn, and have learned, to make ultimate use of their living space.  Sure, I would LOVE to have a home "gym" for them, with a ball pit and a mini zip line and therapy balls, but who the hell can afford THAT?
Finally, we will make OUR potty training schedule, thankyouverymuch. What worked for you 20 years ago doesn't work for us, now.   And when it happens, and it WILL happen,
 it will happen on HER time, not ours, or yours, or anyone else's.

Once again I am reminded of the quote "No one can make you feel badly without your consent."  Well, I'm done.  I will take the advice that makes sense for us, and leave the rest.

So there.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Keeping Oneself Accountable

I'm going to try and post more frequently here.  Because it will help with all sorts of things, including just being in the habit of writing more frequently.  I've finally convinced myself that not every post has to be...y'know...GOOD.  Or long, or even all that interesting.  As my friend said (and I quote ad nauseum), sometimes "done" is better than "good."

Which is also why I'm going to*gulp* start submitting short stories to publishers.

There I said it.
I actually have to DO it now!

But why not, right?  There are tons of genre publishers these days, especially online.  I'm not writing the next Great Novel, just things that interest me and, I'm guessing, just might strike a chord with others, as well.  And lord knows I have read some CRAP in my day; badly written, derivative hogwash that managed to find a publisher and a market.
So there's hope for me, lol!

So, there we are.  I've put it put there.  I'm gonna do it.

Now, I must go take a nice, calming yoga class.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Write, Write, Write! Right?

We had our last class last night :(. But we're going to continue to meet once a month, to keep ourselves and each other on track. It's such a fantastic group, and the work that has come out of it is amazing!

I also had coffee the other day with a friend from grad school.  He's now the artistic director of a nearby Shakespeare festival (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), which means I may be able to get back to my beloved Bard, PROFESSIONALLY!, at some point.  Plus, it's so nice to get back in touch with people I knew back in the day.
I suppose I'm in the stage of life where friends are In Charge Of Things.  We're all growed up!

Why do I still feel like I'm 12?

My friend said some things that make me (cautiously) optimistic:  Once he decided to be an actor in the Bay Area 5 years ago, he did a mass mailing to all the major (and not-so major) theaters in the area, sending them his headshot, resume, and a cover letter.  He didn't bother trying to get an agent.  And he's been working steadily ever since. Earning his living acting, and not doing anything else, and not even having to audition anymore.  When I talked about my experiences in L.A., about the reaction  to my physical appearance, he said "Look at me: I'm 20 pounds overweight and bald, and I don't have an issue.  It;s different for women, yes, but I don't think you'll have a problem."


And there's one more thing:  I'm pretty damn good!  I forgot that many years ago.  It slipped my mind that I actually have talent.  But the more I wade into the creative waters again, the more it comes back to me.  The more I work those creative muscles, the stronger they get, and the more confident I become.

So maybe, 11 years ago, it wasn't about hating performing.  It was about being in the wrong place.  But, again, things happen for a reason.  My kids needed me, and I needed to focus on being a mom.  Now they need me a little bit less (at least, I don't have to ride herd for fear one of them will climb out a window, decorate their bedroom wall in Early-Century Sharpie, grab glassware out of the cabinet for the sole purpose of smashing it on the floor, using the dog as playground equipment, skateboarding naked in the empty bathtub...).  And I'm ready to go back to the creative world.  And now we're in the RIGHT place for it!  A place where talent is appreciated and nurtured.
Hubby was offered that show I mentioned in the last post, and he didn't have to audition for it.  Because they know him, know his work, and respect him and it.  As it SHOULD be, because he's brilliant!

And I'm even starting to really think of myself as a writer.  Something I avoided doing for decades.  When I finally did pick up a pen, I was to insecure to call myself a writer.  Just as, for a long time, I was too embarrassed to call myself an artist until a fantastic teacher convinced me otherwise.

What happens next, I can't say.  Of course.  (If I could do THAT, I'd be buying lottery tickets for everyone I've ever met.) But, despite the mess that the world is getting itself into, I'm kind of...excited!

Guess we're on the uptick of that rollercoaster.