Tonight marks Rosh Hashanah, a.k.a. the Jewish New Year. Now, I know I don't talk much religion with y'all--just being polite really, since my beliefs tend to differ from…well…society...including my own Jewish community. But this is a big day, and as I've been preparing myself to greet the year 5771, I have, of course, turned my thoughts to my own parenting and wifing, as well as the care of myself. This time of year--as many New Year's celebrations can be--usually bring about thoughts of renewal and change. And indeed, it is always good to reevaluate what's going right and what's going wrong in your life and make adjustments as need be. For instance, my blender is a consumer model, and I think we all know that a professional model blender is more fitting for me.
This is the opportunity one takes to "change your life". Now, I am not in the habit of making "new year's resolutions", but I am in the habit of listening to my doctor when she tells me a few things. Turns out I had to see her last week because of some chest pain, and was told I have anxiety.
Nice. Like I need something ELSE to worry about.
It's not a coincidence that these pains started in earnest when I got the official diagnosis that Ben has Autism. I suppose there was a part of me that was hoping the "evaluation team" would come back with a report saying my child was just having a strange reaction to Pirate Booty, and to cut back a little. Or at least that my 3-year-old pirate should cut down on the pillaging and looting.
So, now is it not only time to start a new phase of therapy and work with Ben, it's also time for me to make some adjustments. Not only in my actions, but in my thinking. Easier said than done, I suppose.
It is easy for Autism moms (and dads) to stop caring for themselves because their focus is so targeted on their kid(s). Which therapy do I engage, how do I pay for it, how much floortime have I given today, when to change the diet, how can I get him a few more playdates, how to quell the meltdown, how to NOT sock other people when they look at you funny, how to sneak a flask into Mommy & Me Class--it's completely understandable how Anxiety can take over.
So now I guess it's time for me to relax. It's funny, though, I thought I WAS relaxing. Lately I've been taking the time to really examine my thinking about Ben's Autism and how I look at it. And that's not lip service folks. I've made a concerted effort to work in more yoga & meditation, and to ask Mr. Mommy for help when I feel overworked. I've been focusing on letting the negative go, and embracing positive thinking. I'm making a serious attempt to release myself from attachment and live in the now--right now. ( My old professor Harry Wells would be proud: he spent a great deal of time during my education trying to teach me the Buddhist concept of non-attachment. I was quite attached to my local brewery, you see.) I guess now that I am actually working on healthy thinking, my body has finally relaxed enough to let me know its been working on overtime for too long. It decided to catch up. And not just on drinking.
So...out with the coffee, in the with herbal tea. (snarl) Goodbye, chocolate. Hello, yoga. Goodbye, heroin. Hello, methadone...OK, not really, but I'm convinced that quitting coffee is harder!
So today, as I think about the last year whilst methodically chewing another chalky antacid, I will focus on what I need to do to take care of me--besides a daily cocktail and harping on the inequities of life. These next ten days between today and Yom Kippur, I need to focus my actions to be "inscribed in the book of life". It is the belief that G-d opens the book of life on Rosh Hashanah--a sort of muster for those in attendance, and closes it on Yom Kippur. This book contains your destiny, and it is a Jew's goal through the days of awe to recognize and confess your sins before G-d with true remorse so that you'll be put on the muster for another year. While I am not a literalist--I do like this concept of reevaluating and getting your shit together for another year. And while I may not believe that G-d is in charge of my destiny, I do know that I have to do more to make sure I am healthy and strong to keep up with all the men in my life: Mr. Mommy, Benji, and of course the terror of Fredonia Drive, Manny the seven-pound security task force Chihuahua . I need to be inscribed in THEIR Book of Life. It's a signature I'm willing to renew every year.
L'shanah Tovah, ya'll. May your year be sweet. You know, like Manischewitz--the FIRST time you try it.