A New Year, a new you

Throughout the year, amidst the myriad of challenges, we anticipate the winter holidays, and then before we know it, they’re over, leaving us to marvel at where the time went.  And with a whoosh, in rushes the new year.  We determine to make resolutions; promises to ourselves.  Be a better person.  To love others more deeply.  Work harder.  Learn a new skill which you have been itching to do your whole life.  Lose weight.  Work out more, or even to begin a exercise regiment.  We seek ways for self-improvement.  Some we wind up sticking with while others are quickly tossed to the side.

Gazing into a mirror, we try to summarize the events of the recent past.  What we did wrong.  What we did right.  Those we may have inadvertently offended.  Those we may have encouraged along the way.  We are filled with hopes and fears of what the new year may throw at us; either a raining down of blessings or a crashing head-long into heartache.

Nobody, we understand, can accurately see into the future, though there are a few that insist they can.  If it were possible to project ourselves to December 31, 2015, what would we encounter?  Would we discover a life that had been more fruitful, or one that was awash with pain?

I, for one, do not wish to see what the future holds for me, for we know that our lives are filled with hope-filled moments and shattered dreams, triumphs and disappointments.  What type of person you are determines how well you deal with these issues, when life turns itself upside down.  It’s easy to be joyful and happy when life is at it’s best, but when life bombards you with painful moments when we least expect them, it is almost impossible to keep smiling through the tears.

I believe we need to embrace the beauty that surrounds us.  We need to forgive others for the wounds they have caused us.  Not only does forgiveness fill us with peace of mind, it protects our sanity as well.  And holding grudges is bad for your health, or so I’ve read.  It is cancer to your soul.

So in this coming new year, I implore you to take time to enjoy the little things in life we often take for granted:  watching the sun rise, hiking through a blooming meadow bursting with color, to immerse yourself in a good book, drink a glass of fine wine, bask in the warmth of a sunny July day, or just spending quality time with those you hold dearest.

Don’t lose sleep over the things we can’t change, or worry about things that will most likely not happen.  I am guilty of that myself.  Give up bad habits and embrace healthier ones.  Even small changes like going for a daily walk can do wonders for the body, not to mention the soul.

Here’s wishing you all, my friends, a very healthy, safe, and joy-filled New Year.  In addition, may it be filled with good memories, an abundance of love, and peace; and may sorrows be subtracted.  Blessings.

The Trouble with Team Sports

I suck at sports. There, I said it. Now it’s out there in the open for all to read. Well, those who know me personally wouldn’t find this surprising in the least. I am a klutz. I have horrible coordination skills that I’m surprised that I can put one foot in front of the other…okay, that one may be taking it a step too far. But I was that kid in gym class that no one wanted on their team. I could not shoot a basket, make a goal, or bat a ball to save my life. Team sports was right out. Even now. You don’t want to get me started on how awful of a volleyball player I am. Let’s just say, I don’t believe that I’ve gotten the ball over the net…once. So sad.

Yet I write this because as an Aspie we are usually known for our lack of coordination. An aunt told me once that I walked like a truck driver. Not a very flattering comment to give to a young girl, I’d say. As for dancing…I don’t do it because, well it ain’t pretty! Fast dancing or slow, I have the two-left feet syndrome. I was not blessed with good hand-eye coordination so playing a jovial game of tennis with my beloved husband is more of a Monty Python sketch, if anything. And for skiing. Good Lord it was like the ABC sports opener…the agony of defeat. Going downhill once, one ski went to the left, one went to the right and I went tumbling down. I couldn’t even get up with the tow line…and once I was trying to get off the chairlift and wasn’t too graceful getting off of it. Tore a bit of ligament in my knee. Ah, sports. Good thing my parents weren’t sports-minded(well, except for soccer) or I’d be a miserable failure in their eyes.

But let me tell you the sport(s) I believe that I’m good at. Running. I love to run. Maybe because it is a solitary sport that I don’t need to impress anyone but myself. I only compete against myself, trying to push a little bit harder and a little faster each time. I can wave to those passing by but can listen to music, or to my own thoughts, or a little bit of both usually. And running was the only sport that, back in 8th grade, I was actually picked first for a team. Well, the team captain had seen me run before with my cousins who lived across the street from him, so I guess it was a no-brainer for him. But I was so excited and honored to be chosen! And our team came in 3rd place in the entire school. And I even won a second-place ribbon for the 100-yard dash. The pride, the joy,(the humility), to have my name called out in front of the school to receive an award for a sport’s achievement!

Well, let’s just say that I still have those ribbons stashed away to remind me of that wonderful day. And thank you, Ted, for choosing the awkward, quiet girl for your team. I will never forget that gift to my thirteen year-old self. Maybe that’s why I love running so much. It brings with it happy memories of success. Oh, and the other sport I’m pretty good at, by the way, is badminton.

Taking the Challenge

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am overjoyed that the elections are now over. No more lawn signs, no more television or radio ads! I even get out of sorts when I go to vote. I feel lost when I go to vote because it seems a bit unnerving to be around all those strangers. Well, that’s my experience anyway. Though I refuse to let that fear hold me back from doing my civic duty.

And who else struggles with forgetfulness? As an Aspie, my short-term memory is atrocious! My dear husband gets pretty pissed off at me a lot for this and I feel ashamed that I keep letting him down. It’s not that I mean to forget, but I just can’t seem to keep all of that stuff floating around in my head in any certain order. And there is so much going on in there, contrary to popular belief. I can’t seem to ever turn it all off. There never seems to be a time when I can turn it all off. My brain is constantly a-flutter with junk pushing around inside for attention. I have difficulty in falling asleep, I believe, due to this.

I am also in the process of taking the NaNoWriMo challenge again, for the second year in a row. Writing brings me such joy, too difficult to put into the right words, even for this writer. But I believe it is the challenge of pushing myself to get 50,000 words written in 30-days that gets my heart racing and my imagination on overdrive. As an Aspie, I have that psycho imagination, meaning I have a huge one. My brain is constantly creating new characters, and story lines, scenes, conversations, and yes, even titles. Coming up with titles and names for your characters is one of the greatest joys for a writer. At least for me.

So if you are a writer and an Aspie, I hope that you are taking the challenge right along with me. Challenge yourself. Let your imagination run wild, whatever genre you enjoy writing in. Good luck, and happy writing.

Not Your Typical Woman

I am a strange woman. Not your typical woman, oh no, not by a long shot! A typical Aspie, I am. I struggle with making eye contact, or I try very hard to maintain eye contact but normally wind up shutting my eyes when talking to people. Drives my family crazy. Nutty as it may sound, that looking into people’s eyes is actually painful to me. Why? Haven’t figured that one out. And this may sound creepy, but I feel by looking into someone’s eyes tells a lot about their perception of you. A judgment of sorts. I hate being judged.

And I also fit the Aspie trait of clumsiness. Oh how I do fit. I suck at team sports to the point that in gym classes throughout my school years my classmates would consider themselves cursed when I was put on their team. And I did not disappoint! Oh no. The only sport I’ve ever excelled in was running, and not because I was constantly being chased by school bullies.

I cannot sit still. I have my movements well under control since my youth, but I like to rub my feet together when sitting and watching t.v. at night or shaking my legs while seated, like I’m doing now. I panic when getting lost, or when I can’t find an object. I cry over stuff that most women wouldn’t normally cry over, like, why doesn’t that person like me? I overcompensate. I try so hard to read people, and I take things literally. Someone can say something and it isn’t meant as an insult, and I see it as a slight.

I have a vivid imagination. I love writing, and getting lost within the pages of a romance book, especially when it’s spicy. I don’t have the best grooming habits. When I was younger, I’d go days without combing my hair. I’m not much for makeup, except when we go out. The older I get, the more I see a need for it. But I think I still look young for my age.

So as my fellow Aspies and I go about our daily lives, struggling, sometimes, to fit in, and to be loved and accepted just like everyone else, remember that we have feelings too. Accept us as we are. Quit giving us strange looks. We are who we are. We just look at things differently, it’s not like we’re from another planet or something. So, yes, I am not typical. But you know something, I am happy to be just that. I’m me. And I have accepted that about myself.

Groups

I’ve joined a plethora of Aspegers groups as of late. They’re very interesting, eclectic people on these sights. I find them fascinating, as a writer, to hear what others are thinking; likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. Sometimes it causes me to ponder the goings-on in the mind of the youth today. There are a lot of discussions of the sexual nature, which is fine to me. I’ve always been intrigued with that subject since I was younger. And, again, as a writer I do enjoy hearing what other people are talking about.

Also, I enjoy the fact that we are all in the Aspie boat, trying to figure out our way through this insane life we all lead. I think there is an inbred fear of the unknown with Aspies perhaps due to our difficulty in social situations. I know that I’ve had a horrible time throughout life making and then trying to maintain those friendships. People have thought me cold, or a snob, or mean. I am none of those. It is because I desire my own company. When I am alone, I do not need to be ‘on’. I can be myself by myself. I don’t have to be something that I’m not. Maybe that’s why I feel safe when I do not have to throw myself into some social circle where I feel that I am constantly under a microscope, being judged.

It’s not that I’m weak or afraid. I want to be alone most times. I struggle with making conversation. I deplore going to parties where I don’t know many people. Though I’ve studied on how to begin one, I would rather not start a conversation. Thank you very much. But getting back to those aforementioned groups; I feel part of a bigger family, embraced warmly by our familiarity of having Aspergers. They understand me. They know that sometimes we can appear aloof, or too forward, or sometimes even mean. Swimming through the muck in this sea of normality, we struggle to keep our heads above the crashing waves, one more breath to last us into another new day. We can survive this mess. We can love or loathe the life we are give to live. It is our individual decision to make. I choose to embrace this life I have been blessed to live. I won’t run from it. I won’t injure myself because of it. I am part of this creation, this insanity; this awesome wild ride that is new each and every morning. Shine brightly, my fellow Aspies, normalcy be damned! You are perfect just the way that you are.

Aspie Girl

How many times can a person feel invisible? Lost in a crowd? Feel as though you are the only one who has this ‘condition’? I don’t want to stand out. I hate being noticed. Does anyone else go through this, or am I the only one?

Asperger’s takes its toll. I can’t even go for a walk outside without having the sense that the world is slowly closing in on me, squeezing the very air out of my lungs. I hate seeing others out there on the route I take because I’m never sure whether to say ‘hi’ or not. And when I do and others just look at me like I’ve just sprung another head, I start to wither once more

Fear is a huge part of my daily life. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of people. I try to stuff all that fear down deep inside but it insists on bubbling back up to the surface. I can’t seem to rid myself of this burden of fear. I want to be normal on some days, other days I don’t give a damn what others think of my idiosyncrasies. This is me. I want others to like me. Sometimes, again, I don’t give a sh@%t whether they do or don’t.

I seem unbalanced most days. Caring or indifferent. Depends on my mood. Weird things freak me out. Like yesterday my husband and I were watching War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise and it scares me every time I watch that movie. Not that I think aliens are going to burst through the clouds and overtake the earth, it’s just that frightening aspect of losing control and being at the mercy of the mob.

So, this is where I finish this post. Any Aspie’s out there? Do you feel the same way?

NaNoWriMo Challenge

This is my first endeavor into the wonderful and exciting world of NaNoWriMo.  I’m four days into it and have completed my word count each day so far.  I’m up to 6,919 words.  But I am questioning my novel idea.  I am beginning to hate my two main characters.  Their personalities have gotten away from me.  They’re jerks.  Normally I try to keep my characters positive and people-friendly.  But not these two young men.  They are both alcoholics.  One worse than the other.  Sex-craved, chauvinistic, chest-pounding a-holes.  How did I lose control of them?  Is this a good thing to allow your creative juices to run away with itself? 

But I know this contest is only for a rough draft, and this work is definitely rough.  In more ways than one.  I have added a lot of swearing and sex.  These are two young men who grew up in abusive homes.  In trouble since elementary school.  Into heavy-metal.  Struggling to find jobs, and then trying to hold on to them.  I want to make them as realistic as possible, but being a female trying to delve into the male mind, it’s not an easy task.  But with this challenge, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone.  I needed to do something different.  Something off-color.  Something that wasn’t a romance.  Those would be easier to write, being a woman with a big imagination, and a love of anything romantic. 

So, four days into it, and not struggling…yet.  I’ve been warned.  It’s coming.  The doubts.  The boredom.  The fretting.  The damn-I-don’t-feel-like-writing-today days.  But this is why I write.  It is not to be in the spotlight.  It’s no longer about achieving the fame and fortune, but about just making a decent living while writing and the extra income it could bring in.  Would I love to be a full-time writer?  Yes.  More than anything, I would.  But I’ve learned something by reading a lot of blog posts, and writing sites that I write because I want to.  Not for fame, not for glory, not for the money, but because I just plain love putting words to paper, or to screen, in a lot of cases nowadays.  I’ve mentioned this before, but it is in my blood.  Since I was a child, I had this intense desire to create.  I’ve tried other creative endeavors which I’ve failed miserably at:  painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, crafts…just don’t have it in me, though that talent does run in my family(somehow it just missed me).  But writing, creative writing, having the ability to create characters, and settings, and stories that can last throughout the generations.  I just want to write.  No.  I need to write.  There is no inner peace when I’m not writing.  I crave that peace, that serenity when I’m creating a new world.  It’s about the desire to share new and interesting heroes and villains, about describing the fight between good and evil, and that, in the end, I want to have my characters make a difference, in their lives as well as the readers’ lives.  Is that too much to ask?

So, each day will be a challenge.  To what extent, I have no idea yet.  To all those writing day after day, with the same fire in their souls that burns within mine, I wish you continued success.  Take it one day at a time.  Writing should never be a chore.  For when it becomes that, the fire slowly diminishes and begins to burn out.  Don’t allow that flame to blow out.  You can do this.  You have the creativity, the drive, and the passion to create.  Let it take you to places in the imagination that you never thought you’d go to.  Achieve your writing dreams.  I know I am.  For this is a challenge to myself to say, I can write 50,000 words in 30 days.  And if I can do that, then there is no excuse for me not getting a short story out in that time.  A little push never hurt anyone.

Until next time, friends, happy writing.