Choose Your Mindset

I went to a meeting last Friday for work. It was actually a conference and typically the keynote speakers at this particular event have been sort of flat over the years. The keynote speaker this past Friday was electric. You know the type, where not only was the content great, but the delivery was so good that you didn’t look at your watch once. He was talking about entrepreneurship and the key tools to be successful. He outlined his seven steps for success. I love to watch people. Some were feverishly taking notes as if it was just that easy; if I do these quick seven things I will make a million dollars. For me, one point got me thinking. He said, “choose your mindset”. Amen. Clearly this is not just an entrepreneurial theme, duh, but a life theme. It is so easy to be mad at the world or feel like you got a raw deal at times. I try with every drop of myself to see the glass half full on a daily basis but no one, and I dare you on this one, can sustain that positive outlook all of the time. Hence the need for the kick in the ass every now and again. So listening to this man, who came from the cotton fields of the south, pull himself up, and become an extremely successful man reminded me to get over myself.
I have a milestone birthday approaching and although I’m not really the kind of person that freaks out from numbers or lies about their age, it can be hard to process at times. As a woman I think it makes you reflect on your sexuality and your appeal. Here’s a quick test. Walk past a bunch of construction workers. If they still look at you, you’re ok, if not, dial it up a notch. Perhaps it’s time for a new wonderbra or something. As a woman the title Mom may not be the sexiest but approaching your motherhood like anything else, with confidence; for men or women, that is sexy. You gotta think MILF to be a MILF, right? perhaps some serious therapy is in order at this point.
But choosing your mindset is sooo important when dealing with your child with autism. You want people to accept your kid, respect your kid, etc. so you need to do this yourself. Mental preparation is the key. I mentally prepare myself every night on the way home from work. You see when I walk in the door Bryan is on me. Actually, it’s before I walk in the door. Typically he meets me in the driveway with what I call “his demands”. There is no walking in, decompressing, changing, relaxing. If you have typical kids and you get to do that every night, take a moment to think about how it would be if you didn’t get to do it any night. If he has had good behavior throughout the day he just comes out to the car to tell me what he wants for dinner and forces the babysitter to leave. If he has had bad behavior he confesses and is an emotional mess. “Mommy I hurt Jason, I’m not bad.” But Bryan is so emotionally connected to Earl and me that if we don’t choose the proper mindset the night will be fucked. There truly is no other way to say it. If I greet him with disdain or frustration or just dismiss him he will hit himself or cry or throw a huge fit. He can be talked down to some extent but it can take upwards of an hour to get him to relax. Often Earl and I get home within 30 mins of each other. It is always interesting when you are the second parent to arrive. You need to approach cautiously, like is everything under control? Often it is, kids may be having dinner or the dogs may be having dinner or both, but it might not be. The key is your mindset. If you are the second parent walking in and you have a good, helpful mindset you can diffuse, assist, calm the situation if needed. If you come in and criticize or judge, well between the kids and the other parent, you might as well have stayed at work. Just a day in the life! So after listening to this really awesome speaker and thinking about where I am in my life and where Bryan is in his life, it is even more important than ever that I choose the most positive mindset I can muster as often as possible. Alternatively, I can get enough Botox so no one will know that I’m not smiling.

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