Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happiness is an Inside Job

Normally I hate bumper stickers. Mostly I think they're cheesy, but partly I'm not sure I support any one thing strongly enough to permanently attach a sticker about it to my vehicle. (Ignore the Canucks sticker on our van. Probably wasn't the best choice to feel passionately enough about them). 

Yesterday however, I saw a bumper sticker I loved. Don't get me wrong - I still wouldn't have bought I because the font was horrible. But the message. The message was beautiful. 

"Happiness is an inside job."

Aren't those the truest words ever?!

If I have learned anything over the past few years, it is that happiness is a state of mind. Full stop.

Happiness is a choice. There is no way around it. I have had to make that choice time and time again. Would it be easier to sit around and feel sorry for myself? Most of the time yes. But I made a choice not to do that. I chose to look for happiness inside of myself, and by doing so, I open myself to all the happy things around me. 

There is a reason that we all look in amazement at very happy people who happen to have so many fewer material objects, yet so many more legitimate troubles than most of us. Because happiness to them is where it is most important - in their hearts. And by having happiness within ourselves, we are able to not only give happiness to, but receive happiness from, others. 

Little boys in Peru playing soccer with taped on sandals and a rolled up bag of garbage for a ball. Defining their own happiness right there. One of the most joy filled things I've ever seen. 

There are a whole lot of true victims out there who choose to be survivors by seeking their own happiness, often without any means of support other than their own fortitude. There are also, sadly, a lot of people who choose to succumb to their not-so-great situation and wallow in the victim category, when their lives are actually incredibly full if they'd open their eyes. (I should hope it's obvious - I'm not talking about someone who is suffering from the depths of depression. I know that isn't a choice.) But under normal circumstances, choosing to be a survivor is always an option. 

Happy Easter weekend, friends. Go find the love and happiness and fill your bucket with it! (Also - fill your bucket with some easter candy. I plan to.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Hard Work Pays Off

This little cutie (and his brother) spent hours and hours and hours and hours doing therapy.

And seeing specialist after specialist after specialist.

I spent hundreds (thousands?) of hours researching every way we could possibly help Asher reach his fullest potential.

Obviously all of that paid off. But man oh man was it some work.

Today, I had the day "off" work with the kids on spring break. I use "off" loosely, because I was just reminded how much work my life with the boys used to be.

This morning we had an at home visit with Asher's school aged therapists. This afternoon we had an appointment with the seating clinic, followed by a social visit to their early intervention therapy centre. I spent the hours in between researching charities that may help us with the $4000 the government won't cover of the $7000 standing frame Asher needs. After that I dealt with the start of rush hour, and now here I am drinking a late afternoon coffee to help me prepare for the regular activities of the evening.

I am exhausted. And I am absolutely blown away by the fact that this used to be my life.

That realization helps put my exhaustion as a working mom into perspective. Yes, I still have just as much on my plate - but it is different now. I do something during the day that is fulfilling for me. Although Asher still is, and will remain, physically dependent in many ways, his independence grows and astounds me daily. The kids and life in general keep me busy and tired, but it is not the same. A type of tired that going forward I will be a bit more thankful for - comparatively at least.

To those moms currently in the trenches with young ones with some extra challenges - hold on. You'll get there. I know you are exhausted. I know you feel like you're not going to be able to hold together all the stress and appointments and life in general. I know your life feels more chaotic than you ever imagined - because it is. But one day, it'll ease off, if just a little bit. And if you're like me, it'll happen without you even realizing.

This life. Happy, challenging, ever-changing and enlightening. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

SUMI, the Paralympian

How cool is this?

Looking back at baby pics with the boys, we noticed Asher wearing his Olympic onesie in the NICU during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Guess who he's wearing? SUMI, the paralympian! And notice what SUMI's sport is? Sit skiing!

Sumi, the Paralympic Mascot, is an animal spirit who wears the hat of the orca whale, flies with the wings of the mighty thunderbird and runs on the furry legs of the black bear. With a name that is derived from the Salish word ‘sumesh,’ meaning ‘guardian spirit.

It was always meant to be...