Am I blessed or cursed?
That's actually not something I think of often, if at all, but I got thinking about it.
I'm a generally happy person, but is it because I have a happy life that makes me happy or is it because I choose to be happy?
The world, the overall general population, would say I have every right to be miserable.
In the world's perspective I have everything of importance working against me.
I'm not beautiful, rich, famous, skinny, or successful.
I don't have a big home, a fancy car, new furniture or appliances or even redecorate/remodel my home every other year or so.
I'm a minority... a religious minority. Because I am a Mormon (member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) I am judged by many for my beliefs, my actions, my choices, and my outward appearance.
All three of our children have an intellectual disability that brings our entire family into a world of minority as not everyone understands nor faces what we do every day.
So why in the world am I happy?
It's my perspective.
I don't want to be miserable so I am not going to dwell on the challenges I have, but instead let my face feel the sun and choose the bright side of life.
Our kids have so much anxiety that getting them out of the house to do things seems nearly impossible at times.
Marc and I could stay in our house all the time with them where they feel safe and we slowly waste away in our depression because we can't get out and do the things we love to do.
Or we can thank heavens for the people in our life who love to care for our children and invite them to spend time with our kids while Marc and I seek out adventure and excitement.
|meet-up for lunch|
|out with friends|
|camping, photo op and time alone weekend (St. George/Zion National Park)|
|learning a new skill together with a friend|
|trying to get in the date selfie for getting home|
|traditional weekend date|
|new adventures together with friends (Moab)|
|(Grand Staircase Escalante)|
|lone hikes for exercise and rehabilitation|
|on a date to the temple|
We could continue to leave our kids at home to fall into a stupor of consistency and predictability.
Or we can prepare them as much as we can to go on an adventure as a family to give them experiences and broaden their minds.
|A shot from my shoot at Brother's Homecoming while he teases his teacher|
|Taking the kids to Taco Bell for a Saturday lunch|
|Having Brother take a Ceramics class at school to stretch his comfortability|
|Getting the kids to play on Snapchat (sometimes a changing face can be quite scary)|
|Encouraging school field trips like this one to make a meal for the family|
|Prompting Brother to say "yes" when asked to a school dance|
|Getting Brother to the Dentist, then laughing because he said, "Well hello, pretty boy," to the dental assistant |
(laugh inserted here)
|Encouraging a day at Grandma's even when anxiety is high|
We could give up after Sister bites, hits, screams and threatens us for two days before a scheduled adventure.
Or we could plug through, tolerating the screams and rants until she gets in the car and realized that she can do this and remembers she actually likes adventures. (We even get to celebrate little victories like her seeing a Rest Stop sign and requesting that we stop at that Rest Stop so she can use the bathroom.)
|My effort to thwart the meltdown on the drive to Capitol Reef (sometimes pictures distract)|
|Brother had a few major panic attacks during our hike but we were able to work past them and make it to our destination.|
Hickman's Natural Bridge
|The kids LOVED this trip to Capitol Reef and was so successful that we think this may be the beginning of many more adventures outside of our hometown!|
We can wallow in the misery of having to change the diapers of our 7-year-old everyday, all day.
Or we can be grateful that she is starting to go potty on the toilet at school and, at least, give it a try somewhere.
We can dwell on the fact that Marc and I will never have grand children, sons/daughters-in-law, posterity or family reunions held in our names.
Or we can love everyone around us and hope that we can enjoy their grandchildren alongside our children in service or visits.
I can be mad at people for passing judgement on me because of my religious choices.
Or I can love them as the children of God they are and just know that they may not mean the harm I feel they do at the moment.
I can be offended by people's off-handed, snide, thoughtless or slight remarks about our children, their circumstances and our situation.
Or I can realize that not every one has walked in my shoes and they may truly not realize what they just said was very rude or degrading and be willing to teach them, be an example for them or just be strong enough to ignore them.
I can be worried all the time about whether or not our children have friends, are liked by their peers, or get invited to gatherings.
Or I can pray for the understanding and love of those who are involved with our children and the influence they have on their lives.
I could write a blog that just continually bashed the thoughtlessness and immaturity of people we come across.
Or I could write a blog to inspire those who don't understand Fragile X Syndrome or any other special need so that they can become more educated and understanding.
I could write a blog about every thing that is wrong or hard about Our Life and never give hope or dreams of a happy ending in our situation.
Or I could write a blog that is honest about the downs, but also focuses on the life lessons learned, the trials that bind, the light at the end of the tunnel or the humor in almost every life occurrence.
My perspective is what makes my life what it is.
I do have my times of wallowing in the misery of our trials and tribulations, but I refuse to do it for long or to let it keep me or my family down.
If there is a cow in the middle of the road I can yell and curse that there is something blocking my progression on the road and question God why he does not want to see me progress and move forward and then give up because I think he doesn't love me enough to allow me to move forward, or I can laugh about how funny it is to see a cow in the middle of the road, try honking my horn or get out and herd it out of the way or realize that there is another road that can take me to the same destination and then proceed on down my way while laughing about the seemingly funny moment that just occurred.
You can change it.