December 7, 2009


I've been a little lax about posting lately. It's not that I haven't written anything. It's just that all my posts sounds so whiny. I hate whiners. It is so unhelpful to just complain about things. But that's exactly what I've become these last few weeks: a whiner.

A lot of relatively small, but fairly annoying things have happened in the last few days. Nothing to call home about, but frustrating nonetheless. For example, Saturday was a gloomy day, but we planned to go out to dinner and go see the Festival of Lights in Vasona Park. First, Moe had a major meltdown at lunch, which ended with both of us in frustrated tears. Then he didn't nap, as usual, but around 3:30 he just crashed, falling asleep on the floor in the living room. I moved him to the couch, where he slept until I forced him awake at 5, but we were clearly not going out to dinner. Which meant that I had to make something to feed him and ourselves, and clean up, and there I go again - whining.

Another example: Our doctor's office sent out an email on Sunday announcing that they just received a small supply of H1N1 vaccines and were opening their clinic to all patients 6 months-17 years old, and their caretakers. We rush around to get there, only to find a line out the door and into the parking lot. We left. I didn't want to wait in the line with the two antsy kids only to have them run out of the shots before we got in. Frustrating! Annoying! Who are all these people? Whine, whine, whine.

Final example (though I could go on all day). I've been feeling the need to start exercising again, and this morning was going to be day 1. I got up at 6:30 (after having gotten up to feed the baby at 5:30) to work out with my Wii EA Sports Active. For whatever reason, the game wasn't registering my movements, so I couldn't progress with the program. I had no patience (it was still dark out, after all), and after doing probably 40 lunges trying to get it to register the required number, I gave up. And what did I do? I went to Jeff and whined about it.

I know why I'm whining. I don't like how life is right now. I didn't choose this path. I'm jealous that Jeff gets to go to work everyday and come home to ask "how did it go today?" That, no matter how stressful his job is, he can escape autism for a few hours every day. I'm angry that Moe isn't talking to me, won't communicate with me, and that when he melts down, I can only guess at what is going on.

A few years ago, I had a job that I was really starting to hate and I felt like I had no power to affect any change. When things got bad, Jeff reminded me that I could quit at any time. As soon as I gave myself permission to leave, things immediately felt better. But what do I do now? There's nothing to leave. I can't quit autism (though I desperately want to).

I recognize that giving myself permission to quit was about finding control. Unfortunately, I don't have much control over what is happening in my life right now. But I do still have control over one thing: my attitude. And I firmly believe that attitude is important. I'm not saying I think I can cure autism with positive thinking. But I do know that if you think something is going to suck, it probably will.

So I'm going to do my best to control my attitude. I'd like to be able to wake up in the morning, and really believe that it is going to be a good day. I may have to fake it sometimes, and I'm sure I won't be successful every day. And at the end of the day, even if it wasn't a good day, even if the day was frustrating and exhausting, the Wii didn't work and the kids didn't nap when they were supposed to, at least I can quit whining about it.

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