Care About Cooking
I used to like finding and trying new recipes. Those impulses evaporated over many years of autism living. There’s no joy in making elaborate food that no one will eat. When your life is circumscribed by various disabilities, there’s also no joy in spending any excess energy AT ALL in making any food, period. The bare minimum will suffice. The joy of cooking hasn’t returned for me, and I’m okay with this. I still do enough to get by. Jeff cooks. Costco cooks for us. But we keep it simple, and my mental health is high-fiving me.
Magazines about fashion, home decor, travel, and generalized “lifestyle influencing” depressed the h*ck out of me. They made me and my life feel inadequate so guess what? I banished them. I prefer books. I curate what I read, and it’s not some what some dumb magazine editor somewhere decided is cool/important/on trend. When I think about getting rid of magazines from my life, I mentally assume a power pose. I basically AM Wonder Woman.
Put Up With Anyone on Social Media Who Thinks They’re Fancy
This started a few years ago when I unfollowed everyone on IG, except for my friends and all the National Parks. Grand Tetons at sunset, yaaasss. Grand Canyon during a rainstorm, um yeah. Bison trudging through the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone, fill up my feed please! I could NOT EVEN handle any more social media in my life that featured overly-groomed accounts of people whose lives were less real life and more influencer-ish. I also unfollowed anyone trying to sell me something. It was making me hate social media. I did the same thing with Twitter, but it was a big fat unfollow for anyone who tweets using the F word, which is, surprisingly, almost everyone. After this blessed and blissful purge, I took back my feeds and have added in news accounts and others who I don’t personally know, but who have something authentic, honest, and vital to offer. Who’s in control here? It me.
Compare Myself to People/Their Lives
There’s nothing good that comes from this rookie mistake. But it’s also something I just absolutely had to learn from lots of living. It’s also a byproduct of becoming my own biggest advocate. When you know, understand, accept, and like yourself, you can be kind to yourself while also seeing other people as who they really are. I have no business comparing humans. It’s so much nicer seeing me as me and other people as themselves, and not worrying about sorting, structuring, ranking etc.
Worry About Jack
I think about him all the time. I pray for him multiple times per day. I love him. But I don’t worry about how he is doing. I don’t fret over his new life and the fact that it’s largely out of my hands. I attribute this to my Heavenly Parents teaching me about Jack’s purpose and his peaceful spirit. Through dreams and insights/promptings that came as I read scriptures, exercised, showered, and drove, the Spirit has instructed me in Jack’s valor. I know now that he’s fine. He is completely fine–inwardly and outwardly happy, and I am so grateful.
I don’t fear it anymore, because I’m not the sole caregiver for a kiddo who needs intensive, one-on-one care by big burly men 24/7. And this year we aren’t watching my dad die. So the season is back to being joyful and a gift in an of itself, you know, because of Jesus.