We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, JR.

Not Giving Up

It’s something I struggle with. Something worthwhile for everyone. It’s advice that’s easy to give but much harder to take (Isn’t all advice that way?)

So why would I give up on myself – even though I’ve never really given up on anyone else? Even when I’ve lost all strength, I pray. Even when it seems like I just don’t care, silently I pray. We all fall short. I’m painfully aware of my own failings in life.

It may not always be the prayers of my youth, or formal prayers. (There is a time and place for everything.) Some days it’s just a positive thought I send your way. Some days when the pain is too great, and I can’t find my own words, it’s more of a chant or a meditation. Sometimes it’s long and repetitive like the Litany of the Saints. Some days it’s short and sweet.

Some days it’s a quiet walk enjoying nature, that renews my strength.

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Why then do I give up so easily on myself?

It’s a question worthy of asking…

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Is it true, those who can’t do teach? I hope not! Experience is a great teacher.

Now is the time to draw on the experience of giving up on myself. It’s time for me to see this through. I’m off on a grand adventure in life. Life is a journey – not a destination. A long journey begins with the first step.

The first step for me will be learning not to give up on myself. I’m sure that so many people can relate to what I’m saying, even in their own unique situations.

I want my son to learn to believe in himself. How can I teach him if I don’t learn to do it myself? I want this for all my children, but it’s especially important for my 7-year-old, non-verbal, autistic, legally deaf-blind son. He has so many obstacles to overcome. I believe self-advocacy is key for children (and adults) with autism and special needs (and anyone with or without a disability for that matter.)

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. Booker T. Washington

It could be the caregiver in me, that’s motivating me to think of myself. Ironic – isn’t it? When I’ve devoted all of my energy to helping everyone, I realize I need to be strong to continue down this path. It seems so obvious that I need to take care of myself if I’m going to be able to help anyone else, but yet it’s such a hard thing to do.

So here’s a word of thanks to those who have helped me to believe in myself along the way, especially Lisa and Upasna for the Leibster Award Nominations. I apologize for the delay in responding to the nomination. Life has a way of throwing curve balls at us all.

Liebster Award - discover new blogs!
nominated by Lisa and Upasna

So here are the rules for accepting this nomination: (Please see this post about Liebster Blog Award Origins)
Due to time constraints I have opted to go back to a simpler form of this award for my nominees 🙂 I suspect I am not the only one who would like to participate and “pay it forward” so to speak, and I would like to keep it simple for posterity.

1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate five blogs with less than 200 followers.
(Check the blogs you follow, and please do not feel obliged to keep it under 200 followers – just try to recognize some new blogs – originally it seems this award was for blogs with under 3,000 followers! The number of followers is displayed at the top of the page when you click on a blog in your reader. Click the edit button next to blogs I follow in the reader, for a list of the blogs you follow.  For more details read the support article: Following Blogs — Support — WordPress.com.)
3.  Let the nominees know by leaving a comment at their sites.
4.  Add the award image to your site.

(Out of respect for those who nominated me I am doing my best to both respond to the nominations and pass it on to the next generation of bloggers. Please excuse the change of rules – back to what could be the origin of the award – and just know it’s not intended to offend anyone – it’s just intended to keep a beautiful tradition alive!)

Questions I was Asked by Lisa (and my response):

1. Describe your computer ability in one word.
Savvy

2. What is the worst job one can have?
The worst job you can have is a job that drains you of all joy, hope, and passion. A job that will not allow you to be true to yourself. For me that worst job was a customer service representative for a major health insurance company. It was one of the highest paying jobs I ever had. They taught me the laws of the insurance industry (with a wink and a nod.) I understood they meant for me to break the law without getting caught. For example I’d get promotions based on how many calls I answered (AKA disconnected), and how many claims the insurance company did not have to pay out. Answering calls for people whose lives (and the lives of their loved ones) were depending on the health care they received and being powerless to make a difference, powerless to be helpful, and powerless to be honest was one of the worst experiences of my life.

3. What would your super power be?
As a child I always wanted to be invisible. I’d have to go with that. I’d imagine myself in my sphere of protection. I’d have the freedom of going un-noticed. I’d be able to get away from it all and find the time to relax. I’d have the freedom to be myself in all situations. I’d never give in to the pressures of conformity. I’d have the ability to avoid conflict and STAY OUT OF TROUBLE!

4. What fortune would you want to get from a fortune cookie?
Ha, ha. That’s a good one. I have a collection of 4 favorite fortunes I’ve cherished over the years taped up on my refrigerator. These are actual fortune cookie sayings:
“To make dreams real, first you have to have them.”
“Don’t stop dreaming, otherwise sleep will get awfully boring.”
“The home is the chief school of human virtues.”
“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shinning somewhere nearby.”

5. What advice have you gotten that was the most rewarding?
The best and most rewarding advice I’ve gotten is “consider the source.” Specifically, consider the source of advice you get. For example, if you want good relationship advice maybe it’s best to ask someone who has a good relationship. If you want to be successful, look to someone who is successful. This advice also applies to negative situations like insults, misinformation, and bad advice, “consider the source.

6. What TV sitcom family would you want to be a member of?
Hmmm… This is a hard one for me. I’m not much of a TV sitcom type of person. I guess it would have to be “Gilmore Girls” for the ability to rise to a challenge. It’s such a sweet light-hearted show. Or “Everybody Loves Raymond” because no matter what stupid thing Raymond says or does, “everybody loves Raymond” and there’s always a few good laughs along the way.

7. Name your favourite movie quote.
I don’t have a favorite movie quote, but I do have a favorite quote from a TV show. Every episode of Criminal Minds has a famous quote. My hubby and I love them. If we miss it we have to rewind the DVR just to hear it. My favorite is, “Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of its trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse for impossibility, for it thinks all things are lawful for itself and all things are possible. ~Thomas Kempis”

8. What celebrity annoys you the most?
Well, if I actually knew the names of celebrities it would help with this question. I’m notoriously clueless when it comes to celebrities. Most of my comments sound something like, “Who’s that guy in that movie…”  So for this question, I’ll go with Jim Carey in Pet Detective. I saw that movie way too many times. It was the old stand in and probably the only video my alternative ed high school owned. They used it every time there was an urgent situation that needed attention, or when they needed something to keep us occupied (because they didn’t have a substitute teacher.) I absolutely couldn’t stand Jim Carey up until the time I saw Bruce Almighty (which I thought was hilariously funny.)

9. What one food would you never want to give up?
My son has an extremely restricted diet due to feeding difficulties and symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. So this question hits home for me. Everything I cook is tailored to the dietary needs of my family because I just do not have the time or energy to cook multiple separate meals for everyone. Giving up wheat was fairly easy, but cutting down the dairy was very hard for me. So I’d have to say milk. Without milk there is no cheese. Nothing tastes like real cow’s milk. I use rice milk, coconut milk, goat’s milk and occasionally soy and almond milk but I still love a nice cold glass of REAL MILK.

10. What was the best grade you got in school and what was it for?
Most of my grades in school were either A’s or F’s. I was labeled an under archiver at a young age. As an adult, looking back, I believe it was due to an undiagnosed hearing impairment. I still have difficulty filtering background noise from spoken words. (Yes, I’m a day dreamer, but I’m not just a day dreamer…) I’d have to say my best grade in school was for creative writing in college. I didn’t think I could do it at all, but I had a great teacher who helped me find my own unique voice.

11. What have you done that you’re the most proud of?
Proving everyone wrong! There was a time in my life when I could have been voted “most likely to die in the gutter” by all of my family members and friends. The most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life is believing in myself when, deep down, everyone who loved and cared about me feared for the worst. I had hit bottom, and there was truly nowhere to go but up! To this day, I’m not sure I’ve ever truly believed in myself, but I was stubborn and determined to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again!

Questions I was asked by Upasna (and my response):

1.  What’s the best adventure you’ve ever had?
I’ve had so many I honestly don’t know where to start! I guess I’d have to say special needs parenting – because it has been both the most terrifying adventure of my life and the most rewarding! Cliché, I know – but anything other than cliché in my life would not be suitable for all audiences (not appropriate for this blog – lol)

2.  Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Well, I’m hoping in ten years all my kids will be potty trained, communicating, and well prepared for future education, employment, and independent living. That to me would spell success as a mother 😉 I personally dream of homesteading, gardening, reading, writing, and furthering my own education for as long as I live!

3.  If you were an animal, what would you be?
I’m fascinated with wolves. I often feel like the “lone wolf” but yet I also cling to family life and social structure. Wolves tend to scare people and inspire a sense of awe in the wilderness. I don’t like to imagine myself as the “big bad wolf” but I do feel misunderstood at times, fearless at times, and sometimes threatened like an endangered species. I like to think of wolves as the ancestors of man’s best friend – the dog. If I were an animal I think I’d be a wolf or a dog – depending on life’s circumstances!

4.  What’s the one food you can’t live without?
(see 9 above)

5.  What is your life motto?
“Do the Next Right Thing” meaning we can’t undo the past, and dwelling on the past helps no one. We all have to take it “One Day at a Time” otherwise life can be so overwhelming. Doing the next right thing is a way to plan for the future without getting overwhelmed with the “what if'” questions. It’s a way to break it down into simple steps that can be accomplished on a daily basis. What is the next thing I can do that’s the right thing to do? That’s the question.

6.  What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’ll try anything once – almost anything that is. I’ve tried all the culturally and ethnically unique foods that I’ve had opportunity to try. I’ve had wild berries (wild raspberries, wild strawberries, wild blueberries, wild blackberries), brook trout, venison, liver and onions, curry duck, and sushi. I’ve had authentic Chinese food from neighbors who spoke no English – hence I do not even know the names of some of the things I have tried. One thing was rice wrapped in a leaf and I wasn’t sure how to eat it – but I gathered the leaf wasn’t intended to be eaten by the string that was wrapped around it. I just looked it up here it is: Zongzi – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaI have an aversion to fatty slimy textures and anything I perceive as unclean or poisonous. Other than that I’ll try just about anything. I once tried a dog biscuit that was intended to look like a cookie – it tasted like the most bland cookie I’ve ever had – no sugar or chocolate 🙂

7.  If you could go back and visit any time period, what time would you travel to and why?
I think I’d like to go back in time and visit my Native American ancestors because I know so little about them and the life they lived before leaving the reservation. I don’t know why they opted to leave their people and become “American” but I suspect it was due to poverty, politics, and the unpopularity of being “Indians” during that time period. I’m curious to know more about the culture, the religious beliefs, and the people who were nearly extinguished by genocide here in The United States of America.

8.  Name a gift you will never forget.
I’ve been blessed to have been given so many gifts I will never forget. I”m just going to mention one particularly memorable gift. It was a Christmas gift and I was about 5 years old. I thought I had dreamed up the idea of a baby doll that didn’t even exist. It was a baby doll that would eat, drink, pee and poop – just like a real baby – lol. It was a particularly magical Christmas for me. I asked Santa for a special doll that I had never even seen before – and I got it! I remember coming down the stairs and seeing 2 home-made crocheted – nearly life-size clowns (from my grandmother for both me and my sister) and the sense of awe at all the beautiful gifts – it was like a dream come true! I struggle with making the holidays accessible for my non-verbal autistic, legally deaf-blind son. I feel like he’s missing out on some of the magic because we have to guess how to make the holidays special and magical for him. He can’t tell us what he’d like (with words.) I have to remind myself that his life experience will be unique – no matter what I do or what I don’t do for the holidays. We’ve had to learn to do things differently and make our own traditions.

9.  What is your biggest addiction?
I’d have to say the internet. Big surprise there – lol. I would love to live in a simpler time, a time with more home-made things and less mass-produced disposable stuff to fill the landfills – but I sure would miss the internet. I love to read – and with the internet I have a world full of libraries at my fingertips – the information super highway!

10.  Confess something.
Wow! That sure is an invitation for trouble… There is so much I could say, but I won’t (sorry.) My blog is primarily about family and children, so in the interest of privacy, I’ll stick with the theme of my blog and I’ll confess. I don’t have all the answers. I struggle with disappointment (just like everyone else in this world) and I’m not a saint by any means. I make plenty of mistakes (and hopefully I learn from them.) I do try to stay positive under all circumstances and I often feel inadequate as a mother. So I’ll leave it at that. It’s no secret – I’m not perfect! I’m only human!

My Nominations for the Leibster Award: 

I hope these bloggers will enjoy the recognition for all their hard work! Please see my awards page for my feelings about awards and some tips on starting or improving a blog . (Some of these blogs may have already been nominated for this award. If that’s the case then consider my nomination a 2nd!) These nominations are in no particular order, just blogs I enjoyed and want to share with others! (Please do check them out and share the love!)

Getting Started | Maine Girl Cooks

There’s a Snake in My Couch Part I : A Mom’s Point of View | mariestephensgardening

Treasure | LenzExperiments

Waffles or Pancakes? That Is The Question! | Spectrum Warriors: The ABC’s of Life in the Spectrum – Tips for Parents

Smart Dog | 2SOJOURNERS and 76/365 | macroblography (same author both great blogs!)

Artistic Hearts | Illumigraphy

Courage by Fion Lim | Charmed Destiny

Makes it all worth it | Second Chance Mom :)….

Behavior is Communication | Between Hope and a Hard Place

Changes | Education with a Splash of Autism

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7 thoughts on “Not Giving Up”

    1. Thanks again Alex! I’ve added a new post to my blog for self-promotion. (I got the idea from my fellow bloggers.) Please click the link to participate: WordPress Meet and Greet I’ve also added a new page: Corner Café for general comments and anything off topic (including a few suggestions for comments.) Feel free to stop by and check it out! 🙂

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    1. Rebecca and Sabrina,
      To be honest, I’m still sick with some sort of stomach bug after 14 days so I just didn’t take the time to come up with some creative questions. Stephen has diarrhea now too 😦 I enjoyed answering the questions myself. I just wanted to finish responding to the nominations and pass it on! But, since you asked, I’m sure I can come up with a few… 1. Were there any times that you felt proud of yourself or your children this week? 2. Was there something that you were disappointed with or discouraged by this week? 3. What are a few of your favorite family activities? 4. Who has been the most helpful to you as parents (friend, relative, co-worker, etc.) and why? 5. Who are the kids best friends – relatives, neighbors, or classmates?
      I can’t wait to see who you nominate! Thanks for taking the time to respond 🙂 and best wishes on your blogging journey!
      Love,
      Liana and Stephen

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