It’s no secret to anyone, that living with special needs in a home is very challenging on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming on most days, but recently I heard something that has made it all a lot less challenging. It was a very, very short statement, from a long time friend and business associate, Paul, who I shared with the other day about the issues I deal with on a daily basis. I was telling him about how we have to control every single piece of the environment in our world in order to have a normal day with my son. I shared with him that the external things in my world are also very busy and demanding and sometimes I just get in a state of overwhelm. I feel so incredibly blessed to have the “BTS gals” with whom I can share these daily issues and they’re always quick to help me see the positive amidst the trials.

He told me this: “Focus on What Matters”

Wow… that was so enlightening to me at the moment! It means that I know clearly that the absolute most important thing to me is that my son has a safe and comfortable home, is eating well, and all of his needs are taken care of, and his body, mind, soul and spirit are nurtured. Because he has Sensory Processing Disorder issues, his body gets out of whack quite often and it causes a lot of disruption in our daily routine. If he has an overload of sugar, like one or two ice cream cones, his body reacts so severely that he wakes up at night, thrashing and in turmoil. Then the next day, clothes feel uncomfortable and then we’re late for school.

At this point, controlling our environment, and every single second of his life, is what I have to do in order for our lives to work. I monitor his food, his food intake, to make sure it’s healthy, nutritious and without preservatives. His clothes have to be soft and worn, his hair has to be short or it can cause us to spend an hour fighting it, and he has to do intense exercise every single day, which means swim practice, trampoline jumping or rip stick riding.

Homework is another challenge, and so depending upon the day, it might or might not get done. If he’s uncomfortable, there is no use trying to hurry him up, because he’d react to that, so we have to decide.. what matters more.. him being late or him being comfortable and feeling loved? I choose love.

I can’t say I was always like that! For years, before I knew all of this about my son, I would rush him and hurry him and stress him out… and be completely stressed over the situation. I worried about him getting to school on time, about being respectful of others times, of him getting to say the pledge of allegiance and him not getting a tardy remark. I think of all of the upsets we have had over the years with me not figuring out what would work for HIM first and having everything else come second after him and his special needs.

At this point, we’ve suffered through many years of NOT knowing, that now I’m completely dedicated to helping OTHER families find these things out early so they won’t have to stress and struggle with knowing what to do on a daily basis.

So what about you? What matters most to you? Is it a certain project that you’re working on? If so, what are you doing on a daily basis to support that to happen? Is it your health? Are you committed to being healthy or losing weight? Are you doing everything in your power to support that every second of every day? Is it your children? Do you want them to be excellent students or top notch athletes?

In order for me to be strong enough mentally and physically to handle all of the demands that my personal life takes, I’ve had to move my own health up to a very high priority in my life. I have to feel good in order to handle these complications so they don’t stress me out so I don’t also loose control. And because I’ve done this, I’ve found that I’ve found that I have EXTRA strength, that allows me to be there for my son, for my family, and to give energy to the work that I’m doing and the cause that I’m dedicated to.

So the thought for the day, is to Focus on What Matters! And by clearing out the STUFF that gets in the way of what really matters, and focusing your heart and soul in that direction, and take care of yourself so you have the energy to do what it takes to get it all done, you’ll actually be more effective at doing all of the other stuff that needs to get done.

Amazing, simple, easy, but life changing concept!

Focus on What Matters!