Death – The Great Unknown

Okay, here’s a topic which most of us are uncomfortable discussing. And for good reason; who wants to talk about their own death? But the conclusion that I’ve come to is: I don’t want a wake or funeral. As an Aspie and an Introvert, I do not want people looking at me and saying inane things like, “Doesn’t she look like she’s just sleeping?” or “What a nice job they did on her makeup.” I don’t have anything against anyone who wants these things, but it’s not for me. Are you listening, my dear family?

There’s something highly uncomfortable about friends and family standing around me, commenting on my appearance and reminiscing about my life. Can you just throw one big celebration party and leave it at that? Please? No open coffin. No crying. No expensive coffins. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. I don’t want people crying over me. As a believer, I don’t think that death is the end. That my spirit will live on. When I was a child, the thought of death terrified me to the point that I had trouble falling asleep. I thought about the blackness of the grave. About no thoughts and dreams. No more existence. But I don’t dwell on those thoughts because I feel that death is not the end. Okay, enough of that.

Anyway, I had this as an on-going conversation with a Facebook group. And there were plenty of responses. We need to think about our death sometimes. Because in so doing we learn to appreciate the little things in life; sunrises and sunsets, puppies and kittens, and the contagious laughter of little children. There are other things important in life, of course, but my point is we only have a certain amount of days on this earth and that we need to treasure each one. And make time for family and friends. We don’t know how much time they have either. The sad reality is that there are too many people out there who live with regret because they couldn’t or didn’t find time to spend with the ones they loved.

So there you have it. Do not waste any money on me, family. Remember the good times, have one hell of a party, and please don’t cry. Where I believe I’m going is a far, far better place. What do you all believe about death?

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Turned Around

Being lost is a terrifying experience for me. I remember, one time in my late-teens, going for a job interview not far from my home and getting lost. For most people it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Not for me, though. I went into a spiral of fear and panic, worried that I wouldn’t make it in time. I began screaming, crying, and doing a good bit of swearing. My usual response to becoming lost, when I was younger. And after about ten minutes or so of losing complete control of my sanity, I would calm down and become embarrassed of myself for acting like a spoiled two-year old. It was silly to act like that, I’d chide myself. Here I was, a grown woman throwing a conniption over taking a wrong turn or two. Pathetic, I mocked myself.

I am still not the best at finding places I seek, but thank God for online maps! At least I have those at the ready now. Having Asperger’s and fits of rage over the silliest things, I look back on those times and have to shake my head. I used to pound my fists into walls whenever the rage built up within. As a woman, I felt it odd to get that angry. I really didn’t have a reason for this anger. It just used to well up inside of me, scaring me. But I have that under control now, thank God. But while living under that shadow, it was pretty much hell.

When you’re not sure what is wrong with your brain, it causes you to become depressed, big-time. You feel like a foreigner within your own body. Funny, if you don’t like someone, you can usually just leave their presence, but not likely going to happen if that unlikeable person is yourself.

So over the past year of my self-discovery that is Asperger’s, I have accepted my shortcomings and finally began to like myself. No more self-loathing. We all know that self-loathing gets you nowhere. It’s bad enough when others run you down, or reject you, do not do that to yourself. You have to be your own best friend sometimes. Your own biggest cheerleader. Go! Go! Go! Don’t give up on yourself.

Yep, Asperger’s is hard. You normally don’t have many friends. You scan the list of it’s traits and check off each one that you are already living with. So you need to realize your new normal. It’s okay to be different. Being unlike the next person isn’t so bad. Again, find your own unique gifts and run with them! We all have gifts. The discovery of those gifts is an enjoyable journey, at least it should be! So go out there and embrace your uniqueness! You might be amazed at what you may find.

The Difficulty of Friendship

Okay, if you know anything about Asperger’s is that we have a difficult time making and maintaining friendships.  I just never got the hang o f it.  I probably can count on one hand the number of friends that I have.  And this isn’t an attempt to garner pity, but just sharing a truth.  Growing up, I always wondered why I was so different from everyone else.  I  wanted friends.  I just didn’t know how to get them.  I couldn’t maintain good eye contact, I was not proficient at small talk, and I wasn’t sure how to act around other people.  It just seemed to me that other women were completely into other things that I had no interest in:  scrapbooking, for instance.  I was attending a new members’ class at a local church when the discussion turned to what the other women’s hobbies were.  They gushed about scrapbooking.  I guess I just didn’t get the thrill of it.  I, for one, didn’t even have a large collection of baby photos of my two sons.  It just wasn’t something I thought of doing, as a woman with Asperger’s.  I didn’t know then what I know now.  Unfortunately for my sons, they won’t have a lot of childhood photos to look back on.

But I was always the quiet one.  Not that I always wanted to be.  I talked the ears off of people I knew.  And just ask my poor husband how much I talk to him.  He just tells me that I must be saving it all for him!  Lucky guy!  I’ve heard that us women have so many words that need to be used up in a day, and he gets to hear almost all of them.  I bet that he feels so honored!

Anyway, I am not a social person, not even with my own family.  I like to see how they all are and then I normally shut up after that.  It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, it’s just that I don’t want to talk period.  No offense to my family. 

It’s lonely, though, not having friends to confide in, though my husband is my best friend.  I’m thankful that he does listen to me, for the most part.  It used to make me cry, wondering why I was so different.  It doesn’t anymore, because now I  understand.  It is just the way that I am.  It’s not that I don’t want to change, but there are times that I much rather be alone with my thoughts and my books.  I love reading, because they help me with my fantasy life.  I have an amazing imagination, that’s probably why I love to write.  But I won’t go there this time. 

So, if you see someone who doesn’t seem to want to be the life of the party, it may not be that they are terribly shy or standoffish, it could very well be that they just don’t feel like speaking but would much rather listen to what is going on around them.  And that’s not such a bad thing to be.

A New Year

Hello, friends, and welcome to the new year. Already more than halfway through the first month. Here I am. Still lost in a quandary. What to do? What to do? Where do I go in life? Where do any of us go in life? Presented with new opportunities due to a new year awash with new beginnings and new challenges, what do we do with them? So many of us begin the new year with such high expectations and goals, but slowly those fall to the wayside. With best of intentions, our hearts filled with excitement, we plow on, looking for that nirvana to change our lives around.

My goals? Get back into better health. Write. Write. Write. Daily. Then keep at it. I will push myself towards the goal of publication. No matter how difficult or panic-inducing, it will be done. How about you? Can you push yourself ever forward, not allowing fear to hold you back? You are worth it, dear friends. Don’t doubt yourself even when all those around you do. If it is something you want to achieve, then go right ahead and set your heart upon your goal. Lose weight. Get a new job. A new, solid relationship. Reconciliation with a former friend. So many possibilities out there to set your sights upon. Don’t give up on yourself. The rewards will be phenomenal. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. If you make it past the first month of the new year, you are way ahead of the pack.

So go ahead, make plans, and keep them. Set goals and go for it!

Happy In My Life

Blessings abound in the little things; like birds singing in the early morning while it is still dark. The rich scent of the earth after a good rain. Watching flowers begin to bloom and trees budding. I am in awe of the raw beauty of the earth in these warm, sunny days. I look forward to more of them; in fact I could say that I crave these types of days. It speaks to me of life and renewal and hope for the future. Sometimes in the busyness of life we tend to overlook the little things. Rushing from point A to point B, we don’t always notice the pretty flowers or take time to breathe in deeply of the pleasant smells around us. Even the barbeques, the lake or ocean water, the smell of suntan lotion, we tend to overlook at times.

I enjoy waking up early during these days of approaching summer. There’s something stimulating about getting up a bit earlier and getting a few extra things done, or just taking the time out while the house is still quiet, to perhaps read a book or the newspaper while sipping that first cup of coffee. Life is a beautiful gift. I don’t think we realize how precious it truly is, until we lose someone that we love. Each day is a brand new opportunity to love, to laugh, to grow, to learn something new, and to just be the best you that you can be.

I am changing, each day. I am becoming the person that I’ve always wanted to be. My mind is definitely more focused these past few months that I’ve been lifting weights and losing pounds and inches. I am more determined than ever to make the most out of each day that I am given. And there is so much to do. Work on my writing, reading for knowledge and pleasure, for staying in touch with friends and family, working out, running, enjoying time outdoors, gardening; and the list could go on but I’m sure that you get the point. I’m learning to live life and not to fear it so much anymore. My Asperger’s discovery has shown me that I am not crazy, just think differently than others do. And I am content with that knowledge.

I have my husband, my two sons, my crazy dog, and my family and best of all, I have my sanity. And, I can’t forget, I also still have my faith. Please remember that you are special and wonderful and unique and beautiful just the way that you are. You are not a mistake or some cosmic accident. You are meant to be. Make the most out of each day, grow and be at peace. Find love, be loved, and love in return. What a feeling. What a life. What a joy. What a miracle. Be good to yourselves and to others.

Just To Let You Know I’m Still Alive and Kicking

I got to see some dear friends yesterday.  We had a little party at our office for Valentine’s Day and it was fun.  I baked some cookies; some that were gluten-free and some that were not.  It’s alway good to see people you may normally not have the chance to see other than at holidays and what not.  It’ll be eleven years in August since I started working with them.  And honestly this is the longest job, besides being a mom, that I’ve ever had.  And you know why?  Because these are good people to work with, not for.  We’re a family.  And they treat us as such.  We work well together a team, as a job should be.  Working on the same side, not against each other.  I won’t say the name of the business, but it is a janitorial/carpet cleaning franchise that has been around since the mid-ninteteen forties.  This is the only job I’ve ever had that I felt accepted at.  I have good leadership which I will follow gladly.

There’s something to say about being happy to go to work each day, glad to be employed and content with what you do.  It’s rough out there.  I had tried to get a few church secretarial jobs but it’s hard to come by.  The last church I interviewed at had 87 people interview for the position.  I didn’t have much of a chance because I am not very computer-literate.  I know the basics, and that’s about it.  But yet I still return to the flock where I started out at when we moved to this area ten and a half years ago.

So to my fellow co-workers and partners, thank you for all that you’ve done for me in the past and what you still do today.  You are a breath of fresh air to the employment industry, actually caring about your employees and their families.  Thank you for providing me with a job and the ability to help support my household.  God bless you, John, Kathy, and Marilyn.