Looking up and out


When perched on the fence, knees bent and ready to spring over to the grass that looks greener on the other side, stop for just a moment, lift up your head up and look out ahead of you. You will see even greener, lusher pastures. You might need to pull up your boot straps and do some trekking to get there, but once you are there, the freedom is all the more exhilarating for the trek.

When so wrapped up in our own lives, we don’t realize the value of taking a moment to pause, and really take a look at where we are headed.  Sometimes things get so difficult, we simply want out, and it doesn’t really matter where getting out takes us, because just about anywhere would be a relief to where we are now.  So, we jump, and though we may have landed in a new lawn, there is still just as much dog crap here as there was in our yard, just from a different dog.

Think of this time to pause and take stock of our lives as a gift to ourselves.  Its hard work, giving this gift to ourselves, it might even take therapy or leaning on a trusted friend, but the rewards are all the sweeter if we stay true to who we are and keep putting one foot in front of the other instead of making a quick jump for a quick fix.

Do not underestimate the value of introspection and doing what is right for YOU. If you truly take a look at yourself, and what you need in life, you will find a drive to move forward like no other, and you will pursue it and reap the rewards of the pursuit. I’m not talking about rebelliousness…the thoughts of “hell with you, I’m doing this.” That is based in selfishness. If you find that true fire within, it doesn’t mean there aren’t the naysayers stopping you at every turn, but there is a strong inner confidence that what you are doing is right.  Their comments, even those that are well meaning, have no effect on you.  You don’t feel the anger of rebellion, rather, you are able to send them feelings of love, understand that they don’t, won’t or can’t understand, and keep on keeping on.

I have jumped to the lawn next door. Its great for awhile, relieves some pain, but then I started to realize I was surrounded by the same old crap, different dog. What I had to change was myself first, only then would my surroundings change. Its hard work changing yourself, but wow, I can not describe how empowering it is. I have had to pull up my boot straps and walk through some stuff, and I know I will have to pull them up again, but since I’ve done it once, I have the confidence to do it again because I know the sweet results of that work.

I credit my son, Wil, for this drive, passion and change in me. When he was born, and we received the news he had Down syndrome, I wanted to jump. I was scared and didn’t know where to turn. But,  I looked up and out, and found supports and people who are very strong, and are there for me, and now I have the strength to be there for them.  They opened up my view to  what a beautiful life my son would have and what joy he would bring to our family. Wil is pure joy….words can not describe how he holds my heart.

Life with a child with special needs is not an easy life.  Working with Wil to help him achieve the most he can has simply become part of our daily routine.  Because this has become a typical part of our life, I sometimes forget how much energy it takes. Then, I’ll go somewhere with my twin daughters without Wil, and realize how much time and energy I spend on Wil, and can appreciate this time alone with my girls all the more. So, this experience of having a child with special needs has taught me to appreciate what real quality time is, and I’ve also learned that because something is easy, it doesn’t automatically mean its good, and that some of our biggest challenges can bring us the biggest rewards.  Receiving the rewards of looking forward at all that my son and daughters can be, pulling up my boots straps to make that happen, and making our treks together to new places is what is good…very, very good.

Even though it may not look like it, there are ALWAYS greener pastures ahead. Its just really hard to see them sometimes, so do yourself a favor to take the time to look. We may have to hop some fences, slosh through some mud, and lean on a friend for awhile, but the trek is all part of it, and easy does not always equal good.

All the best,



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