This is not a new question that I am posing to you or to me.

I have had the feeling that asking has been in order for some time now. For me, it really isn’t because of any one thing. It IS because of all the “one more things” that have added up to the point where I can tell my reserves have gone down. And I am absolutely sure that those reading this will get it.

What does this lack of reserve look like in my world you may ask? Well….let me help you understand.

I have a pile of things on the kitchen table that Elizabeth and I were supposed to get through by Sunday. It is now Wednesday night and the pile is still there to which I say “Tomorrow Elizabeth we will do that work!” And then I say goodnight to the pile and plan to greet it again in the morning. Simply no brain space to get on in there and do it.

I have been on the phone with troubleshooting for my new laptop. Many times, for many hours to resolve nothing. Then I was on it again yesterday to once again, rehash the issue…for 2 hours and I have to say I am sure that the conversation I had will make for some seriously good “quality and training” options for the company to use. I have to say my impatience was showing!!!

I love watching Elizabeth paint her pictures. It is fun to see what she sees when painting a picture from an image. But yesterday, I watched as she set up her paints and I hugged her and headed downstairs to do some work I HAD to get done for me. I wasn’t there watching and that is not really me.

Michael forgot to pack his backpack the night before and we were a bit late today and it bothered me more than it should have.

I asked my family why they needed dinner EVERYDAY..I mean can’t they skip it once in a while? They just looked at me and waited for the “real” mom to return.

So low reserves for me takes on many forms and signals to me that I need to nurture myself so I can refocus, regroup and continue on….

I know that the pandemic has been challenging to every human on earth and it has an anniversary coming up doesn’t it. As I write this blog I am noting that today, ONE YEAR AGO, was the night my husband asked me if we had any extra food stored up and that he thought it would be a good idea to “get some more food into the house.” I was not sure why this was important, I mean I had heard of Coronavirus in January but not much since, but since he is a physician I assumed he had read or heard more than me. so I was fine with the shopping but it was when I got into the store to load up a cart that I could feel the eerie silence of the store and noticed a shopper walking by with surgical gloves on and a determined look on her face. This was at 8:30 in the morning and the store was pretty empty. I took the groceries home to put away and asked myself…just what was happening.

Now a full year later, I look at my storage room that has been loaded, emptied and reloaded too may times to count and fully get what happened. The thing that gets me is that one year later and we are still in the thick of it.

I know I just need a little time to regain my reserves and perspective but the work we as parents and caregivers to the wonderful special needs children takes a great deal of both physical and mental energy every day….without fail. We have fought the good fight BEFORE the pandemic but even more so during it. And it is so very challenging, WORTH IT but challenging. Elizabeth’s disorders of Sensory Processing Disorder and Global Dyspraxia make life hard work and require certain things each day. Things that are simply required and not optional.

I know I will try to take some of my own advice, advice I gave out a long time ago in a previous blog: To try and put something happy in each day to nurture myself. like: quiet time in prayer, a coffee picked up somewhere, a phone call to a friend or doing my nails. I need to make that a priority, we all do really.

I also have to see the good in the situations which challenge me, which I am typically pretty good at doing but with my reserves low I am not. I need to see that Elizabeth is overall doing well…it goes without saying we have our ups and downs but overall good! That we took crushed schedule, thank you COVID and turned it around to be all about HER goals. That she has her own ETSY shop for her art and much more. That the journey she is on does not move in a straight line and the twists and turns, though not fun, can bring growth and positive changes.

So I as the headline says…raise those hands. I wish I could see the hands of those people who are working so hard each day for their special needs child(ren) and who share my dip in reserve and we can tell each other that it is okay.

I hope my sharing may be something someone needs to know as they have their own little dip going on.

I plan to finish this blog and do my nails… steps to regaining the reserve!

Please treat yourself….whatever that looks like to you.

I wish everyone a peaceful week

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself

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