Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Little Miss Partly Sunny

I've been thinking recently about how much whining I can do without thinking about it. 
It's not necessarily out loud, but an internal dialogue that seems to find fault with many situations.

But I have been attempting to change this.
Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that it is healthy to be perma-positive.  
I think that it is smart to want more from life and seek it out.  
But here is the question: Do I acknowledge one good thing for every negative thing I complain about?

If you are like me the answer is probably "no".  
I consider myself a positive person.  
I do well in a crisis and can usually see the sunny side of a situation.  
But the internal dialogue is what I am getting at.

For those of you who don't know, I work in the disabilities field.  
The non-profit organization I work for serves adults and children with disabilities. 
I work in the Early Intervention area of the organization.
That is, I deal with the under 3 crowd.

I have thought to myself on many occasions, "How is anyone born healthy?"
It's amazing to see how many problems can affect the life of a child.  
Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Trisomy, Tetrasomy, Speech Delay, Hypotonia, Seizures, Blindness, Deafness, Prematurity, Feeding Tubes, Transplants, and the list goes on and on.  I see these and more every day.
What's more amazing is that life goes on.

When I am thinking things like:
"My commute is taking too long."
"The TiVo deleted my show."
"There was a mix up at the store and I got charged $5 too much."

Parents of these amazing children are thinking things like this:
"He will never walk."
"She will never talk."
"What will happen to our family?"

But more often than not, they come across as "Partly Sunny".
They know their child is not going to meet the same milestones as other children.  
And they continually work on adjusting their expectations.  

It ends up sounding like this:
"He just took his first step!" - He's two.
"She learned to sign 'more'"
"We have an amazing support system."
"We will love him as long as he is here."

It's difficult to constantly hip-check yourself when the negativity arises.  
I think about some other blogs by people facing tougher situations.  

Were your newborns able to come home from the hospital with you?  They weren't.

Did your wife get to hold her firstborn? His didn't.

Are all of your children alive? Hers are not.

Did your child live more than 100 days? He didn't.

Can your child be understood?  His can't.

I guarantee that the blogs above will touch you.  These people never shy away from talking about the tough stuff.  

I do not like to have what I call the "starving children in China" mentality.
It's no use constantly beating yourself up for feeling down or like you want more.  
It's healthy to have times when you are not completely satisfied with life.
However, it's no use to compare your life with another person's.  
That is not why I brought this up or linked to these stories.  
I just think that we can all learn a little about enjoying what we have.

Be grateful for what you have.
Strive for better.
Complain less.
Celebrate the small things in life.
Love your family and say it out loud.

Okay, stepping off my soapbox. 

Therapy sessions run $200 an hour.  I take cash, check and PayPal.  
I don't accept insurance (but really who has it anyway.  What is this, a Socialist state?!)

(DISCLAIMER: I don't agree with the political/religious views stated on some of these blogs, but their stories are worth looking past that.)

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