Catching up

It has been a rough winter – I think I’ve mentioned that – so darned cold that the urge to hibernate is very strong. Good thing I went gluten free…I’d probably be in a sugar coma by now.

Smashwords is coming along, I’ve put up my books that had already been on amazon, and have been transcribing, editing, and putting up other stories in “episodes” that are there, and not on amazon. I’ve realized that I should never again write longhand, because while it *is* fun to scribble in a notebook and look erudite – I really have a hard time typing from my handwriting. Sad face, ha ha….

It’s snowing pretty well right now, a change from what we’ve had so far this winter: brief snow squalls, bone chilling cold, and then random warmer days with pouring rain. If I complain about the heat this coming summer, someone please thump me…but today’s weather is coming from a “warmer” place, and won’t be followed by the so-called polar vortex afterwards. Thank goodness.

Life is draining at the moment, too. If you have read any prior posts, you might have picked up that our one son is autistic. He had a rough summer with his sleep getting all out of whack, and things were feeling very hard – on him especially, because I could sense (agonizingly) that something was wrong, but I didn’t know for sure what or how to help. After a while, it seemed that it might be as simple as him getting another hour or so a night – and we started melatonin.

Now, I did and do think hard on the ethics of medicating a child, much less doing so without really knowing if he likes the idea – but I’ve told him a few times that it’s to help him get better sleep (and his pediatrician who has been with him since birth is the one who suggested it) – and I think sleep is something he likes (don’t we all? that feeling of lounging in the bed drowsily, especially), and notably, the behavioral issues that had been surfacing have dwindled back down to a baseline of nearly zero.

That was important – he is a kid who has always been very cheerful, very positive, very lovey – and we were seeing a shift into territory that just didn’t match who he is. We also did a sleep study, and man, he charmed the pants off the nurse – and was way more patient with the probes and tape and goo than most adults would have been, let alone a “neurotypical” peer. He had stuff all over his head, and didn’t blink an eye – would not have been the case when he was little, I think – whereas I, sleeping on a foldout lounger tossed and turned, and was a wreck the next day. Zombie mommy.

He’s also been a lot more sick this fall/winter, as has his brother. We had cut out the use of chemical cleaners several years ago, and use 7th Generation stuff – and most years, they have had one cold each – this year, the respiratory gremlin is on our case. It keeps coming back – I think I may have run through a case of mild pneumonia back in November (no, really, I was still running…lots of inhaler usage).

And now? Now is spent trying to keep both kids positive, when it’s been too cold to be outside – they never want to do homework – older kid doesn’t want to go to school – SpEd teacher is having too many personal issues to do her job well, I guess – and in the middle, I’m trying to write, market, read Rapid Prompting Method teaching, read to them, do all the household stuff, run, keep my DH from losing his mind in the winter murk (every year, I tell him, this happens every year…), and then try to keep my own head right.

But see…even though it’s daunting, and there are never enough hours in the day, I still am trying my damndest to keep going. “Just keep swimming” – that sort of thing. It’s lonely at times, but that might not ever change, so I’ve got to be ok with me. I’m not ever going to give up – not on trying, not on being a dippy idealist, not on loving people, not on hope for the future. NOT going to happen.

Don’t you give up either. And if you need a high five, or a hug, let me know.

What we’re reading now:

Forge – Laurie Halse Anderson (with my pre-teen)

Matilda – Roald Dahl (with the goofy 8 yr old)

A Red Herring Without Mustard – Alan Bradley (me, in 5 minute bursts)

Developing Communication for Autism Using the Rapid Prompting Method – Soma Mukhopadhyay

Write, Publish, Repeat – Johnny B. Truant & Sean Platt

Sometimes

There’s a sense of being tired all the time during the winter. I think the folks who live in the Arctic region must have come up with ways to cope…or maybe all the fish consumption has something to do with it. If you ever watched Northern Exposure, though, you might recall the episode with Ruth Ann and Walt using the SAD light therapy visors – and Walt gets completely addicted.

It’s human nature to look for the simplest solution – with sometimes unintended results.

Personally, I woke up a few years ago and realized that winter was not my friend as far as mood is concerned. Maybe you feel the same way. Childhood memories were colored somewhat, and it never made a lot of sense, but fall was just brown, for instance. Not crisp, or leafy, but muddy and redolent of the unpleasant sensation that everything was dying.

Winter was grey, bleak…there are no specific memories that I can recall to even distinguish one year from the next. Most of my memories reside in summer. Perhaps it’s that way for everyone. I’m a little terrified that my kids will end up feeling the same way. This time of year finds them crying about Monday mornings. Even the adults are having trouble getting out of bed without a lot of drama…I won’t mention any names.

The trouble is, you can only try to keep a firm grip on your own sanity. No matter how hard you try to get everyone else into a better mood, it never works. And then your mood takes a hit.

I’m thinking about smile therapy…? Laughter yoga? What else is out there?

For me, a big part of the battle was adding omega 3 and vitamin D into my life. (Fish is just not a part of my diet, no matter how much I wish I liked it.) Forcing myself to exercise is another piece of the strategy. I say “force”, because this time of year means that I’m still outside running, and it’s a HUGE mindgame to get out there and deal with cold.

What do we do about our loved ones, though? How do we help them get through the darker (seriously!) times of the year? Aside from visiting our relatives in Mexico or California, that is….

On reading topics (writing as well), I’ve been reading Johnny B. Truant & Sean Platt’s Write, Publish, Repeat, and feeling the sense of new ideas leading to better *strategy* – plans and writing all making a little more spark. Older son and I are into Laurie Halse Anderson’s Forge (the sequel to Chains), and it’s just into the denouement of the Battle of Saratoga. She’s an excellent writer, and you ought to check her out.

I don’t know what to hope for from the groundhog, but that’s months away anyhow. Just a glimmer of hope, the light in the darkness, anything that might help. It just seems a little weird that I’m the only girl round these parts, and am the most even keel….