About Me,  Start Here

Being Better at Not Being Great

Letting go of a perfectionist mindset and embracing an authentic life.

Something Has to Change

New year’s resolutions, goals, and resets are scoffed at by many, but I find the act of contemplating the year behind me to be an effective exercise in determining what I need to change in the year ahead to be the person and live the life that I want to live. I haven’t always been very good at it, for sure-I’ve fallen into the trap of setting unrealistic goals to achieve some ideal that wasn’t even authentic to me, and failed over and over again. Over time, this damaged my mental health and self confidence and made me pretty unhappy with myself.

I never felt like I was enough. At work, at home, as a sibling, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter, as a neighbor, as a pet parent, then as a parent of a child. Why was everyone around me so put together while I was a hot mess? Other people have beautiful Insta-worthy houses, amazing wardrobes, fit bodies (and if they don’t they’re getting up at 5 am to work out and they’re losing weight), perfect no-makeup-makeup, taking amazing vacations, have confidence at work, and children that are perfect. What’s wrong with me?

Learning from Challenges and Isolation

COVID times really turned the world upside down, didn’t they? My life definitely changed-my responsibilities grew when my dad passed away and when my son received an anxiety/ADHD/autism diagnosis. Thankfully, my role continued to remain remote after many offices started transitioning back to a hybrid model of working.

The years I had working from my home office and being able to lean into my role as a mother made me question pretty much everything about myself, mindset, and values (a quiet house will start your wheels turning). Was this REALLY ME? Is THIS how I wanted to live-taking the whole world on my shoulders, blaming myself for everything under the sun, always feeling on edge, hating my body, hating my brain, berating myself for my kid’s challenges…was this how I wanted to live?

NO.

Asking for Help is Like Jumping Off a Cliff

So I did something that, to me, seemed absolutely CRAZY.

I asked for help.

This was akin to going skydiving. I don’t put myself out there, I don’t talk about FeElInGs-I bottle that sh!t up and it never sees the light of day. Imperfection and emotions were never a thing in my life. I was absolutely terrified, but I was more terrified of the increasing panic attacks and dying early and leaving my child without a parent (dramatic-yes. Over-dramatic-yes).

I asked acquaintances about how to be a parent to an autistic child. I asked friends how they balance parenthood and a career. I confessed to other friends that I was having a hard time with my body image and self esteem.

I asked for help, and I received it.

Being an Archaeologist and Excavating My Brain

The scariest step that I took was scheduling an appointment with a psychologist. Therapy was recommended by many people I spoke with to help me come to grips with being a parent to an autistic child. I will be honest-therapy was scoffed on when I was growing up, and looked at as something people did to get attention. Also, see above where I hate talking about myself and my emotions.

It was a slow start, and we took a hard left once we started talking because (unbeknownst to me) I had ~trauma~ to deal with. I spent about a year talking about things that I did not realize were impacting me so deeply and in such a harmful way. It was incredibly uncomfortable at times, and there were plenty of tears. But what a difference a year makes.

Looking Back at 2023

Honestly, the biggest difference in my life was therapy and medication. I am not ashamed to say that I take medication daily to balance the chemicals in my brain so that I do not experience overwhelming anxiety and depression. Balancing the brain was a key factor in my ability to shed the layers of perfectionism, responsibility, expectations and values that had been layered onto myself my entire life.

Without all of those heavy layers, I was able to SEE MYSELF, and damn-I’m pretty friggin fantastic! I’m not responsible for the emotions, reactions, opinions or perceptions of other people. I can speak up and have a challenging conversation or disagreement with my husband. I can decline forced social events. I can hold others accountable. I CAN SAY NO! I don’t expect myself to look like I did (or have the bodily function that I had) when I was 18 and captain of the swim team and a dancer. That was over 20 years ago!!

I used to feel tense ALL THE TIME. I was always in “fight mode”, on constant alert. The weight of the world rested on my shoulders. Now, I have a more realistic outlook on life and a better grasp of what is and is not in my control. I’ve also been able to identify what I need out of life to make me feel happy-ME, not my husband, my son, my family or what other people expect. And this has been a freeing experience.

On to 2024

So now, friends, I’m moving on to 2024, as are all of you. So here’s what you can expect from me:

  • Breaking blogging rules. Before I started this blog (and after) I read SO MANY ARTICLES about what makes a blog successful. I’ve tried to follow all the rules, but it just stresses me out. So I probably won’t do all the things I’m supposed to do, but I don’t care. My goal for this space has always been to give women who live life ~differently~ a space to come together as a community of people who GET IT and support each other.
  • Writing about my passions. I am more than just “a mom of a kid who is auDHD.” I am not my kid’s diagnosis, I’m a unique person with a bunch of interests. Food is my love language, drinks (boozy and non-boozy, caffeine and no caffeine) are where I get creative, I like to travel but prefer to be at home, I am ravenous about reading books for entertainment and for education, I am still figuring out my style, and my pool is my happy place. We will discuss all of it, because I bet you can relate to some of it.
  • Building better lifestyle habits. I have a family history of obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and strokes. The deck is stacked against me genetically, but I can’t continue to allow it to be an excuse. So I have a long, hard road to create better lifestyle habits and I will bring you along for the journey.
  • Peeking behind the curtains of PTSD, ADHD, anxiety, depression and autism. The challenges that families with loved ones who experience the world differently are not talked about enough, or in ways that the majority of people can understand. Ditch the perfection, roll up your sleeves and get messy because I am here for it.

Let’s Do This Together!

I’d like you to stop by, stay awhile and come back often. You can sign up for notifications on new blog posts but (breaking a blogging rule here) I understand that most people don’t want even more email and will most likely just delete it. How about a follow on Instagram instead-you’ll get an alert when there’s a new blog post and bite-sized content that will help you get to know me a bit better and let’s be honest-probably make you smile (or think). I’m on Pinterest too, and looooove to pin things.

Browse around, get a feel for this place and I hope to see you back soon!

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