Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simplify

While basking in the morning sun and cold winter air during yesterday mornings run, I rated my feelings on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing a large amount of feel-good feelings (happiness, joy, relief, peace, etc) and I came up with an 11!
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I decided this week to quit the 'photo-a-day' challenge.  I am not a quitter.   However, as I get older I am learning to accept my feelings and support them in a way that fosters peace. 

This is exactly what is happening with my roles as a wife, parent, and person with many interests.  The fact is, when you add something to your plate, you must take something away.  My plate is overflowing.  It is as though I am at the Who's Feast.  I have eyes larger than my stomach.  Simple enough.

I will never forget the lesson I learned when I read Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicolas Sparks.  In it, I learned a valuable lesson.  Simplicity leads to peace.

This week I scrubbed my carpets and deleted a couch and toy bin from the living room.  This summer I am hosting a garage sale and I am going to sever the emotional connection I have with some material items (I am not ready to part with the baby stuff yet though!).  I am going to sort through toys, books, cupboards, and closets.  I want less 'things' in my life so I have room for peace and focus on people and my new adventure with photography.  

I cannot, or more fittingly do not want, more to manage.  Fitting in this category were the 'photo-a-day challenge' and Calvin's therapies.

It was merely months ago that I was feeling like Calvin needed more.  He did.  He was not developing at a rate I was satisfied with.  Part of my issue had to do with blogging and this online atmosphere.  I would read blogs and take notes only to compare where Cal is at next to a child his age or even younger.  

It hurt me.  It was tearing me down and coating me with a reeking layer of guilt.  Thanks anyway devil, I do not have room for guilt.  

The problem with comparisons is: there are so many outlying factors that do not line up with those other kids I was holding Calvin up to.  It was like trying to merge 2 puzzles together as one.  For one, the pieces do not connect and two, the pictures are completely different.

So, I have, together with Cal's therapists, decreased Calvin's therapies.  He will see his occupational therapist every other week alternating between here and daycare.  His speech therapy will also decrease to every other week and maybe once in a while at daycare.  That way I can have a real break from work and other appointments.

Going back to work has been a blessing in disguise.  It has forced me to look at this phenomenon and also gave me a reminder that Calvin's disability is one that I have no business stressing over.

Much of this post brings me back to my first ultrasound with a cardiologist (not Dr. Sutton whom we work with now).  When she asked if we had genetic testing and went on to inform myself and my mom that there is a high correlation between Ds and the heart defect Calvin has repaired, I looked at my mom and asked what I was going to do.  I wondered how I was going to live!  She said I would just do it because I am 'type A' AND she said that of all disabilities, Down syndrome was going to feel okay.

This post is exactly about that.  I am 'type A' and I need to let go.  And, as I am back at work, I see many struggles that people go through and I am reminded that Down syndrome is really no big deal!  My life will go on.  
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9 comments:

  1. Yes, simplify is something we all could do. I am so glad you are at such an amazing spot. This was a great post to remind me of how to remember what is really important and seek that peaceful spot as well.

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  2. live to simplify...i thankless is more...it has taken a toll on others...more then me...i find that when you stop being like the rest of your friends they seem to wonder why...i think when you have a kiddo you reevaluate what is really important...i try not to compare...but it is always lurking with me...and i then get frustrated that i do not trust Maddie enough to know that everything will be ok!

    I am from WI...a little town named Hudson on the border...go pack go! smiles

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  3. I needed this post! I need to simplify my life so bad in many ways, especially before this 3rd baby gets here.

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  4. Good for you Ilisa! I am happy to see that you are feeling like an 11 right now. Wonderful!!

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  5. I try not to compare Russell, but the truth is sometimes I do. And lately when my little Nephew who is only 9 months old comes over to visit, I mark the differences in him from when Russell was that age...How much he is doing that Russell was not and how smart he is...sigh...I hate that I do it because it feels wrong and unfair to Russell.

    That's great you are simplifying things in your life...I felt so much better when I cut back on Russell's appointments.

    Love the last picture of Calvin!!! Super cute :)

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  6. First things first, Calvin just keeps getting cuter! :) I'm pretty sure Miss K would agree. And secondly, simplifying has been a theme of mine for a while, and though it is slow going, I am working towards a life that is a little less stressful and a little more peaceful. Reading your post made me realize I'm glad Miss K only have OT twice a month. For now, at least, it works for us and for her. Balance and priorities, I keep trying to remind myself.

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  7. I know absolutely how you feel. Even though I try not to compare Kamdyn, I can't help it sometimes, even with kids who don't have Ds. I was at a birthday party, and there was a little guy running around, dancing, talking. I kept telling myself not to, but I asked how old he was, and he is 2. Kamdyn is just about to turn 2, so it was a reminder of how much of a gap there is right now. My way of sorting it out is that, in my mind, there is "Kamdyn time" and there is everyone ele's time. "Kamdyn time" allows Kamdyn to reach goals and milestones in whatever time frame she needs to. In my head, I have made a disconnect from typical age and milestones. It is a little harder with other kids with Ds, but I remind myself that, once again, she's on Kamdyn time, and they aren't.

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  8. Although I enjoy blogging, I struggle with comparing too. For example, when I read about all the kids younger than him starting to crawl, it hurts. Ben isn't close to crawling yet. I have complete peace that he will but I don't like that I can't help but compare.

    Just this week, I cut out a couple of ongoing projects in my life that I always am trying to keep up with. Keeping up was just causing too much stress!

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