We perfectionists tend to think that if only X, Y or Z....then we will be happy. That somebody else has cracked the code. That it is possible to be happy all the time. Well it is....and it isn't. All human beings have negative emotions. Thinking that it is possible to experience happiness as a never ending stream of positive emotions will only set us up for disappointment. If you don't believe that then perhaps you might consider whether you too may suffer from some degree of perfectionism. I keep telling my son, Adrian who often has "bad days", that there is no such thing as a perfect day. There is a mantra that I taught him when he was 3 years old "When things don't go our way we don't let it spoil our whole day." When I really think about it I realize that he takes after me and maybe some other people in the family. The only way that it is possible for perfectionists, and I suppose all people, to be happy is give up the fantasy that we imagine exists much like a fairytale romance and accurately define what real happiness is.
What I am learning through my Happiness Project is that I am both happier and unhappier than I thought. I have a good life and much to happy and thankful for. And yet....changing the way you think and your behaviours is hard work. And hard work isn't always fun even if it is rewarding....especially during the times when life doesn't just deal you happy circumstances and emotions, or when you are busy and under pressure. That's not to say I don't believe you can be happy when times are tough, just that it doesn't come naturally to everyone. Myself in particular. It's been a tiresome week and I'm glad it's over because I'm ready for a new one.
What Made Me Happy - Week 6
02/06 A Two Phone Conversation with a Friend
The truth is that having a medically complex kid means you are going to have some bad days. We saw craniofacial today. In a nutshell their conclusion is that the bone that was removed during Ainsley's second cranial reconstruction caused the muscles that control the eyelids to essentially become too long, that there is no real way to shorten them, that the occuloplastic surgeon who felt a brow lift might help was wrong and a Frontalis Sling is our only option. That surgery comes with risks and trade-offs. In reality we may have to consider that her current eye appearance is "as good as it gets" and that's heartbreaking. I've been trying to be realistic and yet have held out a small amount of hope that the original appearance of her eyes might be in some way restored to her. We are nearing the point that we may need to accept things and move on like one must do after any loss. Some days it feels like no one understands. It was a crappy day and I was so happy when I got a nice e-mail from my friend Christy. I called her and we had a nice chat.....A two phone chat meaning after I exhausted the battery on one phone we talked until the battery in the second phone was low and her phone died.
02/07 New Climbing Skills
She's so cute! I just love this picture. The hammock swing appears to have very positive effects. I think it has given Ainsley confidence in her ability to maintain her balance in situations that were scary to her, like climbing. Ainsley's been able to climb into a regular chair and on and off the couch for awhile. But getting in and out of her wheelchair by herself. No way! The good thing about boring doctor appointments when they keep you waiting for hours is that there is little to do. Since we had 2 appointments in the past week Ainsley's now mastered this skill, climbing in and out about 100 times. Now she's even taken to doing it "just for fun". I moved the chair onto the carpet but it still scares me to think of her falling. But she has to be allowed to take risks like any kid, if we want her to progress. Made me a nervous wreck during our appointments though, and it's hard enough to have a conversation about these things without worrying about her safety.
02/08 A Precise Point
I've been dying to see the new Saltillo Nova Chat 7 which was recently released. We had to reschedule the meeting with the rep due to snow, so I was extra happy when today finally came. I wanted to see if the small size (Ainsley currently uses an IPad with TouchChat HD) would be okay. It wasn't that long ago that we were working on teaching her to point. Back then we didn't think she would be able to swipe, and boy has she mastered that, getting into all kinds of trouble on her IPad. I was THRILLED that she was able to use the Nova 7. I want this device for her! We have an appointment on 3/6 to start the process to get one.
02/09 A Cup of Tea and Bed
Some days are just hard and what makes me happiest is a cup of herbal tea and bed.
02/10 Ainsley's Birth Certificate
I spent the last week looking through my desk for the family birth certificates. They weren't in the desk or anywhere elseand I couldn't find them anywhere and I looked everywhere at least 3 times. I'm pretty organized so I was getting worried about where they might have gone in the move. Thankfully Steve finally remembered that we'd cleaned out his business file cabinet for personal use since the desk at the new house didn't have as much space. It was in the garage. What a relief! So I was able to register Ainsley for Kindergarten. Yep! You heard me right. We will have a transition meeting in the next month or so to discuss the classroom options.
02/11 Movie Night with Kisses
I was home late yesterday because I was out things for Evie's upcoming party. So we had "movie night" a day late and it felt so good to sit down and hang out together. I even found chocolate kisses from Christmas in the back of the pantry.
02/12 Creativity with Paper
It makes me very happy (and proud) to see the amazing creativity that Evie possesses. I've always given her access to art supplies. At times I felt I was drowning in half scribbled on sheets of paper and I really questioned this policy. As frustrating as it was at times I think it was worth it because Evie is able to create some amazing things, especially with paper. She is determined to win her class contest for the most creative Valentine Box. Her idea: a soda and french fries holding hands and gazing adoringly at each other. The cool thing is you can put Valentines in both pieces. Her friend called tonight to ask if we got our letter from the "Art School" so we ran to the mailbox in the dark. Sadly it looks like her friend will get in and Evie won't. Evie's lottery number is 77, meaning she's number 45 on the wait list. I wish I could say this made me happy. Having to leave earlier in the morning and carpool 30 minutes away wouldn't be fun, but I know it would be so good for Evie. All in all we could have got a much lower number so perhaps she will get in late, after the start of the school year. If they based entrance on ability and love of the arts she'd be a shoe-in.