New Year’s resolutions have always bothered me. The very thought I “have” to do something goes against my very nature. It’s like all the voices of those judging parents telling me what I should be doing with my child rolled into one. And now I’m supposed to pick something I feel obligated to do. Don’t I already have enough responsibiliies?
Having a child with Sensory Processing Disorder is like having a laundry list of shoulds and must-haves. Between occupational therapy (multiple times per week), speech therapy, child psychology, personal therapy and all of the stuff in-between, it was just too much.
Last year, I threw up my hands and declared, “Enough!” Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I picked two attainable goals for myself –ones I would enjoy that add nothing to my life other than having something else to think about other than Sensory Processing Disorder.
1. I decided to attain Yelp Elite. For those of you unfamiliar with Yelp, it’s an online company that publishes user feedback and reviews on restaurants, shopping, bars and local events. I get the real scoop on restaurants around me and honest recommendations on places to run to and run away from. I’m particularly in love with the Yelp app for iPhone. People offering insightful and useful feedback for other users on the site can become part of the Yelp Elite, being invited to free parties in the area. Oh yeah. I said FREE. And I needed something else to focus on, so I would steal five minutes here, ten minutes there. Before I knew it, I became one of the Yelp Elite. There was an odd satisfaction of meeting this goal. I had put my mind to something and GOT IT DONE, unlike doing the same thing over and over for Vman’s sensory issues and feeling like I wasn’t moving anywhere.
2. I decided to earn more than 1,000,000 points in Traveler’s Quest. Yes, this is where my geeky side comes out. Traveler’s Quest is a mobile game on the iPhone where people gather, bury and steal virtual treasure. I was traveling so much between appointments I once again needed something else to think about, otherwise I was going to scream. My brain was turning into complete mush carting my kids from one exhausting doctor and OT visit to the next. In the beginning, I found the game frustrating and slow. But that’s what actually kept me going. A year of playing, and I reached 1M.
Some people may scoff or think it weird to set such basic goals, but I needed something tangible to accomplish. Why would I want to torture myself with over-reaching ideals? Maybe in a couple of years I’ll be ready to declare that I will exercise with my kids every week, give up chocolate or finish at least one book a week. Right now, I’m too busy reading everything about SPD I can get my hands on, running my sensory site (www.thesensoryspectrumblog.com) and creating a new online community for special needs (www.voicesofspecialneeds.com). That’s just fine with me.
So what are my goals for 2013? Completely selfish! This year I’m promising myself at least one mom or friend connection a month. It’s too easy for life to get in the way of sitting down with friends for dinner or even a simple coffee. This year, I’m not putting up with that. 2013 is where I stop improving myself because I feel like I have to and start taking care of myself because I want to.