April showers bring May flowers…or so I hope. April is such a mixed month for me…it is usually filled with good and bad and this year was no different. The beautiful thing about life being H-A-R-D is that from that comes great wisdom. This month has taught me:
1. Live out Loud. One of our family’s things is that we don’t do secrets. Secrets are bad poison and we just tell each other everything – good, bad or otherwise. I can’t stand secrets and they lurk everywhere in everything. Even when you chose to omit information it is like a secret. This past month we were able to just open up and talk about what is going on with our son – he was recently diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. (Click the photo below to learn more about Tourette’s). At first the doctor said not to mention it or talk about it since it was a mild case and you don’t want to draw any attention to it. It has now come to light that it is not a mild case and it just felt right to talk about it and give our son the words to talk about it. He can now address the questions his friends and other children ask him. Just talking about it out loud makes so much more sense to me – mild or not mild case. Why do we “not talk” about certain things? Secrecy adds stigma and there is no shame or stigma with any disease or disorder – there is just the disease or the disorder and you move forward. Secrets are icky black ogres that destroy and corrode. There have been so many people who once we started talking about it opened up and told us about people they knew with Tourette’s and have offered help or resources. So much better to just live out loud.
2. Embrace all of yourself – I have a hard time doing this, but I have to try really hard now because I have little ones watching, little ones that need an example. I am reading Brene Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection and this is helping me to examine, reflect, find strength and the footing to do this.
I am not good at small talk, I am not good at parties, and I would much rather stay home in my pajamas and watch TV than be out in the world with other people because inside with the TV is safe. One of the most profound things about this book – there are about a billion – but something that caught me was that I should shift my goal away from hoping that people will like me to just being authentic. What does this mean exactly? When we would go to things (parties, dinners, or even after school with the mom’s on the playground) I would always focus on wanting to be liked and if someone didn’t talk to me or make an effort to after we had a good conversation the day before I was always convinced they didn’t like me so I would not make any extra effort to reconnect. Lately, I have shifted to just focusing on being authentic. If I am me – truth-telling, living out loud, embracing myself me – that means I make an effort to connect with people and that I am just me in each of my interactions throughout the day. When I focus on that – I am left just evaluating myself after these interactions. It has made such a big difference; I am making friends. I am having full on conversations with strangers in the grocery store!! What has also been really cool is that the authentic me is nice, concerned, compassionate and when you open that up to the world it makes such a difference.
3. Set backs happen – They do, instead of running my 4 miles this morning I am writing this blog (which I have about 10 minutes to finish) and I have gained back 8 pounds. Not while writing this, but over the last 6 months. UGH!! I have been better and am running more than I was from December through February, but I am still not doing what I should. Hot Tamales and Starbucks have also been getting me through the last several months as I stress ate/drank my way through how to help my oldest son. I will do better though, and I can do better. Set backs are okay.
4. Play – I need to laugh more, relax more. I am not sure how I am going to do this except to just try. Things like the video below help…