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Lazy Sunday in Which My Mind Runs Circles Around Me

January 9, 2011

I had planned to do a research-based blog today about impaired diachronic thinking in children with autism, but I got sidetracked while looking to see what research literature there is on the subject (not a lot from what it appears, but enough to do an interesting piece on it). I ended up reading through a couple articles on the broad autism phenotype in family members that I hadn’t run across before and thought I might write on that instead. Ah, but then I got sidetracked again when I started downloading pictures while simultaneously trying to read the latest news on that horrible shooting yesterday.

Bah, I decided, too much mental work, and I’d be the rest of the day here trying to work through either research-based topic, when there are other more exciting things to do like going through the girls’ closets to weed out the outfits that have mysteriously shrank and left them looking awkward because they’re sizes too small on them. Okay, maybe that’s not more exciting, but it’s probably more important.

I’d wanted to get another research-based piece in before the semester started back up because I don’t think I’ll have a lot of time in the next four months for writing research-based pieces, but if that’s not to be, oh well. I have a feeling y’all won’t mind terribly.

Stress is something we are all too familiar with, and we need to find ways to unwind and decrease the stress response. After all, as Robert Sapolsky is fond of saying, we aren’t zebras or lions only occasionally activating the flight-or-fight response: the way we continually activate our stress response dozens of times a day isn’t good for us and contributes to all sorts of illnesses and diseases.

My commitment to myself this spring is to work at eliminating those stressors that I can. Between my immediate little family and my extended family, there are a significant number of challenges we face. Adding in avoidable negative stressors on top of that makes no logical sense. One of those illogical stressors has to be reading some of the folks I have in the last 22 months.

With seven courses to teach this semester, my free time will be limited, and to waste that on reading continually negative, vituperative posts at the angry place seems a foolhardy proposition. If it’s really important and I’m alerted to it, I’ll cover it if I can, but otherwise I’m going to give AoA all the attention it deserves: none.

I hope those of you who read the blog mostly for those kind of posts will understand the switch. We have to counter them, absolutely, but sometimes we counter them by being the opposite of them. The autism blogs directory is the opposite of AoA (and note the inclusion of some AoAers over there). It is meant to build community, and I think we are. When folks looking for autism information do a google search, my hope is that they’ll find one of the directory bloggers before they find AoA.

Of course, another way we counter them is by providing accurate information on autism, on treatments, on vaccination. We have dozens upon dozens of bloggers listed at the directory doing just that. Their work is important and necessary. Some are smack-down bloggers, some are lower-key, but there is a diversity of voices to tackle these issues. There are thousands of blogposts out there that do that.

Another reason for devoting less time to those direct-counter posts involves my decision to become active in volunteering in my local community in regards to autism, leaving me less time to work on response posts. In future posts I’ll talk about the volunteering, the specifics of what I’m doing and why.

Lastly, as I said in an early post, writing about my family, about some of my other interests, all of these leave me the better for having done it. They are a balm. They anchor me in our community and allow me the support that I need from fellow bloggers.

We need to find the good; we need to write about the good, so that we can find some balance. At the same time, we have to be free to talk about those things that are hard, are difficult, are discouraging. We need to be able to get support when we are at our lowest. We need to cut ourselves some slack and while we’re at it, work hard to cut others some slack. And that finishes the soapbox portion of the post. 🙂

If you were bored yesterday with the cats and kids photos, well, oops! Here’s some more. Lil’s room is finished. She’s delighted with it. It’s lovely when we can please our kids with some paint and shelves (and the new bed).

 He’s such a good looking cat!
 Ibit is, too, though.
 The girlies playing last night.
 The joy Rosie can display lights me up.
 Lil admiring her custom made shelves.
 Sponge bob.
 A new closet door!
 Lucy vegging in Bobby’s room.
The books Bobby is reading right now.
I love that all the kids read multiple books at a time.
I have no idea where they got that from! 😉

Happy Sunday! Tomorrow I return to work, so I’m not sure how that will impact blogging. I’m wordy, so it may make no difference at all. I hope you all have a great day and an even better week!

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