In the summer, readers run away from blogs like swimmers running out of the water away from the shark in Jaws (We’re going to need a bigger blog).
So what do you do in a blogging slump? Post more? Less? Write longer or shorter posts? Add more pictures of cats? More tweets, likes…eat more chocolate? Or just accept it and take a break for the rest of the summer? Acceptance is such a strange thing, isn’t it? It can be positive – you accept a gift, get accepted into a club, accept an award, or it can become something you feel forced to do, such as compliance or acquiescence.
I accept The Imitation Game was a brilliant film starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who apparently can’t be anything but astonishing) about WWII. I don’t accept it’s completely factual, clearly they took certain liberties such as Cumberbatch portraying Turing as though he had Asperger’s Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s Hollywood pretending everyone who’s a genius has Autism, or because they wanted Cumberbatch to play Turing more like Sherlock.
Joan Clarke (played with dazzling brilliance by Kiera Knightley) wasn’t recruited by Turing, crossword puzzle or otherwise, but was engaged to him.
They did concede Turning’s machine was based on a Polish cryptologic machine (the Polish broke the Enigma code years before), but that he’d built a better, faster machine for the more sophisticated code.
This is Hollywood. They add drama.
Unlike previous films about the Enigma code, this film didn’t cause international snits like U-571, or put us to sleep like Enigma (despite a stunning performance by Kate Winslet, wait, wasn’t she in another famous historically inaccurate film, something about a ship?).
I don’t take umbrage to movies that play with history. Most of history is changeable, written by the victors and those who want to cast themselves in a positive light. I read history books and watch documentaries, but even those should be taken with a grain of salt. Movies, TV shows, and books, even those based on real-life people and events, those are for entertainment.
This delightful movie wasn’t actually about the war or codes, it was about acceptance. Alan Turing was a gifted mathematician and cryptographer and yet, in the end, it didn’t matter if he saved millions of lives or gave us the basis for modern computers, it mattered that he was gay. He was only 41 when he committed suicide after being forced to endure chemical castration. His future work, his life, all lost because no one could accept he wasn’t their definition of ‘normal’.
Fear and discrimination are the real enemies. People refusing to accept the differences of others. Differences should be encouraged, supported, celebrated. Different isn’t less, most often, it’s more.
As for the blogging, who knows, maybe this is a good excuse to write that book I’ve been putting off.
So plan to be spontaneous today, here’s some, er, blogging advice to hold you over.
And snap out of it, WordPress, you’re driving bloggers insane (perhaps a short drive, but still a waste of gas).
Anyway, this was rather delightful excuse to post lots of pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. You’re welcome.
Someone asked me the things I would have done differently as a Mom. I could lie and say nothing, I was perfect, but it’s not true.
I would have cared a lot less about what people said.
I would have cleaned less and listened more.
I would have ignored the heartburn, swelling, and other difficulties of my pregnancy because my son was growing under my heart even as he took over my heart.
I would have gazed even more at my son’s amazing face because it took me too long to realize it changed often, and permanently.
I would have listened less to what people told me was ‘right’ or what I ‘should do’ and listened to my heart more.
I would have figured out earlier that I didn’t have to be Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Martha Stewart combined; I was fine as just me.
I would have spent more time there, in that moment because in that moment, everyone was there and now they aren’t.
I’m glad I sat on the floor and played Thomas the Tank Engine.
I’m glad I rolled in the grass, built sandcastles, and almost threw up on rides.
I’m glad we ate popcorn in a couch fort.
I’m glad we made snow angels and laid in the grass finding shapes in the clouds.
I’m glad we laughed as we waded through muddy fields to get the best pumpkin ever.
I’m glad we ate ice cream and talked about all the ‘sharks’ in the river and giggled as we tried to name them.
I’m glad I never turned down a sticky kiss or told my son to wash his grubby hand instead of holding it.
Moms kiss boo-boos to make them better, go to appointments, love unconditionally, make sandwiches that may or may not be traded to other kids, laugh, cry, help with schoolwork, brush teeth, change diapers, read and cuddle, dance in bare feet to Elvis, nag repeatedly about cleaning rooms, and teach how to be in the world.
Enjoy the moment of being a daughter or son, of being a Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, cousin – life is too quick and too complicated not too enjoy.
Save the future of the entire human race by allowing your son to hang out with a Terminator (then again, you can’t pick their friends).
Break into ABBA songs while trying to remember who your child’s father is.
Send your supernatural darling to the prom.
Nag your son, even from beyond the grave to maintain the family motel business and to shower his guests with attention.
Date your son when he travels back in time to your high school.
Expose secrets about corporations using toxic substances while in heels.
Stop selling Avon long enough to rescue an orphan with a cutting issue.
Raise little dragons to be upstanding members of the community – take that villager out of your mouth, honey, you don’t know where he’s been!
Keep a royal dynasty going by providing heirs…and spares.
Have enough children to make a baseball league.
Or keep the hills alive with the Sound of Music while escaping the Nazis.
Life is like a box of chocolates…Happy Mother’s Day, I just ate your gift.
In the dusty sanctuaries of erudition (cooler word than knowledge, which is sooo five centuries ago)… black and white, truth and lies live comfortably, side by side, lined up…we, elbow to elbow, heads bent, allow worlds to cascade around us. ‘Take us home,’ they whisper seductively, promising to reveal all their secrets.
Within the walls of a bookstore or library it’s clear what’s fiction and what’s non-fiction.
In the real world, not so much.
Some of you, dear readers might be aware it’s Autism Awareness Month. You may have Autism; know those who live with it; love those who live with it who you can’t live without; or know those you don’t even know are on the Autism Spectrum. Still with me? Good. Reading Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy (Simon Pulse) – we’ll get to the title in a minute – had me thinking of Autism’s infinite variety, as well as the still surprising amount of intolerance in the world.
12 things I thought about while reading this novel:
2. The title is too long…oops, I’m one to talk.
3. The main character, a teen named Darren seems to be on the Autism Spectrum.
4. Part way through the book, I realized I had read other works by this author and felt a ‘doh’ moment. It passed.
5. The writing was accessible, appealing, and made me want to read more, yet around page 400 I found it was dragging and even I was growing tired of lists (is that even possible?).
6. Made me remember high school…Actually, I might be thinking of Glee, I don’t remember my high school having that much singing (luckily, this book doesn’t either).
7. Parents should care about themselves by caring for their children.
8. I wanted to buy Darren some ice cream and tell him, ‘O-o-h child things are gonna get easier. O-o-h child things’ll get brighter.’ I have this Five Stairsteps song in my head, I blame Guardians of the Galaxy.
10. Different can be bad or good, so much depends on intention and perception.
11. It might be comforting to tell someone things will get easier, brighter, or better, but it’s not always true. One of the best things to say is, ‘things are ok right now’. If that’s not true either, then, yes, by all means, say things are going to get easier, brighter, or better.12. I love books. I love free books in a different way. Refer to #10 and in this case, different is good.
What motivates us?
I’m sure the answer is different for everyone.
Praise. Power. People. Passion. Puzzles.
Possessions. Prestige. Punishment.
Pleasure. Position. Politics. Possibilities.
I know what my motivation is to eat Benedict Cumberbatch, that is, the life-size chocolate statute of Benedict Cumberbatch. Seriously, there’s now a 40kg Belgian chocolate replica of most everyone’s favourite Aspergian detective, because he was chosen as #1 dishiest UK actor in a survey. David Tennant was the runner-up. Oh I don’t know, that would be a tough call. Can I have both? Er, in chocolate?
Today is Autism Awareness Day worldwide, and those on the Autism Spectrum have often been called, differently motivated. Too many people don’t (or choose not to) understand this. Their theory seems to be if you aren’t motivated by something they can understand then you must be: stupid, lazy, defective, foolish, or a loser. Intolerance shows itself in varied ugly forms.
We’re still in the beginning stages of a long journey to try to get people to understand Autism. It’s a neurological difference. Things changed, doesn’t mean it’s terrible or catastrophic.
Some things we used to believe:
Some thought the Earth was flat (those are called pancakes).
If an elevator is falling, jump up (you’ll just hit the ceiling).
Putting sugar in a gas tank ruins the car (still not a good idea).
Spontaneous generation from inanimate objects (er, no, just no).
The human body is made up of four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood (some days I wonder).
A duck’s quack doesn’t echo (it does, it does, it does).
Dropping a penny off a high building could kill someone (how about a quarter?).
Quicksand sucks you under (only in the movies).
Earth revolves around the Sun (you’re not our only friend, Sun).
we’re the center of the Universe (actually, a lot of people still believe that they’re the center of the Universe).
My son, who is the center of my Universe has Asperger’s. He’s differently motivated, but that’s not always a bad thing. He doesn’t succumb to peer pressure. He doesn’t believe everything he reads or sees – he questions. He doesn’t worship at the altar of consumerism. He thinks outside the box, actually, I’m not even sure he knows there is a box.
So whether you celebrate World Autism Awareness Day, and/or Easter – all the best!
Viva la difference!
He’s back. That bird. The rude one. The one that taunts me.
He sits outside my window and calls me cheap. Over and over again.
He doesn’t even know me. He’s never even taken the time to know me.
OK, having a mock feud with a loud bird wasn’t the best start to the day, but it is a good sign of Spring. Migraine seems gone, still have a cold or maybe it’s allergies, but not throwing myself a Pity Party, I’m going to throw a Yay Me Party! And facing problems gives us the ability to learn, make mistakes, adapt, and maybe even find solutions or at least, the chance of a solution, right?
People talk about Happiness in wide, sweeping terms as though we’re all made happy by the same things. No, really different.
I’ve got a secret, it’s a decision to do something that might make me a lot happier, but I don’t think I’m ready.
But then I tell myself, thinking you’re not ready is an excuse.
The truth is, I doubt anyone is always ready, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it my best.
But what if I do it incorrectly? Nothing is perfect, why wait for the perfect time when I can be doing something, right now?
It’s said life is a journey, well, sometimes it’s more of a trip. Weird thing is, there’s always a path, at least one, sometimes it’s overgrown, sometimes it’s been taken by others, lots of others, sometimes it leads you the wrong way, but it always leads you somewhere.
Where you take the path, if you stay or go back, take another path or make your own path is your choice, just do so with all the information you can.
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
I think you can be happy with or without money. Money just makes life easier, not always better. Stop trying to buy your way to happiness or keep up with the Kardashians. If you’re coveting someone else’s stuff, you’re not focusing on you and those you love. You can’t be happy doing that.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.