The Birthday Countdown

Every year, Squeaker gets a little more excited about his birthday. He started counting down this year about two months ago, I think. Officially, he probably started asking about his birthday the day after his last birthday ended, but the birthday countdown began about two months ago. His accuracy with months, days, and counting makes it possible for him to keep track really well now. Ever-vigilant, he’s noticed the days ticking by until that magical day that he’ll finally get to say he’s eight years old.

I suspect that the day after he turns eight, he’ll tell the world news of his good fortune. Turning eight must mean something magnificent to him. After all, it was only last year that he said he no longer wanted to be seven because “being seven was hard.”

I certainly hope that his year as an eight-year-old brings him much good fortune and better luck than last year. He certainly felt life as a seven-year-old in the first grade was stressful. This school year, he feels successful, I think, even though we got a lot of strife about moving him up to the second grade. He has to work hard to get where he’s going, but he gets the most joy out of hearing people tell him “good job”!

Tomorrow, on Halloween, he’ll level up . On Saturday, we’ll celebrate with a Wild Kratt’s themed birthday party. He is over-the-moon excited about the party. I’m glad to give him that. Just marveling at how fast he’s growing up, how quickly he’s maturing, and how wonderful a person he’s become.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.

sweetboy

The Impossible Standards of a Perfectionist

Hi, my name is Teresa and I am a perfectionist.

Many people use the word “perfectionist” as a way to compliment themselves, but I find my perfectionist tendencies can actually have truly devastating consequences. If a person really has the characteristics of a perfectionist, that person really does see it as more of a fault than something to brag about.

Why?

I hold myself to an impossible standard. The impossible standards of a perfectionist are hard to live up to. I can even recognize what I’m doing, but I do it anyway because I just feel like the bar should, for some reason, go that high. In high school, making an A never felt good enough. I had to get every question right. At the very least, I had to get the highest grade in the class. If I didn’t, it felt awful, like the wind got knocked out of me. I felt like a loser. Like a dummy. I mean, even in an Advanced Placement class, if I didn’t get the highest grade in the class, I would berate myself. Imagine how I felt when I graduated third in my class. I went on for years about how I didn’t even get second in my class. THIRD. Loser? I went to college. I graduated with honors, despite several bouts of depression, likely brought on in part by my impossible standards.

If I can do it, so can you. I’m working so hard not to hold other people to the same craziness I hold myself to. It really begins to destroy relationships when you get all pissed off at someone because they didn’t do something the way you wanted them to. Perfectly. Beautifully. No, no, no! Write it this way!! OMG. What are you doing?! Stop! Just let ME do it! Yes, I’m a control freak. I mean well. I honestly do. I just want everyone else to do it to perfection. Follow the rules. Use perfect grammar. Dot every i and cross every t, because you never know when someone might come and look over your work. God forbid I should explain something more than once. I’d rather just do it all myself. The virtue of patience–something I’m learning. Lord, please help me in this endeavor.

 

serenity prayer perfectionist

You see, I may say the Serenity Prayer a thousand times a day, but the perfectionist inside of me screams, “BUT I WANT TO CHANGE EVERYTHING!” Let me right the wrongs of the world. Let me make the imperfections perfect. Allow me to change the lives of millions of children so none of them struggle ever again. Make the world see my child and others like him as beautiful. Make just the injustices. I can fix it all; I just know it. And yet, I know that only God has the power to oversee all that. My power has limitations, and it still drives me nuts.

One of these days, I’ll say my prayer and I’ll find peace that lasts more than a few seconds. If only they had a 12-step program for perfectionists.

 

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What if

what if

What if…

…I quit my job today and just left abruptly? Would everything here just stop, or would they carry on without me? I feel the weight of this job on my shoulders. I feel strongly that without me, these kids would suffer, but am I right? In the long run, what would happen if I left? Would they make it? Certainly, they’d try.

…I didn’t wear make-up or comb my hair? If I just decided to put my hair back in a pony-tail and went to work without make-up on, would it really matter? Could I still do my job? Sure, some people might say things about me looking tired, but does that matter? I am tired. Who cares if I look how I feel? My husband doesn’t wear make-up. Why do I take the time to meticulously cover up the dark circles and puffiness?

…I didn’t carefully guard every word I said? If I just spoke the truth and confronted others with my feelings, would the end results really be that devastating? Maybe it’s time to rip off the band-aid for once and hash it out. Let’s face it. Girls spend too much time beating around the bush. Sometimes I just get sick of all the BS and wish I could just say it like it is. It feels so much better afterward. Let’s just say our feelings and be done with it. The end.

…I didn’t do everything perfectly? If I allowed myself to make mistakes and didn’t beat myself up about it, would the world come to an end? Probably not. I’m not sure why I constantly feel the need to drive myself bonkers and make it all perfect. I know hardly anyone else cares about perfection. One of these days I’ll stop caring about perfection too (yeah right).

…I spent more time with my family and less time doing work? There’s an easy answer to that one. I’d probably find more happiness. If someone could tell me how to fit that in with my current schedule without falling dreadfully behind, I’d owe you a debt of gratitude.

what if

In the end, I just want happiness. The world of “what-ifs” and endless possibilities of things I could do better surround me. I want to do things better but feel trapped in the cycle and pressures of society. What if I didn’t care? Oh, that’s another question entirely.

Do you ever ask yourself “What if?” 

 

 

 

10 Things I Say Too Much

groundhogs day things i say too much

Do you ever feel like life is one big long episode of Groundhog’s Day? Like you repeat the same actions, the same routines, and the same phrases every single day? I feel like there are many things I say too much. To finish out my round of clichés here, sometimes I feel like a broken record. groundhogs day things i say too much 10 Things I Say Too Much

  1. Put your shoes on! (after asking twice already)
  2. Why aren’t you wearing any pants?
  3. You can’t go outside without pants on!
  4. We have to do homework first…
  5. Yes, it’s a school day
  6. I don’t like that growling sound! Use your words!
  7. Please chew with your mouth closed.
  8. I’m missing you at the table!
  9. We don’t need juice/lemonade. How about milk/water?
  10. If you want something, you need to use your words, not your hands.

And all that’s just at home. I could build another list of things that I say too much at work.

 

 

 

 

Four Haikus

The mood struck me to just write four haikus today. Most of them are about family, but one is about nature, which is really what Haikus are supposed to be about, but I suppose I could say that the other three haikus are about the nature of my relationship with my son.

Haiku 1: Loving You Always

Loving you always
Means I accept Autism
But know it isn’t you

Haiku 2: Fall

Orange leaves now falling
Would signal shifting seasons
Yet we’ve seen no change

Haiku 3: The Darkness

Dark eyes look sullen
His hands no longer gentle
Where did my son go?

Haiku 4: Cherished Moments

Sweet kisses and hugs
With these moments so fleeting
You hold and cherish

my son

Cherished Moments – When We’re Happy

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