Day 313, Sunday 1st March
Grateful for homegrown produce and helping hands in the kitchen.
Thanks babe, great team effort Tomato relish
— with Karen.
Day 314, Monday 2nd March
Feeling grateful for wheat bags and panadol. Good night xx
Day 315, Tuesday 3rd March
To the inventor/s of chocolate ice cream,
I love you
Feeling grateful for life’s little luxuries
Day 316, Wednesday 4th March
Grateful to be in the arms of my girl tonight, being sick sux
Day 317, Thursday 5th March
Grateful for the reminder to shut my mouth
Day 318, Friday 6th March
So grateful that you are here tonight
Day 319, Saturday 7th March
Grateful that my body doesn’t ache like this all the time lol. Sick of being sick and thinking if I eat any more raw garlic my farts will start triggering a state emergency response.
Day 320, Sunday 8th March
Grateful for the opportunity to dump my personal weird on unsuspecting readers
Day 321, Monday 9th March
Surrounding myself with positive tonight in the hopes that some of it will rub off. Feeling pretty bleh right now and even though I know this is temporary, I am struggling to stay focussed on my goals and stay positive in my mindset.
So for now, I am just going to go with the reminder that it is okay to not be perfect, I really am so much stronger than I think I am and when it all boils down, I’m pretty fucking awesome and I need to keep that shit up lol.
Love you all, sweet dreams xx
Day 322, Tuesday 10th March
After more than a week of feeling crook, I think I’m finally on the home run. Decided to get out and go for a walk to clear my head a bit and ended up walking from Picnic Point to Goat Island. Feeling motivated and very grateful for the extra energy smile emoticon
Day 323, Wednesday 11th March
…and during the speeches and while you’re trying to talk to me and when anyone strange approaches and …. you get the idea 🙂
Yep I’m having one of those days sigh. Feeling grateful that it’s bed time
Day 324, Thursday 12th March
Tonight I had the good fortune to witness for the second time, the amazing talent of this wonderful group of performers.
As our stories unfolded, the artists transformed them in ways that made us laugh, cry and reminisce, but most importantly, made us feel valued. We all have a story, we all want to feel that we have been heard. Thank you to the Hobart Playback Theatre for another wonderful evening
Day 325, Friday 13th March
My English teacher was this cool. She inspired me to stretch myself, she never said, “you’re too young, you won’t understand.” She brought characters to life and showed me how relevant they are to my current situation and she instilled in me a life long love of learning.
Thanks mum, I owe you big time
Day 326, Saturday 14th March
It’s the end of a long day, I am tired, there are important moments being missed because of…..
Little things that barely get noticed
Small things that chew away the layers of time
Insignificant things that get in the way
Fiddly things that upend our days
In our way
And at the end of the day they are still mundane things
…. And I am still here and you are still there, being separated by little things.
Feeling grateful for the knowledge that not every day is like this
Day 327, Sunday 15th March
Every time I feel like giving up, something comes along to remind me that I can do this. I just have to believe it
Day 328, Monday 16th March
Given the amount of times I’ve ‘failed’ at life I can honestly say I’m not failing by default lol. Feeling grateful for opportunities to grow
Day 329, Tuesday 17th March
Feeling grateful for humour; it never ceases to amaze me how much a good laugh makes everything seem so much better. Thanks babe
— with Karen.
Day 330, Wednesday 18th March
I am very grateful that my sons ASD is not this severe. I take my hat off to all those who have to deal with this everyday.
It is heart-breaking when your child tells you that they are “too weird” and they wish they were dead. I too stand quietly while he learns to fit in to a world that doesn’t like ‘different’ and try my best to hold him in a safe space that allows him to grow quietly. Hopefully one day he will find his place in the world and realise that we are all different and that’s ok
I stand quietly while you do somersaults on the bed as you aren’t being naughty, you are just trying to get your out of sync body under control.
I stand quietly by the toilet door every time you need to go, and come with you around the house, and sometimes even just across the room, because I know you can feel truly frightened when you are not near me.
I stand quietly at the supermarket checkout while everyone stares at you barking like a dog and blowing raspberries on my arms to cope with the buzzing lights.
I stand quietly while you tell the baffled shop owner that you are looking for shoes that feel hard like splintered wood because your skin can’t bear soft things.
I stand quietly when the attendant gives us scornful looks when I ask for the key to the disabled toilet because the hand dryer noise is too overwhelming for you.
I stand quietly while the nice old lady who lives over the street tells me you wouldn’t be like this if you had siblings.
I stand quietly watching the part-cooked dinner flush down the toilet as the smell was becoming too strong for you to bear.
I stand quietly as you diligently brush your teeth even though it feels like the toothpaste is burning you.
I sit quietly while you scream at me, trying to control the panic you feel because I gently touched your head when brushing your hair.
I sit quietly while the teacher tells me she knows about autism and that you are not autistic and asks if I would benefit from some parenting classes.
I sit quietly while the GP, the occupational therapist and the paediatrician agree how bad it is but say that there are no resources to support us further.
I sit quietly while you cry because your friends say you can’t play with them any more because you tried to change the rules once too often, even though it was only so you could cope.
I sit quietly watching you desperately try on countless items of clothing, searching your cupboards, feeling the textures, knowing that we will have to cancel your beloved horse riding lesson again because they all feel too bad to wear.
I sit quietly as you explain to me that you can go to no more birthday parties and no more clubs as people are just too scary when they are excited.
I sit quietly when my family tell me that you will grow out of it, you just need more routine and earlier bed times.
I sit quietly and rack my brains for something for you to eat as everything you try today makes you gag and wretch until your eyes stream with tears.
I sit quietly when an old friend suggests I would be better off putting you on the naughty step and taking away a beloved toy.
I sit quietly all night whilst you sleep on the cold wooden floor with your head on my leg as you are really poorly but the warm softness of the bed that should be a comfort is making you feel worse.
I sit quietly while you try to regain some kind of control over your body in a meltdown, scared and sobbing and writhing about, hitting yourself harder and harder and begging me to hit you as hard as I can too.
I lay quietly with my back to you as my smell makes you feel sick and although we both desperately want and need to cuddle, you can’t bear to.
I lay quietly beside you when you tell me that you are the wrong sort of special and the wrong sort of different and you want to die.
It is one month until World Autism Awareness Week, so last night, rather than sit quietly googling for answers as I normally do, I wrote this open letter to share on social media. I wonder how many times people could ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ and ‘Tweet’ this over the next month? #istandquietly
I have had to learn to do these things quietly because my daughter needs me to. She is seven; bright, super funny, articulate, thoughtful and loving. She also has autism spectrum disorder. If you saw her on a good day, you’d maybe think she was a little shy and kooky. You’d maybe wonder why I am letting her wear flip-flops in the winter rain. You’ll never see her on a bad day as she can’t leave the house.*
She has severe sensory processing difficulties. A normal day exhausts her and when she feels overwhelmed, even a gentle voice trying to soothe her with loving words can be too much to process, making her feel crazy. She describes walking into a room of people as “like staring at the sun”. She’s incredibly empathetic but you may not realise as she feels her own and others’ emotions so deeply she can’t bear it, and so sometimes she has to just shut down. Forget about a hug. She is also desperately trying to come to terms with having a hidden disability that few people can understand.
This is just one story among thousands of different stories of autism, not everyone is like Rainman or like my daughter. I know it’s no great piece of prose but it’s from the heart. Thanks for reading: and I would appreciate it if you could please share to help autism awareness.
If you could donate something – however small – to help people with autism, well, that would be amazing – thank you.
*3 months of non-stop bad days and counting, not left the house since December 3rd 2014
This article was republished with permission from Dirty, Naked and Happy.
Day 331, Thursday 19th March
Feeling grateful for lots of little things today like….
Left-over fire wood from last year
Somebody else peeling the spuds and carrots (thank you Karen )
Nearly finished embroidering the face on a doll I’m making
Watched the final episode of Judith Lucy Is All Woman and as a result,
Ended up listening to I am Woman by Helen Reddy all afternoon
Day 332, Friday 20th March
Those of you who know me well, know that I hate crowds, especially when I don’t know anyone in that crowd. I’ve had some memorable anxiety attacks, (note: I’m NEVER going to IKEA again) and the only reason I didn’t leave the Dolly Parton concert was because I was hemmed in by about 10,000 people.
Today I had to help out at the Leighlands Twilight Fair on the Sumo wrestling stall.
Great! Crowds, strangers, screaming kids. All my favourite things lol.
I’ll be honest, I seriously considered bailing out. I knew I wouldn’t be the only parent to be a no show (I wasn’t) but I kicked my arse into gear and went anyway, because regardless of my fears, I do like to support my son as much as I can and this was one of those, “You really should do this” times.
I walked around for a bit, felt like a shag on a rock, ran into a couple of friends (Bonus!) and then headed to my hour of doom.
The thing is, I know my anxiety is largely based on false evidence appearing real, but when you’re in the centre of it, it’s all-consuming.
I eventually mustered up enough courage to talk to the people running it, found out what to do and went for it.
And it was as easy as that.
But there’s a side story to this.
At one point a young boy, about 3 or 4, with Downs Syndrome came over. He REALLY wanted to have a go but most of the kids there were primary or older and way too rough.
His dad asked if he could just put a suit on for a play, so we got him dressed up (so cute) and he stood there watching. The next lot of boys (3 grade Sixers) came on and the little fellow cracked it lol. He wasn’t having any of this watching shit, he wanted in.
I asked the older boys whether they were willing to give him five minutes of gentle, pretend sumo and they agreed.
Picture this, little sumo in the middle of the ring, three big sumo’s running around him pretending to get barrelled over every time the little fellow touches them. He had the biggest grin on his face and his dad’s was even bigger.
I’m grateful for two things tonight.
First, that I didn’t let my fear beat me and second, that I got to witness kindness and generosity from the 3 boys who put on this show. Whoever you are, thank you! I was very proud of you tonight
Day 333, Saturday 21st March
Grateful that the house is a whole lot cleaner than it was this morning even if I can’t move.
Grateful that I didn’t fall off the roof while cleaning the flue.
Even more grateful that it’s Saturday night and not Sunday night because tomorrow is gardening and by this time tomorrow night, I’m pretty sure I’ll be feeling 10 times worse
Day 334, Sunday 22nd March
Vege garden weeded
Pain in the arse tree blocking gutters, nearly all gone
Now I just have to mulch it all lol. Thanks for all your help babe. Love you xx
— with Karen.
Day 335, Monday 23rd March
Last night my sister asked me if I’d like mum’s memory box. Hell yes lol! Have had a great day reading through papers that mum had kept, adding my own special memories and all my journals.
Feeling very grateful, thanks sis
— with Sarah.
Day 336, Tuesday 24th March
Wow, really happy with the way this turned out. Think I’ll try it for the rest of the garden once I can move again lol. Feeling grateful for ice packs
Day 337, Wednesday 25th March
Day 338, Thursday 26th March
Today I thought I’d share Karen’s status because what happened 20 years ago, would eventually lead her to Tasmania and into my arms.
20 years ago, Karen was milking cows and I was one lol. Our lives couldn’t have been further removed and had you told me then, that I would one day be engaged to a really cool female scientist, I would have laughed at you.
We’ve both achieved a lot in that time babe, but today I want to say a huge congratulations to you. I’m so very proud of everything you’ve accomplished, you inspire me to keep achieving and I’m so very glad you chose to follow the path you did. Love you so much
Karen added 9 new photos.
20 years ago today my life was changed forever. I began a huge adventure which would take me some 12,500 km away from home and to Courtenay, BC, Canada. I gotto live and work with amazing people who became my family. I had the best views outside my bedroom window. I got to play soccer and make a life time friend in Danual. We got to go on an amazing road trip, with 9 trainees and a couple of friends tagging along, off to the 1995 Calgary Stampede. I got to milk cows in a freestall barn and then 6 months later move onto Ejstrupholm, Denmark and milk more cows, this time in a tie-stall barn, for another 6 months. Thank you so much to Lloydshaven Holsteins, and to Lloyd, Mabel and Barbara for opening you home and lives to me, I am forever grateful.
Day 339, Friday 27th March
Please help me
Day 340, Saturday 28th March
Feeling grateful that sometimes I remember that this is what the dr should be ordering
Day 341, Sunday 29th March
Absolutely, bloody, fantastic day lol. Heaps of gardening done and I can still stand
Thanks for all your help babe, we make a great team
— with Karen.
Day 342, Monday 30th March
For the fire to roar again
Embers have died down
So you want to be a writer?
By Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.
Day 343, Tuesday 31st March
Grateful that I don’t like corn dogs or anything remotely similar