“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”
We have all heard the expression “Love is a verb” I like this phrase…when Love is portrayed in an unconditional way, which these days seems to be rare. We can’t watch any “reality” TV show these days without hearing people say ” Love you guys” I often chuckle and wonder to myself…do you really understand that word? To many of us tend to throw that word around almost like we say hello and goodbye…it really is a shame. I almost feel we have devalued the word….we tend to LOVE everything and everyone, it seems…well maybe except those who disagree with us politically, then Hate seems to be the only emotion many have. I know I sometimes throw the word love around…about “objects ” as well. While there is a place for us to love items etc….I wish many showed the same expressions of love to many in the autism community. I have discussed in previous blogs some of my frustration at the lack of attention,love and support so many in the autism community deserve.
Almost all parents will and should tell you that they love their kids unconditionally, that is what gets you through the rough patches. All parents go through tough times, but many in the autism community go through rough patches much more often. This can be very tough, especially when a parent is a single parent, most often they don’t have a break from the stress, their unconditional love is truly tested. I think one of the hardest parts for some parents is that the love isn’t given back. Not all autistic kids, show the emotional connection of love…I am lucky, Peyton says he loves me and shows love. He loves others as well, and for this I am so thankful. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to never hear the words “I love you” from my children. Although, Peyton says it and means it, I cherish it in a way, I can’t describe. I love all my kids the same, but Peyton has a special place in my heart. I am a worrier, all my kids tell me I manufacture things to worry about, but when it comes to Peyton these worries are very well placed. I know at times I am a “helicopter parent” this is something I need to and am working on. One of my greatest joys is seeing how much my older kids truly love Peyton unconditionally, They celebrate his positives and hurt when he hurts. I know he feels their love and protection and in some ways it is a driving force for him, as he doesn’t want to “disappoint” their faith and support in him. Life isn’t always easy for any of us, but for Peyton it’s tougher, but I also know that with Mine, Mark’s and my older kids unconditional love he will be just fine. In our home we believe in the saying “Love is a Verb” and we live it. This is a driving force for me to be an Awesomism campaigner….to not only help others understand but to help others see Love truly is a verb….by going out and showing it!