Monthly Archives: January 2015

All the things TTOT 85

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This week went by so fast. It was so incredibly busy but it was apparently one of those good busy.It was like I kept waiting for everything to fall apart. I felt it was just around the corner. Everything would come crashing down. It never did.At the end of the day, everything that absolutely needed to be done was done. Homework was done. Lunches had been packed and shockingly eaten. Freezer dinners got done. Well the house is mess but really is that such an important thing?  So what am I thankful for this week? I don’t think I could pick one thing to be the one thing I am most thankful for. So think of it as I have ten things I am the most thankful for.

I think number one has to be #1000speak for compassion. There have been daily inspiring quotes and blog posts. I have turned to them many times when I was just sure I was moments away from falling apart. We have surpassed the 1000 bloggers goal and we are still going strong. It was incredibly exciting to reach the 1000 bloggers that was our goal. It has been more and more exciting,mind blowing, amazingly awesome to see it keep growing. I have read so many inspiring posts, seen so many inspiring and not to mention well timed quotes.

Number two is going to fall into that I am thankful we have such a great church community.They work so hard to encourage the kids to ask questions, explore and really embrace our seven principles. Recently we had a celebration of our newly chosen  settled Ministers. One of the dignitaries said she had never seen a group of youth religious education kids who knew the principles as well as ours do. Simplified in kid version they are: 1. Each person is important. 2. Be kind in all you do. 3. We are free to learn together 4. And search for what is true 5. All people need a voice 6. Build a fair and peaceful world. 7. Take care of the Earth.  They are definitely inspiring my daughter to keep an open mind and an open heart.

I struggle this week to find things that I have not mentioned yet. I don’t want to say the same things over and over again.However it seems like each week I have new reasons to be grateful and thankful and all that jazz to the same old things.

Number three is for the farmers market.  I was able to get such a good variety of fresh fruit and produce. We truly were able to eat the rainbow! Even gorge myself on clementines which I still have no idea how I ate so many and yet did not get a stomach ache.

Number four is my husband.Seriously not a day goes by that I don’t think about how hard he works for us. How much time and effort he puts into everything. To keeping our family afloat, to fostering a good relationship with our daughter, to making sure we have quality family time,to making sure he still takes times for his friends and to take care of him.It is not an easy thing to balance but he seems to do it with such finesse.

Number five is a work in progress for me. This week I should have gone home and done dishes, and laundry. The house is an absolute mess. Instead I drove to the river.The whole way arguing with myself.

“The dishes are getting ridiculous.  If we go home now , we have an hour to work on them and laundry. Does anyone have clean clothes for tomorrow? I am not sure.”

” I just need to take some time for myself.”

“what was sitting at Starbucks? That was time for yourself.”

“no that was writing,It was work. it does benefit me to get the words out of my head but that is not why I do it.”

” This is so irresponsible, you have responsibilities.GO HOME.. You are going to the river on Saturday anyway.”

” I have a responsibility to center myself too. I am going to the river on Saturday.A different part of the river,with others -not by myself. “

To which point the whole argument devolved into …shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up.

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It was exactly what I needed. I followed my gut and not my brain.It was the right decision.

Number six is that: my size eight jeans I got almost two months ago,fit this morning. I definitely have a muffin top with them.However they buttoned and zipped. MADE MY DAY TODAY. This means in the last six months since I have started serious walking and dedication to walking and eating healthy I have dropped from a size fourteen to a size eight.!!!!!!

The rest of my thankfuls can be summed up in these two quotes I ran across today:

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I am sure somewhere in the rule book this is allowed.

The most equisette day of balance

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I often share my struggles and sometimes my good days. This particular day was just about the perfect mix. Sometimes we just really need a day that all our needs get filled. Our soul is restored. I have found it is often something that happens two or three times a year.It is what you aim for on vacations but, don’t always find.  Saturday was one of those days for me.

Saturday we were slow to wake up. It is odd to say getting up at eight thirty in the morning is slow to wake up. When did eight thirty am become sleeping in? Anyway. We had friends coming over to borrow our lawn mower , which was a good motivator to get us up and going. We had plans to go to a nature park. One that we had gone too almost a year ago but suddenly it was calling to me. It had been calling to me for weeks. Today we were answering that call. Gas up the car, drive through McDonalds for breakfast. An hour drive to get there. Honestly I know two years ago I would not have been able to make that hour drive myself and still function. I have come a long way and cruise control does greatly help!

Three hours of just roam the park. Taking in nature, goofing off and just enjoying family time. The kid ran off a head of us several times, hubby and I got to hold hands and stroll the boardwalk.  Plenty of time to sit on benches when my hips/lower back had enough. A few extra minutes to look out at the cypress and really see the environment. A stop at Tropical Smoothie Cafe for lunch for a bit of a healthy lunch, Sandwiches and smoothies.

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We crashed for a bit at home ,we all kind of took off for different areas of the house. Honestly I could have just laid in bed the rest of the day. We had a commitment for the end of the day so I knew I needed to get up and going. I was off to Target by myself. Why yes, I think I will have a grande chai latte as I get household stuff. Isn’t it amazing what satisfies us now? Toilet bowl cleaner, paper towels, dog food even some clothes on clearance.  Just me and my chai and my thoughts and household products.

A little more rest time. I didn’t even put the groceries away. I had hubby do that. I had about an hour to rest. I was still full from lunch and my chai. No one was really interested in dinner just yet.

My daughter had been rehearsing for several weeks with Robert Killion to sing at a celebration of Pete Segeer’s Life. They happened to be serving drinks. They happened to have wine.I happened to have just enough for a glass.  Some good ole time folk music, wine and the kids thoroughly enjoying themselves. While we were enjoying ourselves, my husband got some alone time too.

It is not often that a day comes together so perfectly. I am still savoring it.

The most amazing thing- A. Craft Creation

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This is the story about how a half-asked birthday party came to be a pretty cool one. Plus I give you the secret to doing it yourself. PLUS a new Etsy shop to adore!

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This is a bag of 5,000 ladybugs. Yes,you read that right. 5,000 ladybugs in a bag. Live I should mention.

This was all part of my plan to just kind of throw together a birthday party. When I first started looking at doing this, I literally was planning on a cake, a bag of ladybugs and kids.  The next thing I know I am on Pinterest. I somehow get over on Etsy. I really don’t know how that happened. My sister was starting up an etsy shop. Sure ,I will follow her.  The next thing I know we are planning decorations, thank you notes, garland.GARLAND!  I mean really! ( Before you ask, I think we actually sent one or two thank you notes. We probably filled out all of them where they then sat for two months on the counter to be passed out. ) It somehow occured to me    I was at Target and thought what a brilliant Idea it would be to get bug boxes and oooooohhh look they have ladybug magnifying glasses if that isn’t perfect I don’t know what is. Of course once we got bug boxes we needed nets. You know so if the ladybugs flew somewhere, which they probably would.  We could bring them back to be tortured I mean adored.

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The decorations did make it look awfully cute.

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We still , two years later, have some of the ladybugs and the little tags. In fact, I am pretty sure it is all still in a bag in her closet.

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Still Two years later this is a much talked about event with her friends. In fact, it is brought up Every! Single! Time! they find a ladybug.

So do yourself a favor and go check out my Sister’s shop. Honest it’s not just ladybugs and she is ridiculously talented with this kind of stuff. I might be able to picture it in my head but it would come out a lot more like a Pinterest FAIL. I will let her be the crafty one.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ACraftCreation

Ten Things of Thankful the non-jumbled version #84

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I was so busy with Squish and #1000speak and collapsing into an exhausted pile of goo at the end of the day I have not had time to even think about writing my thankful’s daily.In it’s own special way that is also a thankful.  I have thought about them through the week. Must remember to include this.Must include that…But never got around to actually doing it.  So this week they are NOT in date order I know that will throws some of you for a loop.

Number one on my list this week. I mean it is right up there as the most thankful thing.

The science fair project is completely done and turned in!

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Number two is the ability to see the beauty around me even when I don’t feel all that great. The first one I saw while on my walk with Squish. The second I saw out of the corner of my eye and had time to turn around and get a picture. Yes, I am that lady on the side of the road taking pictures with my phone.

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Number three is very special. The first time I took this path for a walk I saw manatees in the Intercoastal.  They have been hit or miss but it has been weeks and I was just thinking that maybe they had moved on when these two popped up. See those two little smooshes in the water- those are Manatee noses. It was like they heard my wondering about where in the heck they had gotten to. Number four is I am so thankful that we live in an area where wildlife is so abundant.

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Number five is playground time with Snickerdoodle. Seeing how kind and compassionate my daughter is with snickerdoodle just satisfies me in so many ways. Not to mention it is fun sometimes to go back to dealing with a two year old over a nine year old!

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Number six is new things. This was squish with first experience being put in the grass. Bare toes and all. While at nine my daughter still has some firsts, they are not nearly as fun as those in the first year.
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Number seven and number eight are math workbooks. First off that my stop at Goodwill paid off and they had not one but TWO math work books for fourth grade. We held her back in second but she should be in fourth grade this year and she is a bit below level in Math so I am hoping the extra work will help give her a boost. Number eight is that even though she eye rolled. She dug right into them right away.

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Number nine-seeing a fellow friends studio and planning Imbolic. We also splurged and went next door and had the most enchanting Malacala Chai tea complete with tea bread to nibble on.

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Number ten. It has been a few weeks I think since I mentioned it, how Thankful I am for my husband and all the long hard hours working two jobs that he puts in. I really don’t know how he has continued to work seventy hour weeks for longer than a month now.

And as a bonus the book Eat Pray Love. I recently started reading it and I just love it and am so entralled in it. It has been a while since I was truly thirsty to devour a book.

Ten Things I forgot about

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Since I have been spending some time with Snickerdoodle and Squish it occurred to me just how much I blotted out from the first two years.

1. How hard they fight sleep.

I mean I do remember my daughter was putting herself to sleep until like 20 weeks. Then there were things to look at and touch and do. Now looking back in seems oh I just kind of bounced her and shushed her and she went out. Ten minutes into bouncing and shushing and your like ” Please kid just go to sleep. Just let your eyes close and you will be out. I just know it.”  It seems like hours and hours and hours. That hour maybe hour and a half they are asleep. Gone in two seconds. There is also the I got him to sleep but he startled himself awake now he is pissed and scared and tired.

2. Before why comes What’s that?

3. The know it all starts early than I remembered. If you stand on the chair you may fall. I know.

4. Reverse psychology only works for so long. They wise up.

5. The never ending moving. Not only are they moving you are moving. To catch whatever is about to fall. To prevent them falling head first down the stairs. The back and forth to diaper change, the soothing to sleep the chasing them across the playground, to beat them to the parking lot.

6. How freaking amazing wet wipes are.

Enough said.

7. Balls! Balls! Balls! What the hell is it about this round little sphere that is so freaking amazing? Just seeing a ball gives them instant delight. Sometimes it even causes laughing! Get tired of a big ball? No problem! Bring out a small ball. It is a whole new thing! Truthfully my daughter even at nine has yet to loose fascination with balls. She is just a bit more constructive now.

8. How you find wet and sticky things in the strangest places. Sometimes it is a hand print sometimes it is on a toy. Sometimes its on the floor that one you always find with your barefoot. The side of the swing you grab to keep yourself from falling, you almost wish you had just fallen.

9. Never doubt the memory of a two year old. She may not remember that last time she came to the playground she fell; But dammit don’t you dare drop that flower she gave you ten minutes ago. This is how acorns, wood chips, rocks, flowers and any other little treasure they find ends up in the washing machine.

10. How freaking fast it goes yet seems to take forever.It seems like each day takes an eternity. By the time you reach bedtime you just can’t believe all the things that happened in one day.  I am not just talking about poop exploding from diapers and spit up and temper tantrums. The times crises was avoided. The tears soothed. The food prepared and maybe perhaps eaten. Then before you even know it, it’s over. They don’t need you as much. They are so independent. Blooming into their own little person. Don’t think this means you get to rest! The days still take just as long when they are older. You still can’t blink. Just when you think they are completely independent they want their Mommy. Snuggles may come less often but they are still just as soothing and just as treasured.

#1000speak Finding our way back. Join Us.

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On my post Gratitude Vs Depression Vs Anxiety at the end I added a bit about a new initiative that I am participating in.

This is a little more about that:

The newest news on that is that you don’t have to be a blogger to join: We now have a site where we will publish anyone who does not have their own blog.

What is this #1000speak all about?

Somewhere we lost our way.

Somewhere we forgot compassion.

We say we have compassion but, I think we have forgotten what true compassion is.

This is what the Free Dictionary say about compassion

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We forgot how much kindness,mercy and love tie into compassion. We forgot to be genuinely happy for others. Instead we are judging them. We are telling them they are wrong. A lot of times we say this with good intentions. We say it is because we care. Because we love them. We forgot that by doing things this way, we are forgetting how absolutely unique each person is. What makes you happy, isn’t necessarily what makes me happy. What makes your life gel is not necessarily what makes my life gel. In fact,if I tried it your way my life would probably fall apart. When I listened to what others said I had to do,I fell apart.I grasped at straws. When I stepped back and listened to my inner voice, When I was true to myself, things started clicking. It is hard because we want to prevent our friends families and even strangers from struggling and grasping like we did. We forget that during that struggle, during that grasping, I was learning. I was learning things about myself, about how I work, How I function.They were lessons I needed to learn.Sometimes they were lessons I had to have several times.

When you add in the horrors that have been in the News lately. Terrorism, death, people falling apart and the news is there to blast it in our face. Is it any wonder that people are loosing their faith in humanity? That depression is on the rise? That people are striking out in anger?In fear?

The best way to make a change in the world is , model the behavior we want to see in the world. If we want to see more kindness, we need to be more kind. If we want to see more love, We need to love more. True non-judgmental I accept you for who you are love. We can’t teach our children compassion if we don’t show them what compassion actually is.  Compassion for humans, compassion for animals, compassion for the Earth. To start modeling it maybe we need to just do it, the feelings and the actual want to be compassionate will follow.

I am proud to know some of the founders of this initiative. Flooding the internet with goodness. With stories of love ,kindness and compassion. Reading about it often inspires us to do more. 1000 bloggers may seem like a small little pebble in the grand scheme of things. It is just the first step. The ripples. That is what I am excited to see. How many ripples will this have? It’s the ripples that make the actual change. I hope for our ripples to be as big as a humongous boulder dropped in a river. Ripples that start in one spot and travel far down the stream.

(all links will open in a separate window for your convenience!)

Here is the post that inspired this initiative. Here is the post that started this in motion. Yvonne and Lizzi are just plain amazing. Their compassion is astounding.

If you would also like to join this initiative-sign up here.  Don’t have a blog? No problem. Send your writing to THIS EMAIL.

We also have a Facebook page you can follow the progress on!

Follow on Twitter under the hashtag  #1000speak

And of course stay tuned on this blog!!!

Sparkly happy on a cloudy day TTOT #83

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Ten Things of Thankful

Well it is Wednesday before I have even started this post.
In my defense I have been really busy. There was playing with baby goats, and working, and walking and more working. Some house cleaning, some waiting on repair man. Oh and a parent teacher conference and that was just Sunday to Wednesday.

Honestly Monday was a crap day. Outside it was grey and dreary and foggy. In my head it was black and thundering and foggy too.

It is however my first item on my list of thankful’s. Being that it is now Wednesday and I can look back. I am thankful for the bad days because I can see how far I have come. They are just days now. Not weeks. Not months. Days. Sometimes there is no plural to that word, as in day!

Let’s back track a bit though. Sunday the besties were coming over and the house was a mess. Fast thinking as I am. Lets take some carrots and whatnot down and feed the goats. Easily we can spend enough time there and then walk to church. Oh had I only known how fantastic this would be. I would have brought instant hand sanitizer. We got to the goat pasture and they were penned up inside the pasture. However when we had walked by the barn we heard people talking. Let me just go and see if they will let the goats out. Farmer Brian did one better. He let the girls come back and go into the pen. He showed them how to pick them up after you pinned one down. Goat kids are pretty darn fast. The giggling, the petting, the naming of the babies. Oh so much fun was had. Farmer Brian even had a bit of an ulterior motive. He let the girls catch the ones he wanted to inspect. OOOOOOHHH the squeals! To be helpful and have fun. Well nothing beats that.  However it was a good ten minute walk and I felt like I must have said 100 times.Don’t touch your face. Keep your hands where I can see them. AS soon as we got to church they were marched into the bathroom for a good handwashing.  Despite our best efforts. We still brought goat poop to church on the bottom of our shoes.

Of course there are pictures. I will only share a collage instead of the 35 I took in twenty minutes! (thankful ten,I was still able to enjoy the girls joy and still feel I had adequately documented it for treasured memories later)

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Thankful two is this awesome project that has brought me so so so much happiness and mood boosts and joy already.

#1000speak

Compassion has been something that I have been dwelling on more and more. When Lizzi tagged me in this project. I just can’t even describe how fast my brain said. THIS! Compassion for others and what they are going through.Compassion for myself. Giving myself just as much compassion as I would another. Just stopping and instead of instantly judging and being sassy and sarcastic to look at (fill in blank) with love and kindness. (Thankful nine is for perfect timing, a lesson I am still learning)

Thankful Three is a fantastic Parent teacher conference. I didn’t feel pressured to get my daughters learning disabilities diagnosed or to have her medicated.(thankful eight)  There was a free flow of communication and I really felt empowered leaving that conference.

Thankful four is a working dryer. Oh my gosh how much this makes me happy is ridiculous.

 This brings us to Thursday.

Oh look I forgot to fill this in,  but am too lazy to go back through and change the post.  Thursday I got to see two hawks rather close. They are so regal and gorgeous. They have a quiet look of arrogance that only a bird-of-prey can have.

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(Thankful Seven)

Friday…

The day I decided not to function to loose myself in the vampire diaries and go to my reading spot extra early.

I had clawed my way out of the dark stormy turmoil of Mondays brain and the weather seemed to mock Me. Here I was happy and content. It was grey overcast and foggy. I could sit in my parking spot look at the three trees feel the cool breeze and the baking feeling of the sun. As I sit crossed legged in my car with the windows down because fuck you hips and knees and ankles. Until it brings tears to my eyes to do it -I will sit how ever I want not how arthritis tells me to sit, even if I have to hand maneuver my limbs into place. I could appreciate the beauty. I could say, yes I know I am teetering on that edge. Several years earlier I would not have even realized I had wandered off the path let alone was lost. (thankful six)It doesn’t make the depression feel any less imposing. The problem with depression is it always wears you down…I know I will always have a day where I just can’t function. I don’t want to function so I have nothing to fight it with. I often know it is coming and fight to get it to a day where just maybe my world won’t fall apart if I don’t participate for a day. I can do all the deep breathing and meditation I want it just makes me sleepy but yet I won’t sleep. In the days before that no functioning day I feel myself grasping desperately at my self help tools. Sometimes I even feel them slip between my fingers despite my tight grip.they ooze through my fingers incredibly slick and slimey and smooth all at the same time.  That day of not functioning I read a lot of blogs. I read books I watch mindless TV. My thoughts don’t often bring me to tears. I have found I have to watch super sappy TV shows to cry to.There fore I am not crying for myself but for the TV show. Yes I am crying for those TV characters not myself. Perhaps if I could here and there cry I could avoid a no function day. That however did not happen so as odd as it may sound. I am thankful my nonfuctioning day came on a day I was able to be nonfunctioning. That is thankful five.

So now that I am only at five. Time to go through my week again,thus numbers that seem out of order-but are not.

Gratitude vs Depression vs Anxiety

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I have participated in Ten Things of Thankful for a few months now. Sometimes when I realize it is time to write the post I am at a loss. The things that stood out the most were the things that went so very wrong.  Things that annoyed me, frustrated me. Things to be thankful for or grateful for, not so obvious. I started just writing down something every day. It wasn’t immediate but it slowly has turned me around. I still have my days that my first response is to be grumpy and grouchy and anti-social.  It is especially easy when it is grey and overcast and nasty out. Sometimes I can in the midst of things going wrong, find the good.  I might not be happy about it but I can admit that there is something good in it. Some times I am not feeling thankful for it or even grateful for it. Just acknowledging it is the first step.

The really magical part is, reading the other blog posts. People with harder struggles then me are finding good. It really does help my depression. It’s like it forces me to think and depression doesn’t really like it when you think. Depression just wants you to listen and believe. Anxiety likes to be irrational so it too doesn’t like you to think. When you start thinking, even if it is just acknowledging what you do have, depression and anxiety have less power.

Remember that game at the arcade. Whack-a-mole. That is what it is like fighting depression and anxiety.  Sad thoughts whack. feeling helpless whack. lack of motivation-whack. whack. whack. Oh no one is  poking up. Sigh of relief. This is it. I get to rest now. I beat it. Then suddenly five moles pop up.  Sometimes I find myself angrily whacking it thinking. THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. It works sometimes but what works best. A deep breath and then calmly thinking of good things.  It is really hard to do that second part though. I still get anxiety that spikes my heart rate and causes chest tightness and can’t breathe and omg all the things. It is really really hard to force myself to breath. To speak over the irrationality of the anxiety.

The key for me is to write a thankful each day. Even if it is at the end of the day right before I go to sleep. I did it. I found one. I am victorious over depression and anxiety just in that one thought. That is how I have clawed my way out. One thought at a time. Repeating things over and over to myself until I am so sick of it that anxiety has no power over me on that subject. Sometimes it is watching my daughter on the playground. She will not fall she will not fall she will not fall(anxiety flash) no she will  not fall. But that didn’t happen. She did not fall she did not fall. Constantly telling my anxiety it is wrong.  When things do happen that I actually worried about, I have to remind myself I did what I could. I will learn and move on. I will not dwell. No I will not dwell. WHACK WHACK WHACK stop it. I will not dwell.  The more I do this the more I have been able to tell the difference between intuition and anxiety. When my anxiety is high, I have a hard time with intuition. I can’t think with my gut at all when anxiety is around.

It also helps to write what went wrong and then write but this happened because of that so this is good. Writing what went wrong and finding the silver lining is another whack.

One positive thought at a time, I am winning. One positive thought at a time, I am thriving.

In another step out , I will be participating in BE THE VILLAGE 1000 voices of compassion #1000speak

 1000 voices from all  over the world, on the same day flooding the internet with good, positive posts. Posts about Compassion, Posts about kindness, Posts about self-compassion. Posts about caring for others, caring for the environment. Posts about Non-judgement. Spreading love all over the world. This will happen on February 20th 2015.

You can participate even if you are not a blogger! Follow the hashtag #1000speak  comment, share, like, favorite. The main point being to interact!

If you are a blogger and would like to be part of the 1000 you can request to join here.

Mental mash and mush

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Slow and sluggish my brain starts the day. A touch of chai and we are on our way.

Talking talking talking. Text , email, in person. Talking talking talking

In the quiet is where it happens.

Swirling, twirling, thrashing, harsh

Things and thoughts I thought I had laid to rest rise

from the depth of the abyss they rise.

The sorrow runs deep, the confusion still fresh.

How is this after years have gone by?

Like the newest youngest sprout

that has just lost its outer shell

The shell that held it all tucked and safe.

Content to do nothing until it is time.

My newest self is like that sprout.

Instead of my shell being reabsorbed.

It lies broken and open at my greening feet.

Glancing down at that broken open shell,

realizing content was not what happened in there.

Sorrow at seeing that shell again.

The shell I thought I had laid to rest.

Look away. look away. look away

Focus on the now.

Focus on the growth

Marvel at the changes I have made.

with a glance, melancholy lances the heart.

It is still there. Broken and open.

Focus on that one day too

A glance will bring peace instead of pain.

The shell says gently.

I understand. Go on now. Grow and live.

Look back for lessons.

Look back for strength.

But do not dwell on that broken open shell.

oh the distracted brain

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I just need to write it down. If I write it down I will remember it. If I look up I will see it.

Yet, the cat jumps on the table. The dog walks by. What was that out the window. Is that  a fly in the light? Why do flies go into the light fixture? The cat saw something out the window. What is that cat looking at? Why is that bird walking on the ground and not flying.

There are pieces of paper  saying FOCUS lying around my house. I randomly find my daughter has written on our message board, “FOCUS on your homework!”. It breaks my heart to see these. I know how hard she struggles. I even know the thought process behind them. They were my thoughts not too long ago.  The signs of a distracted brain.  I probably have more patience for this behavior than my mother did. It’s my behavior.

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder when I was five. I struggled through elementary school until fourth grade. I had an ESE teacher that just got me. She understood and taught me so many little tricks. My parents were not interested in medicating. They chose to work on compensatory skills. I never understood why they would not let me just medicate. If there was a pill that would help, why not. I did medicate for several years after I turned nineteen. The only problem was , once I got the ADD better under control, I had issues with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I ended up treating for the OCD as it was more intrusive. I saw a therapist for several years and learned a lot about myself and my behaviors.

I finally understood why my parents did not want to medicate until my daughter began to show symptoms. I worried about her having it from the minute she was born. I remembering asking her pediatrician how can I prevent her from getting it. What do I need to do? What do I need to feed her? Should I start the ADD Diet now? He suggested we watch sugar intake and make sure she got plenty of DHA and Omega Fatty acids. He followed this up with but nothing will prevent it. I can’t tell you how deep the feeling of failure was then, and she wasn’t even showing symptoms then.

Fast forward to kindergarten and she spent the first four months telling us she had belly aches, or headaches. She was often in the clinic for them. We assumed it was just nerves. All these new things she was doing at school. We finally took her to the doctor and found that she most likely had a problem with lactose. Within days of eliminating lactose the headaches and stomach aches disappeared.  That was when we started getting familiar notes. She wasn’t focusing on her work, frequently distracted, often talking. I remember those notes. I remembered dreading taking them home. She doesn’t seem as bothered by them as I was. I have yet to have her formally diagnosed. Mainly, because I don’t want her labeled like I was. I was not made to feel like I was smart, quite the opposite. I was so stupid I could not focus on a simple math problem. The fact that I loved to read, had a great imagination was never mentioned. I never want my daughter to feel she is stupid. It is the most horrible feeling in the world.  She goes to a Montessori school and surprisingly she thrives there. We still get told she likes to talk. She still has issues focusing. I truly believe it’s the ability to be mostly independent in her learning environment that helps her the most.

I do use some of the compensatory skills I learned.  Some I use with my daughter now. We cover all but the problem she is working on. We play a game that if she looks away from her paper her eyes will melt from lava. We use rewards. We challenge her to see how much she can get done. Most of her teachers have been very supportive of our decision.She has learned so much faster, how she learns than I ever did. She understands she can’t sit down and just do work. In fact, she often stands. I have also found her reading her book while moving a hula hoop around her waist. I was told by one  teacher, I should just give in get her diagnosed and medicate her. The thing is, It is not a magic pill. I know this from experience. There are also side effects. She won’t suddenly be able to concentrate. It is so much more complicated than that. It is so much more than that. She does get a daily supplement for brain health, a mixture of DHEA and amino acids. We treat the anxiety that ADD brings with magnesium. It is to the point now she knows when she needs to up her dosage of her supplement. She knows when she needs a glass of natural calm, the magnesium we use. She is listening to her body and her brain at so much younger of an age than I ever did.

On the other hand, I can understand my parent’s frustration with me just as clearly. I will tell her go brush her teeth. She sometimes gets a few feet before getting distracted. Sometimes she actually makes it to the bathroom but I catch her just staring in the mirror.  If I take the time to ask her why she is just staring in the mirror. It is often, ” I was just wondering why I have blue eyes or brown hair.”  or “I was just wondering what I would look like if I was a boy.” There is no point in getting mad. It is just how her brain works. In her mind she has done this thinking for seconds when actually minutes have passed.

We have never told her it is a disorder. We use the term distracted brain, or that is just how your brain works. Everyone’s brain works a little differently. We have never told her it is a disability or let anyone else tell her. It is not a disability. It is just the distracted brain. It has advantages that other brains don’t. The distracted brain often is more creative, more flexible and is often thirsty for knowledge.  The problem is, most people don’t acknowledge that. It takes more work to find what works for her, that is most certainly true. It reminds me of a quote I saw recently. ” What is best for the child is not always what is most convenient for the parent. ” Bonnie Bedford. It most certainly would be more convenient for me to medicate her and just move on with our lives. It is most certainly a lot more work to figure out all the little nuisances of her brain. However I know from experience that it is possible to retrain your brain. It is not easy. It is not fast. She however has the advantage of someone who understands and can guide her to the right ways to retrain her brain. It won’t ever go away, but it is possible to “ride herd” on it.