Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top 10 Things To Be Thankful For

The Suddenly Kate Show

It's Top 10 Tuesday time again! It's also that time of year when Thanksgiving and Christmas subjects come up, so I'm going to try not to be "holiday negative" like I usually am, but I would still suggest reading both Kate's and Tiff's blogs because they both actually quite like this time of year whereas I never have. Oh, and this list is probably going to be more material than anything but it's an Asper thing, we attach more emotion to things than to people, so please don't judge.

I had never thought to adopt a dog before, especially since I preferred Shih Tzu's and it's hard to find full breeds on adoption websites, but it didn't stop me from trying. I was denied by two separate agencies because I didn't have a yard. I don't think either read my application, just sent me a canned denial letter (and one took over four months to do so). Both my other boys had come from a pet store and, although they both have passed now, I loved them more than anything, so I was looking everywhere to find a new kid. I even documented my struggles on my blog back then (I think it started back in March of 2013).

But once I finally found Bam, my life was forever changed for the better. I always joke that he is the reincarnation of my beloved Zander, who I never thought could have ever been replaced, let alone surpassed. Bam sometimes looks at me as if he is saying, "You are as much my life as I am yours" whereas Zander always had that "I know you love me mom but I really want to discuss quantum physics for a while." look in his eyes. Zach usually just gave me the "Where's my puperoni?" look and then, once Bam came along, the "I hate him, make him go away" look which eventually turned into the "Well, if I must deal with him couldn't you at least get him to stop picking on me?" look.

I was worried that Bam wouldn't take Zach's death very well, but he's been a little trouper. I'm just sorry he never got to meet Zander, they would have loved each other. Maybe some day I'll get Bam a new brother (although I think he might be too territorial to share), but for now, life doesn't get any better than being at home with my little guy!

I will admit though, his name still makes me cringe and if he hadn't already been 3 when I adopted him, it would have definitely been changed to something else! Seriously? Bam Bam? Ugh. I settle for Bammers and he seems to respond to it too, so we deal.

When I can, I still send Debbie at Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue a little bit to help with her current cases and I always try to use Amazon Smile instead of regular Amazon which donates a portion of every purchase to the charity of your choice. I don't have a lot of money, but I feel so grateful to her and her organization for giving me the greatest gift of my life and I will always support her in any way I can.

2013 (12)-0609
I don't have a lot of family to begin with, but only one of them counts as "real" family to me and that's my sister. We haven't always gotten along and I pretty much hated her when we were little (and she still swears up and down I tried to smother her with a pillow...I don't remember it, but it's possible). Maybe because we were raised in the same unloving household (although I still contest she was loved WAY more than I was), or because I do think I actually raised her, but whatever the reason, there is no human that I trust more than her. She will always be prettier, smarter and cooler than me and I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to live up to the honor of being her sister.

Being an Asper, I do tend to focus directly on one thing and obsess about it incessantly. Disney has always been "my thing". From the Little Golden books I had as a child to that first Disney trip when I swore as a 10 year-old that I would NEVER go on another family vacation again, to my ever-growing collection of Disney "junk" to even my latest foray to a different Disney park that didn't end so good personally, but that still checked off a bucket list item, there is nothing material I revere or love more than Disney.
(that's little 10 year-old me with my mother and sister - notice the quasi-matching homemade outfits that my sister and I are wearing...I always HATED that!)
2013 (12)a-0193
(this is us in 2013...notice I have the same level of enthusiasm on my face as I did 30+ years earlier).

#4: MY JOB
Yes, I know I complain about work a LOT but, in all honesty, I really shouldn't. My mother worked here when I was an infant, so I've practically grown up here. My first job was here and, although I left when I was 19, I somehow managed to find my way back in my mid twenties and have been here ever since. I've gone from a lowly histo assistant to a transcriptionist to the IT Director. I never finished my education, so my qualifications are a bit lacking, but my bosses have faith in me to do the job and I hope that I at least meet, if not exceed, their expectations. They are aware of my issues and don't care too much and allow me to have my occasional temper tantrum without serious repercussions. I doubt any other employer would be so understanding. Sure, they don't pay me nearly would I could make elsewhere, but the added benefits of "dealing with me" more than make up for it. As better off as I would probably be to finish my education and get a "real" job, my comfort level would never be the same anywhere else and, if there is one thing I've learned in my Asper world, it's that comfort is a very important aspect to my sanity. Work is almost as much "home" to me as home is.

I know I also complain a lot about living in a trailer, but seriously, I have a house of my own that keeps a warm roof over my head and stores all my prized possessions (although we're busting at the seems). Someday I'd love to be able to move into a "real" house, but I can't ever imagine it happening on my current solo salary with my spending habits. But you know what? That's OK because trailer life ain't all that bad (although trailer park life leaves something to be desired). When I was younger, I was constantly moving furniture and stuff around no matter where I was living because I was never comfortable. Since living in my trailer, I can count on one hand how many times I've moved things around and it's usually more out of necessity than being uncomfortable. It may be old now, but it's still as much my home as it was the day I bought it, even more so than the house I grew up in.

Yes, I admit it, I'm actually stooping to add Duran Duran to this list because, in all honesty, I AM incredibly thankful to them because they probably saved my life as a kid. I was a VERY suicidal kid/teenager and, if it wasn't for my obsession over Simon Le Bon, I probably would have offed myself before I hit 15. It was my insistence on playing Duran during my darkest moments that kept me afloat...I would invariably become more interested in the music than my problems at the time. Funnily enough, looking back on my problems then and what I was going through versus my problems now, and it seems silly today that I was ever like that. Sure, I still have extremely dark moments even to this day, but that's what Serious is for!

Friendships have never been easy for me and still aren't, but in today's digital age, it's a lot easier being an "online" friend than in "in person" friend. I think I'm actually excelling at being and having friends for the first time in my entire life simply because all my friendships are the online type. I've always been accused of only keeping one friend at a time and that is mostly true when it comes to the face-to-face types. If I met a new friend I would invariably dump the old one for no other reason than I really can't handle that much social interaction...friendship takes effort and energy and I just don't have the extra energy to spare, especially on more than one person. I can trace the line of failed or ruined friendships all the way back to when I was in daycare, but I've never been without a "best friend" before in my entire life, that is, until now. I am starting to realize that there are varying degrees of friendship and that it doesn't have to be "all or nothing". My online friends (and hopefully you know who you are) have become more important to me than I could have thought and I'm grateful to each and every one of you guys!

Again, this might seem like a silly thing to be thankful for, but I credit stitching with solely keeping me off those horrible SSRI drugs that the docs always want to put me on. Maybe it's my combination of Asperger's and OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder that make for a difficult drug cocktail or just the fact that I don't like being a zombie that make me hate them so much, but whatever the case, I still attest that those drugs are evil. Stitching gives me a sense of focus and repetitiveness that my OCD loves, gives me challenges and a sense of accomplishment that my Asper-self needs, as well as keeps me home and safe from the world so my SAD is happy. It is honestly the best of all worlds! Despite the projects I've completed over the years, I still credit my Teresa Wentzler for making me a stitch-a-holic.
This project went through high school, college, marriage, divorce, and all kinds of other major life events before I finished and, no matter how many HAED's I end up doing, I still concede that this was quite possibly the hardest project I have ever, or will ever do and the one I'm most proud of.

#9: FOOD
This sounds like a weird thing to be thankful for, but honestly, I didn't get fat because of genetics...I'm fat because I eat like a pig! I may be extremely picky, but I have found things that I can't imagine life without...Coke Zero, pizza, candy, cookie dough, and CHEESE, just to name a few. I've always been a fat kid and, although I have lost a significant amount of weight in the past couple of years (and gained it back and lost it again), I was never more miserable than dieting down to the point where I was simply "overweight" versus obese. I am a quite happy size 16 now and I'd like to stay that way, but I will never give up certain foods. I can maintain and splurge, as long as I'm careful. Food makes me happy and I don't see anything wrong with that considering so few things in life do.

I am not the social media type. I don't have a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, I rarely frequently post on message boards (although I do frequently read them), and I have to fight Google+ off like the plaque. I first started blogging because of a suggestion of an online cross stitch friend and I've never looked back. Despite being an Asper, I do actually need a bit of human interaction, I just need it in a way that highlights me (because Aspers are notoriously self-absorbed). I don't have to feel guilty about hogging the conversation and focusing the entire discussion on me because this is MY world. I can either sing my praises to the heavens or cut myself down horribly. I can show off my stitch work without weirdness or a bunch of strangers touching it (I HATE to have my stuff touched). I'm not forced to read the blogs of others (although I do enjoy doing it) and I can construct my responses to others without my stupid lose tongue getting in the way. I can be social without having to speak. Blogging is actually the perfect social media forum for those on the spectrum. I only wish I would have done it sooner!


Tiffstitch said...

Great list! I'm glad stitching made both of our lists.

Justine said...

Lots to comment on here but one thing jumps out at me...you live in a trailer! That is so cool!

Heather said...

Great list! You don't mention it that much because I never knew you lived in a trailer! You learn something new every day :). I'm sure you have a lot of things similar to a lot of people I know they are with mine. After all without Disney I wouldn't have met my hubby. And even though I stitch mainly to stave off boredom it's cool thinking how much of life goes into it. I'm happy to call you a friend as well :).

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great list! And you live in a trailer! It's not really a thing here in the UK so maybe that's why I'm surprised.
I totally agree with you about the last point too. I love blogging the most out of all the social media for the same reasons. It's all about ME, I'm not autistic, just narcissistic LOL. Maybe I do have The Traits though. I do wonder sometimes.
I also love The Castle by TW, that's one of my first big complex finishes too.