Tee's Blog

The Adventures of an American in Belfast

I think I’ve said it before

But I’ll say it again;

Constant pain can be gotten used to. Even expected and treated like a friend. An annoying friend, but something that is always there.

Sudden unexpected pain cannot. But it usually passes quickly.

However, sudden unexpected recurring pain can never be gotten used to, nor does it pass quickly.

All day today I have had sudden unexpected recurring pain in my upper left arm. Just sitting, not moving that arm, just surfing the web and BAM pain.

Just for a second. But sharp. Like someone stuck me with something sharp.

And then it’s gone.

And then it’s back.

And then it’s gone.

And then…

And it’s exhausting. It’s mind blurring. It’s debilitating. It’s distracting.

It’s why I wanted to clean my whole downstairs today but only managed to do the dining room a bit of the kitchen.

It’s why I want to pitch to clients and/or join a freelancers site but don’t because I don’t feel I can commit to deadlines.

It’s why my son watches so much TV in the afternoon.

I just want to be a normal, healthy 46 year old.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Adam is…

Sweet
Funny
Kind
Thoughtful
Frustrating
Snuggly
Crazy
Exasperating
Five, nearly six
50 pounds
Nearly four feet tall

And as of today

Officially Autistic.

It’s nice to have it official.

It’s nice to be able to say “Adam is autistic” rather then “Adam has as yet undiagnosed SEN”.

I used to think ASD was a terrifying thing. That it meant the person was broken, unfixable.

Now I know there is nothing to fix. Just a brain that is wired differently.

He’s in good company. Many people who have accomplished many amazing things are on the spectrum or suspected to be so.

I am sure whatever he becomes, he will be amazing too.

And, yes, you read that right.

He’s 46.8 inches as of a few months ago.

Or the average size of a 7 year old.

My good, big boy, as always.

So, Yesterday…

Was my 46th birthday.

I’ve been struggling quite a lot with this birthday and I’m not really sure why.

I mean, I know part of it is that I’m now officially closer to 50 than 40 and 50 seems huge.

40 wasn’t huge because I was 20 weeks pregnant at the time with the baby that would become my wonderful little boy. So I was huge, but the birthday wasn’t. :D

me and adam today and yesterday

Adam when he was the baby on the interior and yesterday when he was the boy waiting for the school bus.

 

I am, for the most part, happy and content with my life. I have a husband and son whom I love. I have more creative energy than I’ve had at any point in my history. And I enjoy what I do every day.

Yes, I’m sore. A lot. My arms ache and my legs ache and I’m tired a lot of the time. Such is life with Fibromayalgia, after all.

But I’ve been spending the time leading up to yesterday trying to figure out why it seems so huge and reflecting on my life.

And I recognize that I am not where I thought I’d be by this time in my life. I thought I’d be a published writer (well, I am, but only on the ‘net) and/or a professional theatre designer or at least fairly high up in the career that I started on at Kaiser about 20 years ago.

All of which was derailed, very firmly, by my first psychotic break at 25.

But I am, as I said, happy and content.

So why is 46 so hard?

It’s not the signs of ageing. I know I don’t look 46, for one thing. And I don’t really mind the signs that do show my age; my grey hair, my laugh and frown lines and the fact that I seem to be getting my mother’s hands, but without her lovely long thin fingers. :D

So…why is 46 so hard?!

I have no idea…

 

I just realized

That the reason I can’t relate to most designers and design blogs is because their bios start something like “Graduated LI School of Design, 2008.”

That’s a design person who is so much younger than me, having graduated from UofI in 1995 (or 94, I can never remember), that we barely speak the same language.

That’s a design person who might just look at me funny when I do some quick thumbnails, by hand (yes, even with my arthritic fingers, sometimes you just have to put pencil to paper), before sitting down at my computer for research and beginning layout.

This is most definitely a person who has never done all of their research in a library without an electronic card catalogue and from books and magazines.

Some of their ideas are revolutionary, true. And I can admire their work and I often share their work.

But I don’t think we could ever go have a drink and a conversation about design or much else.

It’s official.

Credit: School Cipart

Credit: School Cipart

 

 

I want the young whipper-snappers off my lawn!

Plus la change…

This week on Agent Carter, set in 1946, Agent Peggy Carter used the excuse “girl things” with the men in her office to get a day off so she could go do agent stuff.

Today I added “girl things” to our Tesco order that I forgot to get when I was in town earlier, rather than send my husband and son to get them for me tomorrow. Not that they wouldn’t, but I’ve taken Adam with me before and it was less than fun. He’s a very curious boy, after all.

As I’ve said before; nothing really changes.

And that’s rather sad.

 

Edit, 10/1/15 – I just realized, re-reading this, that if things are to change, we need to change them. Next time I will send Adam and Simon to buy them. And answer any questions Adam has about it. Which I have done before, actually. As I always answer any and all questions from the floor.

So today

In England:

A convicted rapist gets a multi-million pound contract, mostly paid for by his future father in law who apparently has no issue with his daughter marrying a convicted rapist. Did I mention he’s a convicted rapist?

In Paris:

A group of men mowed down members of a satirical magazine in Paris. Last time I checked, it was 12 dead, at least 20 injured. Gunmen still at large.

In the US:

The NAACP may or may not have been part of a terrorist attack. But everyone is claiming there’s no coverage because it involves whatever the PC term is for black people today. It was People of Colour, but I was told that was offensive. Okay. Anyway, the coverage I’ve seen (AP wire on The New York Times site) says they have no idea if it was a terrorist attack at all. And it didn’t do much damage and no one was hurt. There’s enough target racist stuff that happens every day. Can we not get up in arms in something that isn’t?

And that’s the world today.

Sucks, don’t it?

 

 

I’m trying to figure out

When I stopped reading books.

I have never stopped reading, I read all the time. But I read websites or fanfiction or glance through magazines. Until about a month ago I don’t think I had read a book for more than a year.

Why did I stop? I love books. I love reading. I always have. In elementary school I read a book a day. And got teased for it. A lot. But that was one tease I never minded. Because I knew books were cool.

I guess I stopped reading them when I got my first iPhone, when Adam was about one, so four and a half years ago.  It was easier, while dealing with the great unsleeping child, to read something on my phone. Oh, I had eBooks, but I didn’t even really read those.

I suppose exhaustion made it easier to read short things, little bits of information and entertainment.

And I’m not sure what brought me back. A lack of other things to read, I guess. I logged onto OverDrive and into my library account with Libraries NI and looked around. And stumbled on Tess Gerritsen, who I’ve read before, and grabbed book one of Rizzoli and Isles and started reading. I am in the middle of Book 7 now.

I also bought a book by Mark Billingham from Amazon over the past week because I had a voucher and he was recommended on GoodReads and had Simon pick me up the first book in a new series (well new to me) by Laurie R King, in actual book form, from the library today.

And I’m having trouble getting anything else done.

Because all I want to do is read.

I’ve seen people asking this Christmas:

How did you find out Santa wasn’t real?

I never thought he was real.

Santa!

From the time I was born until my father married my Catholic step-mother when I was seven, Christmas wasn’t my holiday. My holiday was Chanukah with the eight presents stuffed into the closet in the utility room and my brother and I lighting the menorah and then picking one to open that night.

So my first Christmas was when I was 7. And as my brother and step-sister and I were trying to go to sleep, there was a lot of banging going on upstairs (my dad and his family lived in a reverse condo with the sleeping area downstairs and the living areas up-stairs) so I got out of bed and went to the bottom of the stairs and yelled up to please keep it down.

My dad’s response? “We’re putting the presents out!”

So much for Santa. :D

I hope everyone had a lovely and peaceful holiday this year and that everyone has a fantastic 2015.

Book? Cover? Never judge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about an old friend of mine lately. Heads are like that, aren’t they? You’ll be walking down the street and someone you haven’t thought about in a long time pops in there and you smile or you frown or you laugh or maybe you cry.

I think this friend came to mind because I was just out for the evening with my friends this past weekend, for our Christmas dinner. These are all women that I know because they are the mum’s of Adam’s friends. We always have a great time when we are together, whether for a coffee or drinks or dinner. We laugh and we lament and we talk about our kids and our spouses/partners/whatevers and we dance and we drink and we have a great time.

So I guess I was thinking about friends in general and this old friend of mine popped into my head. She was gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. Someone people look at when they walk down the street. Someone who part of me still thought ‘she’ll never be my friend’ about, even after we were good friends. She always exuded such confidence you could never imagine her being insecure about anything.

Just don’t.

But she was. Like this past weekend, we were heading out in a group one night. We were not mums. We were just friends going out for drinks and dancing and to see what might happen. Yes, we were all single. ;)

My friend rang me just before I was about to leave (This is before mobile phones. Yes, I am that old.) freaking out. Why? Because she had just coloured her hair and she wasn’t sure she liked it or that it suited her and oh my god what had she done, no she wasn’t coming and so on.

A freak out I’d bet every woman, and some of the men, reading this have had. Whether about their hair or their make up or their LBD. Moments of insecurity. Yes, even my gorgeous, so confident friend had her moments.

I calmed her down, told her to meet me and told her she was gorgeous (and she was) when we met up.

And I was grateful I had stomped on my own insecurity long enough to get to know this woman who I at first thought ‘would never be my friend’. Who I still sometimes thought that about. Even when I was the one she called when she was having a crisis of confidence.

And now, about 20 years on, I look at my friends, my son’s friends’ mums, and know they are my friends. And I am their friend. And we can call when we have a crisis of confidence. Or have a child who needs picking up. Or a cup of sugar or help moving house or anything really. And I hope no one is judging any of us.

Because none of us are our covers.

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