Language Translation

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dyslexic and Loving It!

My cousin asked a question, for curiosities sake, about what it is like to have dyslexia.  I thought I would copy and paste my answer here, since dyslexia almost always accompanies the spectrum gifts.

Your eyes, upon first glance, can't tell the difference between mirror letters (such as b,d).  When reading, your eyes will easily pick up letters or words from other areas and put them in the sentence you're reading...which is why reading glasses often help those who have dyslexia, they magnify it, which lessens the chances of putting things in that don't belong.  Reading with a blank paper or the blank side of a ruler covering the other words helps as well. 

Basically it's confusing because your brain doesn't know you're mixing things up when you're too little to comprehend sentence structure and meaning.  Then when you are old enough to understand things and you read aloud (like morning scriptures in my house) you realize that your verses always sound different and you keep getting corrected and you're not exactly sure why.... :)  It's confusing.  I would read exactly what my eyes saw, get corrected, read it again and it would be different.  I think that helped me develop the idea that if I read a book I didn't like enough times, the ending might change.  ;)

Then you figure it out, or a doctor figures it out and then you retrain your eyes to start over again and try desperately hard to remember that you need to look twice to make certain that "b" you see is really a b and not a d.  And when reading aloud you take extra care to follow the one line at a time.  And when writing, you try really hard to keep the letters straight in a line, instead of writing them all over the place because that's how your brain picks them up.  You know.  Basically you have to THINK when everyone else can just do.  That's all.  :) 

But the good part is, it's great training to live a life of intention and purpose.  Most people don't live life consciously because they are used to just doing and it is hard work to live a life of intention.  But when EVERYTHING takes intention to do properly, you learn that it's just normal to think all day long.  And once you've retrained yourself on one thing, you have also developed the habit of being consciously aware of every moment of your day.  It is hard to stop.  SO you focus on something else.  I suppose that makes the disability, for those who overcome it, more of a super-ability developer.  :)  Yay us!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kaylene's "Ta Da!" List

I have a dear friend named Kaylene.  She and I met years ago, when she was first married.  We lived about 3 duplexes down from each other and a wonderful friendship grew in our little homes.  Over the years we have kept in touch as I move around the country.  She is probably one of the few people who actually have had every one of my addresses and phone numbers written down (outside of my Father and siblings, of course).

I distinctly remember, after about my third move, she told me she was going to start writing my address and number in pencil because they always changed in six months or so.  We both still laugh at that.  Sometimes our contact only happens when I move and I'm calling to give her my new info.  Other times we talk a couple of times a month and still other times we will talk a couple of days a week.  It just depends on life and where we are.

But this is one of those friendships that you know, no matter what or why, when the phone rings and it is Kaylene on the other side, I am always delighted to hear from her.  This was the case not long ago.  I think I called her - I don't rightly remember.  We've both called each other over the last month or so and I forget which call this particular conversation came from.  But I suppose that doesn't matter.

We were talking, that's what matters.  :)  ANYHOW.  Kaylene is a wonderful mother of, what I may safely describe now as, a brood of children.  And I adore her for it.  She is real and honest and works hard and has bad days and sometimes falls short of what she hopes for the day and is hard on herself and.....well.  She's like the rest of you - a good parent who works much harder than is fair and is rewarded much less than she deserves.

So when she told me about her new way of keeping her list, I had to borrow it.  I love the sense of accomplishment and enjoyment it allows this very hard-working mom to enjoy without guilt.

Here is her marvelous answer to a mother's never ending list of things to do.

She told me about how frustrated she was with her list.  There was always more to accomplish on it than she could get done in a single day and it never left her time for any sort of break or down time.  When she did take time to relax, she always felt the guilt and pressure of her list weighing down on her and what should have been a time of recuperation became a time of judgement and condemnation.  So she decided to do her list differently.

Now, when she begins her day, her paper is blank.  As she works, she writes what she has accomplished.  When she reaches ten things, it is then time for her to enjoy some leisure time.  She has accomplished all ten things on her list and thus can enjoy her relaxation without guilt or pressure.  Genius, isn't it?!  She calls it her "Ta Da!" list.  I think it is marvelous.  So much so, that I wanted to share it with all of you.  For certainly no family or parents work harder than those who have full-time care of a special needs child.

So get a little pocket sized notebook.  Number your ten things, and then write down your list as you have accomplished it.  The interesting thing that both Kaylene and I have discovered is that we are both so excited to write something down on our list that we get to work much sooner and with much more gusto.  Because the list is one of accomplishment and has a reward at the end of it, it is a positive experience that makes me feel better about myself rather than condemning me.  I used to feel like a worthless wretch when, after working hard all day, my list still had things that were needing to be accomplished and were added to tomorrow's was exhausting, draining, frustrating, and depressing.  NOW?  I feel so great about myself and usually cycle through my list twice in a day.  I accomplish my ten things.  I take some time to do whatever, and then I feel so energized, I go and accomplish ten more things and then relax through the evening.

You will find that you accomplish more throughout your day, enjoy your downtime more, and feel better about yourself.  It is lovely.  Go ahead.  Give yourself permission to enjoy those breaks you so richly deserve.  THANK YOU Kaylene...I know I enjoy my breaks so much more and I no longer feel guilty in doing so.  *singing*  "TA DA!" 

Now, in Kaylene's words:
MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD: I was going to announce my brilliant idea to all my FB friends but Tara beat me to it.  :)  I finally go tired of being defeated by the "TO DO" list and decided to change my approach.  I now have a "TA DA!" list.  This list doesn't have any items left at the end of the day to feel guilty about.  With so many children I found that I could NEVER get everything on my "to do" list completed so I quit making one.  Now I make a list of my accomplished tasks each day.  These can be simple or monumental (taking the trash out counts but so does cleaning the oven).
I should add... the length of each Ta-Da! list should vary by situation.  A working mom shouldn't try to get 10 items done when she gets home from work and a mom that has all her children in school may be able to get many more than ten items in a day.  Just do what's realistic for each person.  That way the list doesn't become a burden.
Once I complete ten things I get to have ME time.  I can read, scrapbook, watch a movie, go shopping (if I want to take three kids along) or do whatever.  The great thing is that is GUILT FREE time.  I can relax and not think about the items on my "to do" list that aren't done.  I find that at the end of the day I feel happy and successful instead of discouraged.  Another bonus is that my house is cleaner. I've discovered that most of the clutter came from little things like mail that needed to be sorted or a stack of items that needed to be taken downstairs.  Now I don't put those things off because often they take five minutes or less and I get to write something on my list.  My phone calls get made and clothing mended with regularity because it gets me to my free time faster.  Brilliant huh?  AND I feel great.  So go start your “TA DA!” list.  Give yourself credit for all those things you DO and stop torturing yourself with never-get-done-lists.  HAPPY DAY!