Finding Happiness in Your Winter


So many of us believe true happiness should come easy, handed to us free of charge, or that it is elusive and reserved for the selected few. When we do manage to grasp it, it is temporary, lost again to another external circumstance.

We blame the circumstance for stealing our happiness and believe we could be happy “if only.”

Ironically, it is in the cold, bitter winters of our lives where all is seemingly barren around us, that we unearth the true meaning of happiness. We must dig deep inside for strength, and in these times of introspection, we discover happiness is an internally driven condition without dependency on external circumstances.

Where we once sat around blaming winter for not blooming flowers for us, we now know how to find the warmth of the fire in the coldest of winters.


Life is good….even if it is covered in coffee stains

coffee love

Life is good…even if it is covered in coffee stains.

My daughter was working on a report on my computer, and I happened to have a full cup of coffee next to the computer. She bumped the coffee and some of it splashed on my computer, but the majority of the spill landed on her papers. (My computer is fine except the ‘five’, ‘six’ and ‘dash’ keys no longer work)

After my daughter’s gasp at the unexpected accident, she calmly got up and grabbed some paper towels. She then dabbed the coffee off of the papers, and carefully placed them on the kitchen table to dry. The only thing she said was, “Sorry, I didn’t know that mug still had coffee in it. The papers are coffee(dash)stained, but my teacher can still see all the work is done.”

Wow, where did this girl come from? If she cried over spilled coffee or got angry that I left a full cup in her work space, I would have understood. But she did none of that. No matter whose fault it was, the situation was what it was. She took responsibility for herself and the situation was handled. Life was still good, even if it was covered in coffee stains.

We adults have acted with less maturity then my 8(dash)year(dash)old girl. I know I have!  Sure, our problems might be equated to a scalding pot being poured directly into our laps. And, ouch, that is going to scar! Yet, no matter who did the spilling or why, the only thing we have control over is our own reaction. It’s up to us whether we want to linger in the mess, and surely we’d be justified in doing so, or we can dab it up the best we can and move on.

Or, wait, maybe the lesson to be learned here is to quit drinking coffee? But to me that would mean not really living. So, back to where I started: Life is good…even if it is covered in coffee stains.

The End.

Keep a grateful soul…there is always something to be thankful for no matter how difficult the day is.



Why I Was Chosen

Wil Calendar 2008 001

I was talking with another parent of a child with special needs yesterday, and he commented that, for one reason or another, we were chosen. I wonder sometimes, why? Why me?

Not in terms of regret, but in terms of what do I know that someone else wouldn’t? Why would I be chosen, I’m not equipped for this. I have no experience, why put this precious child with these challenges in my hands? But, after I took some time and thought about that, I think that is exactly why.

Parents like me are scared and are in unknown territory, so we forge ahead because we don’t know what else to do. We scrape in the dark, seeking options and supports, learning new medical terms and programs and what they really mean for our child, what ways our child learns best so they can thrive in a society not built around their abilities, and we ponder the big question of who will take care of our child when we leave this earth.

As we navigate, the answers are like sparks of light, and they are beautiful. We can’t help but appreciate every success to the fullest, no matter how big or small, and when we meet new parents, we know exactly how they feel, how full of questions that walk ahead can look, and we have a strong desire to put our arm around them, and walk with them through those dark times, telling them keep walking, keep going, there is a light, and it’s the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, and though you don’t know it right now, you will be thankful for this walk, thankful that it is you that was chosen.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month – Day #15


How can you promote acceptance and awareness?
Share your stories, the good times, the sad times, all of them. They matter. Without them, we are left alone with our misconceptions.


October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month – Day #14


How can you promote acceptance and awareness?

Be patient with me….I can do the same things as you, I just need more time and may learn a little differently.

I’m a visual learner, so flash cards, books, and visual demonstrations give me a better understanding (My sister, Katherine, is great at giving me visual examples to help me with my homework!)


What fills you up?


What fills you up? What gives you that filled to the rim feeling?

I get it from running and advocacy.

Last Saturday, I ran my first half-marathon for both myself, and to raise awareness in the National Down Syndrome Society Your Way Campaign.

Talk about being filled to the rim! My two favorite passions wrapped up into one. That run had meaning and then some!

Fast-forward to today, and that race is almost a week past. It’s over, fini, the end, all she wrote, the fat lady has sung.

I’m left with the feeling, ok, you did good, pat yourself on the back, now what have you done for me lately?

Its clear I have a touch of the post-race blues and its time to move on. I just need a little inspiration to do so.  I’m sure that inspiration will return by registering for another 1/2 marathon and joining another campaign.

During the training and campaigning I did for this first 1/2 marathon, I received many an “atta girl!” from friends. Even though I was internally motivated, my friends’ encouragement inspired me even more. The more inspired I became, by default, the more I found I inspired others.

So, I write this with both selfish and altruistic intentions. I write to inspire myself to get going again, and by default, to inspire you to move forward on whatever it is you are holding back on.

Keep on keeping on, my friends!



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