Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sensitivities

The sun filled the living room and a cool breeze gently made its way into our living room.  The brightness of the sun would fool you into thinking it was actually warm outside—but the air was considerably crisp, and I shuttered with a chill.  From the cold? Perhaps.  More so, I believe it had to do with the task at hand. We sat there with the laptop open to the online access to my son’s school grades.  Dumbfounded, we had to inquire about what we were witnessing and I could see the frustration build and the tears swell.

My son is bright in ways that my mind doesn’t work. I guess you could say I always had an “academic mind” however his mind works from the abstract.  He’s creative in ways that I can’t imagine until I’ve seen them.  He’s a true creator—he can take nothing and make it into something— and he’s innovative.  Yes, he’s quite the artist.  His creativity has been noticed by most of his teachers, peers, and family members.  He’s a gentle soul.  He’s a pleaser.  And he’s firmly grounded in his beliefs and will stick up for himself when no one else will.  As a mother, I can only be proud at the fine young man I am raising.

032He’s only 15 and soon to be 16.  He’s taller than me now. He’s good looking if I do say so myself—and sometimes it is hard to think of him as a teen.  His maturity, respect for others, and his lack of teen rebellion would have even the best of the best fooled into thinking he’s almost an adult.  And so it surprised me to learn that academically he is struggling to the point of frustration. It only happens to be in two primary courses—but these subjects are tough even by my standards.

The thing is—while bringing up the subject of grades and what is going on—he felt the burden of it all weighing down on him.  I was in every way possible trying to explain that I want to help—and I just needed him to tell me what he needs help with. Unfortunately that mounted in more frustration—because he can’t point to where he’s having the issues.  He’s living in a cloud of confusion so it appears and I felt quite baffled until I remembered at some point, a pediatrician from his earlier childhood had thought he might have mild ADD. I didn’t want to believe it at the time—but still went through with the parent evaluation forms and had his teachers fill out their evaluations.  I sent them all in—and I never heard back on what those results were, figuring that if they had not contacted us then he must not have had it.  We were back for well being visits with this pediatrician—and nothing was ever said about it again.  Later, I switched pediatricians and it wasn’t something I worried about, yet it has always been in the back of my mind.

I’m thinking we might need to have things re-evaluated.

I did a little research on A.D.D. and in particular the Inattentive portion of the disorder.  According to the DSM-IV evaluation the symptoms of Inattention are:

  • often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities;
  • often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities;
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly;
  • often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions);
  • often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities;
  • often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework);
  • often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments,pencils, books, or tools);
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli;
  • is often forgetful in daily activities.

I see a few here that really stand out—forgetfulness, losing things, disorganization, and lacking close attention to details.  I guess I’m uncertain if this is a teen thing or if he really has an attention deficit disorder—but the frustration he felt yesterday has me set to the task of finding these answers as soon as I can.  All I know from a mom perspective is that – I have one hell of a good great kid on my hands, and I can’t take that for granted. I’m going to forge ahead and see what the doc says—and if necessary help him out in any way possible. He deserves the best…and only the best. I just wish I would have picked up on this a little sooner.

Do you or someone you love have A.D.D.

Any tips for the forgetful, disorganized teen? 

I’d love some feedback if you are willing to share.

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy

For More about Attention Deficit Disorder visit this link.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Am I Dreaming This Time?

accident rescueScreeching brakes then the sound of crunching metal isn’t exactly the way I want to be woken up on one of two of my nights off.  These are the nights that I get to keep real people hours and sleep through the night.  And last night—was one of those nights, I had fallen into a rather peaceful and sound sleep—only to be woken by the deafening sound of what could only be a car crash.  Then the really loud sound of someone moaning. I couldn’t bring myself to fully wake up and check it out.  As loud as it was—my body wouldn’t wake up…almost as if I was dreaming the whole thing.  The lines of reality and dreamland were definitely blurred.  Next, I heard the sirens—and something within me told me they could do more than I could have done in my half-waken – half slumbered state.

We live on a curve…thankfully, we are on the inside of the curve.  We also live on a road that is a short cut from one arterial road to another and if taken, you can avoid the interstate exit ramp traffic.  So of course, we get a lot of traffic. I wish I would have thought of this when buying the house.  It didn’t seem so busy then.  Unfortunately, most people have a problem obeying our speed limits…even now as I listen to the traffic going up and down our road.

It is those living on the outside of the curve that really get the blunt force of our drunken speeders.  We’ve had mailboxes taken out, cars parked in the driveways demolished, a few cases of car meets ye old tree and yes two different houses have been hit.  All because people speed down our road and don’t anticipate the curve, they lose control and in a split second they’ve crashed into something.

The most memorable crash was about 2 days after 09/11/2001.  Our windows were open and I was in a very peaceful sleep.  I shot straight up out of my bed when I heard what sounded like a plane crashing.  Of course, I’d been glued to the news stations for 2 days watching the planes hit the towers, and although all air traffic had been halted at the time, I swore I heard a plane crash.  I woke up my husband in a panic.  He sat up and told me he hadn’t heard anything and that I had watched too much television. I realized that no one else in the house had stirred so he must be right and I went back to sleep—believing my over active dream state had once again blurred the lines of reality.  I still dreamed of sirens and people talking about some drunk driver, the rest of the night.

car in houseThe next morning—my husband came in from walking the dog and asked me, “what did you hear last night?”  I told him I must have dreamed of jet planes crashing all around me.  He admitted that he was wrong—I had heard something.  A drunk driver sailing our curve at 135 miles an hour, had met up with the neighbors house, actually taking out the cylinder block and they had some company out there with some sort of heavy duty jack holding up the corner of their bi-level home.  The driver was arrested and the car was still firmly implanted into the house until this company could get all supports in place.  Apparently, I had not dreamed it at all—and when I went outside and seen the damage—it is no wonder he even survived that collision!

006So last night—I couldn’t bring myself to wake up at the sound of screeching brakes, crunching metal and the moans of someone hurt.  However, I did wake up the second time it happened.  Yes—if you can believe it, it happened a second time.  I jumped up out of bed so fast—my husband did too—as did my son.  We raced for the front windows, only to see a pretty mangled car driving away.  The damage—he or she hit a street sign. And whomever it was, didn’t stick around to make sure the street sign was okay.  At least he or she wasn’t too hurt like that first victim seemed to have been.

I thought I dreamt that first accident, until my son said he had heard all the sirens from the first crash.  Then I knew it was real.  Damn.  I could have helped someone—but my body was just too tired to let me wake up.  It was a crazy night for sure.  I’m just one of those dreamers—and sometimes I know it is a dream, sometimes I know it is reality, and sometimes I just don’t.  Last night was one of those nights.

I think I’ll contact the mayor’s office today.  We need some speed bumps out here—before someone gets killed, for real.

How was your weekend?
Were you able to sleep well last night?

Hoping you all have a terrific Monday!!

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reflection

I don’t like mirrors. And not because I have a problem with the way I look.

Okay.  Wait.

I do have a problem with the way I look—but not for the obvious reasons one might make that statement.

I love my life. I have a lot of contentment and each day I wake up knowing I am blessed.  I didn’t always have this sense of things—and honestly contentment took awhile to come around.  Maybe wisdom visited my doorstep and handed me a bottle of Visine or maybe things have slowly changed for the better—perhaps both.  In any case—I feel really blessed with the way things are in my life.  Things are by no means perfect.  It isn’t a bed of roses and chocolate here.  Lots of areas for improvement in each direction I look.  Yet overall,things are good.  They are so much better than they’ve been at any point in my adult life and I’ve taken notice.  I am, more than anything, thankful that things have finally reached this point. Not only are things good… but I feel good.  Minor colds, flus, and other ailments aside, I really feel great deep down, about the way things are shaping up and turning out.  For once, I can smile and mean it.

Ah, but then I look in a mirror.

765679-a-single-red-rose-lays-in-a-shallow-water-the-reflection-is-seen-in-the-ripples-of-the-waterAnd what I see on the outside isn’t quite matching what I feel on the inside.  I feel wonderful on the inside—fully blessed at this point. So why don’t I see that on the outside?  Now—seriously—I don’t expect to look like a super-model, all beautiful and thin, that is not what I am referring to at all.   (I am realistic in that department and I’m know that I look okay other than I still need to drop 40lbs, which I’m working on.)  Rather, my mindset is that I have a mismatch from how I feel to what I see.  I feel like I’m coming into my own, things are really falling into place.  I have a distinct peace within my being and my outlook on life—but I don’t see a reflection of that when I see myself in a mirror.  It almost resembles looking at my reflection in rock-rippled water—it is still me but my reflection is distorted by the small wake the pebble made as it skips across its surface.  It sort of takes me back and then my mind starts turning trying to make sense of the distortion…which it hasn’t been able to quite work out yet.  Leaving me perplexed and overly self-conscious of any reflective surface.

I question if what I am seeing is a distortion—or is it part of my reality?  Am I fooling myself into believing things are really this good?  Do I need to pinch myself and make sure I’m still living this wonderful life— or is the mirror trying to smack me upside the head and say, “you have a ways to go until you’re really living the good life.”

I don’t expect any real answers to my questions.  I just have to somehow make sense of this mismatch in my perceptions.  However—nothing can steal the joy I feel and I’d rather feel this sort of happiness than see it anyway.  Besides—we can all fake a smile—but how many of us choose to claim the ear-to-ear grin when it is genuine??  I choose to claim it.

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy

 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Words From the Heart

heartIt’s not that…

…I don’t have enough words to share

…I don’t have enough topics to choose from

…I don’t have enough love from my readers

It’s not that…

…I have insecurities or doubts

…I have run out of ideas

…I have nothing left to say.

It’s not that…

…I don’t love to write

…I don’t miss the release

…I don’t want to join in the fun.

The truth?

I need to erase the chatter and noise from my writing and find the music again.

I need to let my voice shine through—not be drowned in the sea of voices.

I need to examine and re-examine the quality of my voice.

The real truth?

I don’t want my voice to mean just anything; I want my voice to mean something.

I’m tired of meaningless drivel.

I’m tired of my own status quo.

My plan?

It’s time to break out…

It’s time to push the limits

It’s time to exceed my own expectations.

 

Stay tuned!

jenn sig copy copy

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Little Celebration

This past weekend, I reached a major milestone in my life:  I had another birthday and moved from being in my 30’s to officially being 40!  Last year, when I turned 39, I had commented that I would be forever “39 and holding”.  I learned this phrase when I was a youngster when I curiously asked the adults around me how old they were.  When I inquired as to what that meant, I would often get various responses—but it all boiled down to the fact they really didn’t want to acknowledge their true age for one reason or another.  Last year, I thought the phrase was fitting—and so I said it.  This year—I’m not so sure I agree,

Jenn at 40Reflecting on the age thing, I think there are some things I will miss about being 30-something now that I am 40, just like I found there were a few things I missed about being 20-something when I turned 30.  For one, my child bearing days are behind me now, and that was a really special time in my life.  I will also miss the entrepreneurial drive that I had in my mid-thirties—I swear it kept my brain as sharp as a double-edged sword.  And of course with the passing of my 30’s, I know there are a few dreams I can put to rest—as I will never see them become a reality now that the window of opportunity for them has passed.  Moving into my 40’s—I realize what I will miss these little things—but seriously, I don’t think I really want these things going forward anyway. 

I had a few goals I wanted to reach upon reaching 40.  For the most part, I met those goals.  One of the goals was to get to a place financially where I could breathe.   I spent most of my 30’s paying down debt after debt that I carelessly accumulated in my 20’s—and I’m happy to say that I rang in my 40th without real worry about finances and a few dollars in my pocket.  Another goal I had was to lose weight before my 40th birthday.  This was a promise I made to myself when I turned 39.  I somewhat met this goal when I pulled off 42lbs over the past year, however at 39 I was hoping I would have lost more than that by my 40th.  Another goal I had was to secure fulltime employment, instead of being self employed.  And that goal became a reality only 4 short days after my 39th, so I made a subsequent goal, which was to retain that job—and so far—I have done that too. 

Having put to bed my 30’s and meeting my goals—I ring in 40 with a bit of a celebration.  I spent the day receiving phone calls, texts, and wonderful messages on Facebook. I spent the day with my family—we went out to lunch and ordered in dessert, and later that evening I enjoyed some wine. At 40, I realized just how blessed I am –in so many ways—and just how good life really is.  If the truth be known—I feel good about turning 40!!  I will no longer say “39 & Holding” because I don’t have anything I want to hang on to from the past.  I’m willingly going to embrace being 40, facing each day as the blessing it is.  And seriously, as long as I don’t feel old in my mind—the number isn’t of great importance.

How do you feel about reaching milestones in your life?

Do you embrace your age or would you rather not think about it?

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Facing the Uncertainty.

I am a planner.  I love to have a “game-plan”.  Yes, that is a phrase I say quite often. I love to be a part of a plan in motion—and I enjoy watching a plan unfold—and I take comfort in the varying amount of certainty that planning brings.  Even so—not everything goes according to plan all of the time.   This I can handle as long as a game-plan still exists—I can enjoy the detour—learn a life lesson and find my way back to the original plan.

However, not everything in life can be planned.  Sometimes, you can plan for the unexpected, kind of like defensive driving, but not all of life’s unexpected events can be foreseen and therefore uncertainty exists. Is uncertainty something that can be seen as a thrill ride and exciting or is it the unknown variable, which is to be feared, and therefore scary?

When I was younger—I found the uncertainty in life to be anxiety producing. I wouldn’t call it thrilling or scary—it was just something that pushed my nerves to the brink I allowed to push my nerves to the edge. As I gained a few years of wisdom under my belt, I learned that becoming anxious about a situation was a reactionary way of dealing with it.  I prefer to be pro-active vs reactive any day, so I knew I had to change the way I approached the uncertainties of life.

I don’t think it was by any means an “ah-ha” moment, when I morphed from someone who allowed uncertainty to produce anxiety and strife in my life, into a person who viewed the unknown as something to conquer, overcome, and perhaps even learn from.   I changed my approach on that which I did not know and understand—to something of a challenge.  It became or personal quest to take the uncertain and make it more familiar.

I would say that the uncertainties of life have become more thrill seeking in nature than fearful, but not always.  I do not by any means have this mastered—but I try to rise to the occasion where uncertainty is concerned.

How about you?

How do you feel about uncertainty?  Is it exciting or scary?

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy

 

Written for NaBloPoMo March 1st entry.

TWP #Bloghop 37

What a week it has been for me—my apologies for not jumping in on Blog Hop #36.  To all of those who participated thank you—it has been a really busy week and I have not had time to read all the entries—but I plan to devote a portion of my weekend to catching up last week’s entries!!

This week I’d like to venture out a bit and try something new—but I think it will be a fun topic, I guess we’ll see!! 

Drum Roll Please!!

Blog Hop #37                                                A Page from My Brag Book

I want you to think of something that you’d like to share—something you are proud of—something you’d like to brag to us a little bit about!!  It can be anything from a DIY project to sharing your Grandbabies with us.  Get creative—tear a virtual page out of your little brag book and enlighten us!!  I know everyone has something they’d love to share—so let’s go there!!

There are three ways to enter this hop!!

1)  Join the Hop via Linky Tools (code at the bottom of the page)

2)  Leave a comment below

3)  Leave the URL to your post on The Writers’ Post group wall on Facebook.

I can’t wait to read what you’ll share with the group this week!! 

Cheers,

jenn sig copy copy