A few weeks ago Mark and I met with a couple who have a coffee business. I am doing an inspirational book for autism families and wanted to highlight a small independent coffee company in it. After a few minutes I realized this wasn’t the right fit for us or the book. They were very nice people and clearly passionate about both their coffee and their business. The only thing was I I wasn’t looking for the perfect “brew” I was looking for someone who understood that it wasn’t the coffee, it was about the “coffee break”–The down time, stress relief etc….I loved their coffee, but to be honest…as much as I enjoy a great cup of coffee…its taste isn’t what is important to me. This situation highlighted to me once again how important it is that people understand just how much autism families need support, understanding and even help, sometimes. They told us all about what we were doing wrong in making our coffee, and how we had to buy all this special coffee equipment to make it perfect. I thought to myself there are parents who struggle to cover necessities for their kids….and even though others can afford it, many truly just need that break from stress, not the “perfect cup”
I know how difficult it was for me when Peyton was young and I was a single Mom. As I have written many times, I was very fortunate to have a support system, not everyone has one of those. To me, the “cup of coffee” represents the commitment to taking “me time” by allowing myself to relax and unwind. I know for a fact that when I am stressed it really affects Peyton. I realize parenting is tough in general, but I also know I have four kids and I know the extra time it takes with Peyton. I need that down time to reinvigorate myself to face the rest of the day. It may not even be a “coffee break” it may just be sitting on my bed and listening to music. Stress is a very powerful negative on us in so many ways. We need to counter this with positive time and energy. Back to my original point, it isn’t the coffee it’s the break. I hope as each of you read this blog, as well as my other blogs you realize this. I get positive feedback from so many about how I “relate” our every day experiences to others lives. I am deeply touched by this, and very thankful. My biggest goal and reason for starting AwesomismMom is to help others and be an inspiration. Many times I have felt overwhelmed and know that sometimes just encouraging words from someone else can help. While we all face our daily battles and stress, some need that extra support. They may not ask you or tell you, so take the time to ask…at the very least they will know you care. So as you drink your morning coffee I hope you stop, pause and realize….it isn’t the coffee others need…it’s the break.
Pillows Pillows everywhere! Ever see an ad for a furniture store and there are a ton of pillows on the beds? Well, I am one of those people who really loves pillows…I can never have enough pillows. I honestly would have 20 pillows on our bed. I am not sure why that is, but I have always loved pillows. When Peyton was young he was obsessed with stuffed animals, and it honesty didn’t bother me that he had so many. Stuffed animals were his go to “safety net” and I think pillows are mine. I love a “cozy home” I can’t have enough candles, throws and pillows. My kids have always teased me about my love of candles and pillows. Now that my older kids all have their own homes they always say how much they love coming home..because of how “comfortable” our home is. They relax and feel like they are at a bed and breakfast…I take this as a compliment.
I think each of us have that “safety net” in our lives, we all deal with stress differently, but the key is to deal with it. We all have stress in our lives and it seems these days, some people use their “stress” as an excuse for bad behavior. I have seen more name calling and disrespectful behavior by some people in the last year, than I think I ever have. It especially bothers me seeing people who are supposed to be examples to kids, behave in such a bad way. Stress isn’t good for so many reasons, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We need to recognize our stress, admit it and deal with it. Lashing at others isn’t a solution in fact it’s adding to the issue. I am very sensitive to this as I see Peyton not always handle stress well. He sees people being outright ugly to others because they disagree with them, it upsets him,this is sad for many reasons. I wish many adults would stop, and think. They need to set positive examples not encourage bad behavior. We all have seen the saying “don’t judge others, because you don’t know what another person is going through” I really wish people would not just say this….but live it. Life is difficult and for autism families it can really be especially tough. I have discussed in previous blogs how I needed my “coffee break” when Peyton was young, even though it was tough at times. I needed a stress free time then and still do to this day. I have been lucky as I have had a support network that has helped. I have had autism parents tell me they really feel overwhelmed and not quite sure how to get a quiet moment. This is sad,as they really do need to have one to help cope with their daily stresses. Before Peyton my stress free time was easier, but I knew I needed to destress even more when he was young. No matter what works for each of us…pillows, cup of coffee etc… We need to have that quiet, stress free zone that is our “safety net”
I love this time of the year..Spring is showing its beauty and days are longer and prettier. Flowers and trees are blooming and the birds are singing. With Spring also comes the greatest of the golf tournaments. I really Love watching The Masters, there is something so magical and calming about it. I remember watching it as a kid, and being in awe of how beautiful the golf course was, it’s still that way today. The Masters brings out the best and the worst in the Worlds top golfers. It’s always amazing to me how excited and nervous they each get trying to win that coveted “Green Jacket”. It’s the pinnacle of the golf season. We love golf in our home and if you know Peyton’s legal first name (he has a hyphenated first name) you would realize who is our favorite golfer of all time. Peyton was named after a golf legend, who is a personal friend. A man of integrity, class and strength.
I encouraged all my kids to play golf. They went to many PGA golf tournaments as kids as well. They learned how to behave in the clubhouse and knew what was expected of them.They all played at one point or another and I am working with Peyton to try and learn the basics, as well. I love so many aspects of the game, especially the focus on manners and respect. I love golf because it teaches both kids and adults to be self reliant and to be your best as well as patience and focus. While it is an individual sport, it is also a “team sport”, though many think golf isn’t a team sport, and in the purest of definitions it probably isn’t. There is definitely a team aspect to it though. There are college and high school golf teams, while they play individually, they depend on each other to each do well. Of course we all know many a business deal has been done on a golf course, as there is plenty of time for people to talk in between holes. While this isn’t really a team…there is bonding that can be both personal and professional. Of course there also is the special relationship a caddie and a golfer have. I really want Peyton to get more into golf as I think it would be good for him in many ways. There are so many lessons golf can teach autistic kids, teens and adults. It’s calming effect, it teaches humility, respect, manners, focus and problem solving among other things. Golf courses are quiet and very peaceful and that has a very positive side to it as well. As a sport, I also think the individuality and team aspects of it are very positive. My approach with Peyton and golf is different than that of my older kids, but I firmly believe it has and will be beneficial to him as well. I look forward to getting Peyton more involved in this wonderful sport and watch it’s positive impact in his life.
“Your playing small doesn’t serve the World” Marianne Williamson
I saw this quote the other day in my “Be inspired” journal and immediately loved it! This pretty much has been my motto my whole life….many in my life have played life so safe. Which is their choice, but at the same time they think my not playing safe, is a bad thing. It’s sad that people who don’t want to dream big, try to discredit those who do. To many people live a complacent life, never really challenge themselves. It’s easier that way, but it doesn’t always result in true happiness. I have heard people say “haven’t found themselves” about entrepreneurs who pursue passions and dreams. I smile to myself and realize they live on “safe street” I can’t imagine where we would be if some hadn’t “played big”. Just about every modern convenience we have is because someone dared to “play big” When I read this quote it got me thinking about what “big things” I want to accomplish with AwesomismMom….My goals aren’t just for Peyton, my goals are for others who can’t, for whatever reason, or won’t “play it big”
I have some very “big goals” for AwesomismMom……most of which I keep to myself. I know I need to crawl before I walk..before I run….this isn’t easy for me, as I tend to be a bull in a china shop and go full speed ahead. I am staying focused, Well at least trying to stay focused. I know what my goals are and how I WANT to get there, but I also know I have to be open to “changes on the path” My driving force is my passion to help other autism families. Almost daily I speak to someone or read something that touches my heart and opens my eyes to yet another need within the autism community. I try to not get sidetracked and stay on my path! There are so many needs and I know many people are working to find solutions, so I know I need to stay focused on my goals. Life for many autistic parents isn’t easy, and many times the caregivers…parents, grandparents, siblings etc… are forgotten. I have written several blogs about the support needed for parents, especially single parents. I was a single parent for many years, I know how overwhelming each day can be. I also know how much small acts of kindness meant to me. Life as a whole can be tough. Add to that being a single parent of an autistic child and it becomes overwhelming. I know several parents who want to make a difference but don’t know where to start and become stressed and give up. I have an amazing husband who is my rock and is there for me. I also have a great network and am devoted to doing what I can to help others. Some very exciting projects are in the works and I hope each of you stay tuned, to see what is coming…..I am a firm believer that thinking and playing small isn’t going to make some of the major changes that are needed. I am going to do my best to succeed and help others….my “dreams” may be big but my passion is bigger!
I love a great cup of coffee…Mark and I make ours with a French press…we buy flavored coffee and add flavored creamers…. I add cinnamon to mine as well. I especially enjoy it on a cold, rainy morning. Many don’t know it but Yemen was the “birthplace” of coffee, I actually didn’t know it until I went to Yemen. I was given some coffee as a gift when I was there, and I must say it was some of the best coffee I ever had. I was sad when I ran out of it….haven’t really found quite as good since. It isn’t only the coffee itself though, the location, calmness etc… Is part of the “coffee break” experience. One of my favorite times of the day when my older kids were younger was to sit with my legs in our pool and drink my morning coffee. We lived on acreage and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was a nice way to start my day before the stresses of kids, homeschooling, work etc…..started. My kids used to buy me coffee mugs for presents and to this day I cherish them and other personal mugs! There is something comfortable about a quiet coffee time. It calms the mind and the body. As my older kids became adults they started to understand why I valued my morning cup of coffee, as they now have their own morning rituals.
My Morning “coffee break” was much
less consistent and calming after Peyton was born as he didn’t have regular sleep patterns like my other kids. He slept in spurts so therefore, so did I. I was much more tired and coffee became my go-to for energy and a way to make it through the day without a nap. I know this is true for others who have an autistic child, as well.The level of stress and lack of sleep can and is very overwhelming at times. I have often wished well (actually fantasized) a company like Dunkin Donuts would come out with a coffee that references Awesomism Moms……then when everyone else stopped in for their morning cup they would be reminded to do something special for an Awesomism family! I remember a friend of mine who has 2 autistic sons say to me she had her “coffee break” many times at 3 am for 5 minutes…. I could relate. When Peyton was young I was lucky as my older kids helped me, so I did have a support network other parents may not have. Now that Peyton is older I can and do have a “coffee break” time again. I look forward to that first cup of awesome coffee when I wake up, it’s once again a calming way to start my day. When I really want to start it right I have my coffee and listen to my 2 favorite country singers…Luke Combs & Zelena Hull….Check them out you will Thank me! I am lucky Peyton doesn’t require all my attention these days. Other families aren’t so lucky. Next time you are having your morning coffee stop for a moment and think about how you can make an Awesomism families day by giving them a “coffee break”