Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016, How to start the New Year, Beating January Blues, New Years expectations and Goals- Why I don't have them.

The new year often goes unmarked for our family. Sometimes I am still awake at midnight and I hear the fireworks of the neighbours and their cheers. I smile slightly but have no inclination to get out of my comphy bed. I love that they want to celebrate. I also appreciate those who make resolutions or words they want to live by. There have been certain years where we set the clocks back and and at 8:00 pretended to count down with our kids. It was fun when our attempt at some sort of festivity happened, but in general most of our New Years Eves are pretty ordinary. Our family does have a tradition of the godmother of our children sometimes staying over, but its laid back and relaxing, and fits into our way of normal. She has been party to setting our clocks back earlier to ring in the year at a reasonable time. We are lucky to have her.

Some people choose words for their new year as a theme or a goal. Even in the tough years where I needed a word for the new year to inspire me to live the next, it felt false. It simply did not match my journey. The word would change within a month or two and I often felt that it was like giving a post title to a blog post that was not written yet. Some people write their titles first to get their story going. I have never been one of those people. It's not wrong. It just is not me. I need to write my story first and then give it a title as an afterthought. Or at times, if I do mark a new year it is usually my Birth Day...the start of an official new year for me. Even at those times, I am careful about my goals and write them loosely. Goals are important to a psyche but only if the goals are flexible and if they do not set the tone for our entire existence or give us our meaning.

I really used to struggle with expectations and do still at times, but in general, I have found that any expectation for a year can not possibly be met in the way I hope it will. Sometimes it is better, sometimes it is worse. I want to live in the NOW. I like to go to sleep on New Years like every other night and wake up to a fresh day of opportunity, heart ache and delight like every other day. Perhaps part of it is that I am an Aspie and prefer gradual transitions? Perhaps my idealism hopes that if I treat each day as a possibility- no more and no less- I can simply BE? Whatever the case, I feel I am healthier if I do not mark New Years.

There are other holidays I mark that others do not feel significance for. It really comes down to personality. I do not resent the go getters who party on New Years and make lists of ambitions. It simply is not me. I hope they do not resent that I like the night and new day to be as ordinary and extraordinary as it is every other day. I feel this way of mine prepares me more for the onslaught of messages that try to tell me that getting healthier, achieving status, getting money, being free or whatever will FINALLY make me feel better or have a good year. I have had health, status, money and freedom- immense privileges but with them I have also had sickness, insignificance, poverty and restriction and I have found that BEING through all of these has brought enrichment. In some of the privileges I learned and in some of the hardships I learned, but in ALL I WAS. I guess that is what I celebrate on New Years, but what I also try to celebrate each day when I wake up...that I am alive, that I am grateful for the breath I am breathing and will continue to choose at this moment, to make it what it IS.

Goals and expectations and words for the year are all fine in theory. In fact, I love reading some of my friend's posts on these mindful pursuits, but for my personal story they don't fit. I have struggled too much in the past with living up to an ideal I put in my mind. I have found the years I thought would be the best, turned out to be ordinary or the worst. I have found that the years set up to start horridly  have ended in beauty, and some years have just been really hard. But, if I really think upon it not EVERY moment was hard. I smiled at points. I became. I had some beauty. The years that have been beautiful in sum- have had tears and pain. We often forget about the multitude of moments that make up our years. Profound is in the day to day ordinary with no marked words of description to describe, yet the fact of Being brings out contentment. The things I want to hold close to my heart are already in it. What I want for who I am, is already inside.

This MOMENT, what I am now, clicking on my keyboard in my pjs, sore from physiotherapy, listening to my children chat while getting together their breakfast and hearing the morning traffic pass by my cold window...this moment is what I have. I chose to share it briefly with you, because I know I also have something to contribute to the conversation. Those who write goals and ambitions also have something to contribute ...and those who do nothing at all.

I suppose my point is that a party or an ordinary day on New Years is the perfect way to ring in the New Year...but it's only perfect if it suits you. If it makes you a better person, a more compassionate person, an ordinary person who sees ordinary as extraordinary or a person who thrives on existence- go for it!  If you are an introvert who likes to avoid all New Year's festivities and likes to lay low through the January Blues - embrace that. If you are an extrovert who prefers to party hard through the January Blues- embrace that. January is hard because of the weather, the post christmas bills or because of the way we agonize over the old and new year...What if beauty and life is just in the daily?

We are all hiding and exploring in our varied ways. Regardless we each have to face ourselves. It is better if we face ourselves with honesty and perception into who we really are instead of living an expectation or a word or a list of what we should be. Yet, if those lists and words truly show our soul- they are part of our experience too. BE what you need to BE because that is what is brave.

Happy Right NOW. Yes, we all need a will to try. But it can be moment to moment. May your right NOW be filled with all you need for the next minute. May you find contentment and beauty already. You are already standing on what you need. You ARE.
This is our family's theme song. Love it.

 I still love this song regardless...I also apply it to every day...Happy New Day:)

*This is a re post from last year that rings true to me still at this moment*

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hygge/ Cozy/ Intentionally Convalescing "Christmas" Or Holiday Season

*The above blue picture was the backyard this year in Canada- We enjoyed a winter wonderland for about three weeks of heavily covered trees. It was stunning!*
Many people are stressed out, sick, sugar overloaded, and busy over holiday seasons. I used to be one of those people. While our holiday season has a few extra activities, it is also intentionally spread out. We step back and revamp our holidays from year to year based what we currently need, and what worked or did not the year before. Perhaps this seems untraditional, but we keep a few key aspects alive for us and within that we have a "flexible tradition." The two key concepts we like to focus on are Hygge and Convalescing.
Convalescing is a term often used after an illness. It is about recovering the health of the body, mind and soul with intentional nourishment and rest. To find out more click on the two links with the highlighted paragraphs below:

"How to convalesce: You need • A supportive GP, consultant and appropriate medication. • Loving family and friends. • An understanding and encouraging employer and colleagues. • To be led by your body’s needs — sleep when tired, eat when hungry. • Gentle exercise when able, gradually building up or down as necessary. • To learn to say no — doing less than you think you can, not more. • To trust your intuition about how you are and what you need. • To accept that resting isn’t just “doing nothing”. It is replenishing energy and health — and it’s vital. • To eat well and enjoy food. Don’t worry about weight loss or gain for a while. • To plan to cut back even when you’ve regained full health. • To have a holiday in the sun.(see more in link above.)   
"NOURISH- Give your body the best quality nourishment in order to facilitate the healing and repair it does at night. This means a diet of wholefoods, preferably organic, and of simple fare. No stimulants such as coffee, sugar, nicotine or alcohol. Avoid dairy and fast foods. Prepare lots of nourishing broths and soups, made from root vegetables that bury deep into the earth, sharing their energy of grounding and connectedness with you. Quality plant-based proteins to help repair, and fresh juicy fruits." (click on link above)

Hygge is a Danish concept but there are many other versions of it in other cultures. Unfortunately north america has lost the art of this type of connection in general. My husband and I don't even celebrate certain north american holidays anymore. Instead we find ways to cherish the life we have and mark different seasons with beauty and inspiration.  "From the end of October through the New Year and onto Valentine's Day, it's easy to forget that the holidays we celebrate  are simply cultural constructs that we can choose to engage in — or not. The concepts and ideas we celebrate — like our spiritual beliefs and daily habits — are a choice, though sometimes it feels like we "have" to celebrate them, even if we don't feel like it. Culture is ours to do with as we choose, and that means that we can add, subtract, or edit celebrations or holidays as we see fit — because you and me and everyone reading this makes up our culture, and it is defined by us, for us, after all. If you want to add a new and different perspective to your life, there are plenty of other ways to recognize joy and beauty outside American traditions..." ( ) 
The previous link shows seven other concepts from varied cultures similar to Hygge. I found a few additional ideas in the article to add to our full life- I highly recommend learning and googling the seven concepts mentioned. 
Still wondering what Hygge is? "Usually it is translated as "cosy" but hygge means much more than that. Hygge refers to a sense of friendly, warm companionship of a kind fostered when Danes gather together in groups of two or more, although you can actually hygge yourself if there is no one else around. The participants don't even have to be friends (indeed, you might only just have met), but if the conversation flows — avoiding potentially divisive topics like politics and the best method to pickle herring — the bonhomie blossoms, toasts are raised before an open fire (or at the very least, some candles), you are probably coming close."

(Click on more.) The links and highlights below are also full of beautiful descriptions and ideas:

My friend Hillary first introduced me to this concept. She wrote; "There are few pleasures in life that compare to snuggling with loved ones by the fireside, fingers wrapped around a mug of rich Masala chai, toes tucked into something soft and warm. This is hygge, but hygge itself is virtually impossible to define. It includes a sense of togetherness, of sacred, of finding beauty, of creating home, of connection—or, to me, a nourishing of the soul during a season of immense cold and dark. Before knowing hygge was a “thing” I found great solace in creating it my own way—softening the lights, layering my home with soft blankets, thoughtfully placing candles, sliding a squash into the oven to roast and surround us with mouthwatering, sweet warmth. Or through journaling, writing love letters or snuggling with coffee and conversation with a dear friend. It's such a warm, full-bodied embrace of what is; being the one to slip comfort in uncomfortable.;It is living beauty which fills the senses and sustains the heart. It is a deep sigh saying, “It is well with my soul.” (Click above link for more.) 
 "Hygge means different things to different people, but for me it is all about slow living, togetherness, simplicity, and the feeling of belonging and feeling safe. It can be things that you can do together, food you can cook, and places that are hyggeligeto visit." (Click on link above for more.) 
"Embrace who you are. This is hard to do when you are constantly running back and forth and even at home, constantly tidying up or running after the kids and never really pausing. Embrace that you are only human and deserve to take time out each day just to have some tea, do yoga, read a chapter or two of a book, whatever works. This is very Hygge, and very Danish, to pause and sit inside of yourself for a moment, to let your soul catch up to your body as I’ve heard some say." (Click on link above for more.) 
Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are the happiest people in the world?" (Click on link above for more.)
Our home is named Anam Cara because our home is our Soul Friend. Anam Cara is also a favourite book of ours written by Irish Philosopher and poet John O Donohue (CLICK). We have intentionally created a home similar to the Danish concept of Hygge. Our home is not perfect but it is infused with our inspiration and cozy considerations.

"CHOOSE CONTENTMENT OVER PERFECTION - I’m fairly sure that not all Danish homes look like those we see on Pinterest or in magazines, but it’s well known that the Danes are very aware of design & put alot of care and attention into their spaces. It’s not all about being too perfectly arranged or having the latest thing: it’s about being mindful of what you have & what you choose, editing, and being intentional in your decor to create your own style, whatever your budget. Take care of what you have, be content in it’s imperfection, and foster a sense of pride in your home – your home is a reflection of you, and a home that feels cared for, open-hearted & unselfconscious feels cosy and welcoming to others, as well as being a happy place for you to be." (see more in link above.)
 For other simple decor ideas on how to do this click below:

What does convalescing and Hygge mean for our family specifically this year?

First off, we are trying to keep our home tidy enough to enjoy but not perfect enough to stress out. We are prepared to share a few spread out times with friends over the next few weeks but we make sure to have a few down days in between to give them a version of ourselves that involves peace. Life happens. Illness could be a part of our holidays or even tragedy or sadness or moments that we MUST do, but even in that, we try to keep Hygge a mentality...not just an aspect of living. We CAN take a moment at the hospital waiting for bloodwork to smile at each other, meditate or breathe with intention.

 Our Holiday season does involve a few traditions. On Christmas morning we still exchange gifts, Santa still fills the stockings, and we have my immediate side of my family over to share in on gift opening. Our christmas Eve this year is solely focusing on Hygge at home with just our family of five. We are not going out and we are not having anyone in. We are preparing nutritious, easy meals ahead of time to consume on that day. Christmas Eve will be arranged around naps by the fireplace ambiance, reading under blankets, playing games together in our library, a holiday movie with wholesome snacks (perhaps dark chocolate and organic popcorn?) music and candlelit bubble baths for each member of the family at varied times. Our focus is basic togetherness with intentional cozy atmosphere. We will have a normal bedtime so that we can be the best version of ourselves for our gatherings. As a sensitive family staying up late for "special times" does not necessarily make a special time for us. Changes in routine for something "special" can end in tears, fears and nightmares. The same goes for "treats." The best treats we can have involve honey, natural products and perhaps a few indulgences like grape juice, wine, dark chocolate covered fruit, and maybe a few gluten free chips. It's not because we are complete health nuts or think it is bad to indulge, but this rule is because we get sick otherwise. We want our children to respect their bodies on holidays just like they do every other day of the year. We want them to also indulge in beautiful treats or have an occasional coffee or "treat" but the treat has to be something their body specifically can handle.

On Christmas Day we do not have a Christmas Dinner (see my thanksgiving post HERE) but instead make something we enjoy for a light meal in the evening with just our family of five again. If it is nice we take a winter walk and savour the snowy beauty. In the morning christmas day my extended family brings a breakfast item or they eat before, we open some gifts and they depart around lunch. On Boxing day this year, we partake in another day of relaxing and prepping for some of my husband's siblings and parents. We have decided on taco salad because it's easy enough to prepare, tasty to enjoy with a large group yet not too stressful or expensive. We hope to share our hearth with them. Ideally we are preparing for conversations that do not involve politics, religion or anything explosive but instead concentrate on the beauty we share, small events in our lives, and approaching topics that induce warmth and cheer...simply enjoying the presence of the children and their innocence and joy. On New Years we have our children's godmother over to spend the night, we count down earlier than midnight, and we focus again on relaxation and beauty. This year we are dressing up at home to see if that adds a bit of festiveness even though it is just the six of us. 

Not only are Hygge and Convalescing necessary for people with sensory issues or chronic illness, but the concepts are also a joyous part of living. We no longer say yes to invites that may be draining or obligatory. Our yes is a sacred yes and our no is a love infused no. In order to love, we must first give love and respect to ourselves. We can not give when our vessels are empty. If we say yes, it is because we know we can sustain, give what we are, and believe there is enough healing and respect to begin to converse with love. We choose to connect with people who we at least have a slight foundation of respect as a spring board to festive feasting or connective conversations. If our relationships one on one are not solid or at the very least involve some previous respectful dialogue in the past year, it is not a good idea to involve those connections for the holiday season. Yes, forgiveness and cheer can abound more at holidays but that does not mean diving in to gatherings that require more in depth healing. We do not expect ourselves to juggle high emotion events for what should be saved for tougher one on one connections in the daily during the year- if at all in the ebb and flow of life. Forgiveness does not always beget presence. The presence that matters during any season should also be based on concepts built through out the year.

What aspects of Hygge do you incorporate into your life already? What appeals to you to integrate more of? If you are a sufferer of chronic illness or just healed your body from any sort of bug do you take the time to convalesce? How would this change, not only your holidays, but your every day existence?

May your holidays be merry and bright, and if not may you find ways to light candles and make your own light.
My favourite song that gives me this feeling of Hygge:
Winter's night by Sarah Mclachlan:

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Hard Post about Money- You can Learn to Live Beyond Pay Check to Pay Check.

It might be a strong habit of humans, to surrender oneself to the conduct of Western society, but no one is forcing you. You do have a choice in most aspects of living. It simply requires thinking outside the box, stretching your mind and heart, and making counter cultural decisions that may tick a lot of people off...Ok so it is not so simple, but living free of the conduct of typical society is an option and it can be rewarding in certain cases. For instance; Finances.

This time of year most people feel the time crunch of money. Not only is it the Christmas season when expectations on self and others are high, but it's also the end of the year for many businesses that collect their money. It doesn't seem like the season to talk about money and maybe I should wait until after christmas but my husband and I decided to get out of debt AT christmas a few years ago. The "season of Joy" required us to re assess what we are living for.  It may actually be the perfect season, because of desperation, to get a jump start on taking back your life.

Currently, we have gone into slight debt to finish renos on our house. It is not something that will get us into huge trouble but it has us living pay check to pay check once again. A concept that is eerily familiar to us because we spent over a decade of our marriage pay check to pay check or barely getting by. This had it's benefits but the downsides cost dearly. Money can get in between souls. It can blight lovely moments. YET, as human souls, we also have the power to take a bit of our autonomy back. Money does not have a soul but we do! This fact can keep us on the winning side.

Today, I was re- reading some articles that helped us in our money journey years ago. I needed a refresher because it is time to slowly take back our time, resources and autonomy. When I say "slowly" it is because I do not want to give the illusion that getting out of debt is easy or quick. However, I have been on both sides and can honestly say that suddenly what feels like forever is 5 years later of plugging along on the scrimping plan and one day, you wake up free! Five years may seem long but on the flip side, it is really worth it! ( See our full journey HERE.)

Paying bills is part of life in our current society, but there are ways to lessen the load and to live freely within those payments. Sometimes, if it's done right, paying those bills can be a privilege in exchange for a service that is wanted (if used appropriately and you are not being ripped off.) We have options. We can choose to enjoy christmas without so much giving or receiving...and focus on what we have. We can choose to opt out of many service conditions or  job requirements or being part of organizations that take our time and money and that our culture conditions us to believe adds worth to us. There are many ways we can cut back to take back what is ours- a LIFE of beauty, peace and grace. When we get to that point we are free to give money, that is not debt money, to others in gifts we choose because we WANT to and not because we believe it is required. 

*On a side note, it is important to enjoy your life and sometimes give of time or beauty in other ways while you are in debt- life is only lived once, but try to apply that theory in other ways if possible!*

Here are some articles and a few highlights from each to start you on your journey:

"  People are emotional, but money is unemotional. If your mini van payment is more than you can afford or your grocery budget is unrealistic, numbers won’t lie. There’s no need to point fingers; the facts speak for themselves. We were making mistakes like budgeting backwards, deciding what we wanted to spend money on and then plugging in the numbers, which, of course didn’t add up. Look for things you’re doing well.  We saw that we earned enough and we could live on what we made if we lived frugally (though we wanted to earn more to help pay down our debt)."
"Drop the idea that you need to save for retirement because you know you aren’t going to have enough saved up even if you keep doing exactly what you are doing … and instead shift into a vision of financial liberation, in which you know how to make what you need, when you need it, doing work you love that you can do until you die.

Stop focusing on paying off your debt and instead consider how you can use your good credit score to acquire more of the resources you need to build yourself that income stream and stop doing work you hate -OR-...""Walking a new financial path isn’t easy. It’s like a diet–it’s a new set of routines and it can be difficult to get used to a new walk. The best way to make it easier is to ask for help, and the best place to ask is your spouse. Work cooperatively with your spouse to cut spending and get in a better financial routine."

And this is a surprisingly comprehensive how to guide to get started:
"Cut unnecessary expenses. You will need to adjust to living off the smaller budget that you have set and, whenever possible, even less than that. This means cutting out unnecessary daily spending: fewer lattés at the café, more homemade coffee; fewer lunches out, more bagged lunches from home.
  • Do not forget to look into your fixed expenses category to reduce costs as well. For example, can you consider moving into more affordable housing? Is taking a bus instead of driving an option?"
I don't have all the answers because each household has unique needs and challenges, but some of these concepts are universal. Some ideas you will have to tweak for your own household. When we originally cut our debt we made huge drastic changes. We put all money that was not on groceries or bills to debt for two full years and used christmas and birthdays as the only time to spend on something we want. We did not do anything or buy anything and we gifted out of our own household stalk. We also cut our gas bill and power by consuming way less than was comfortable at times.  Currently, our house is filled with stuff and this fact would be hard to believe, but it was not always like this. A lot of our stuff has come from saving from birthdays and holidays, exchanging with others, gifts and also from the year of financial freedom when we allowed ourselves to fill in a few things we didn't get to enjoy before. We didn't go crazy but since we don't own vehicles that have payments, or expensive jewellery or go on vacations we DID add that money up and buy fun things for our home. It was our celebratory achievement pay day:) However, it is not a habit we enjoy and currently we are cutting back again because we started to believe we could afford that lifestyle regularly (we can't.)

This time in our financial goals we are starting a bit more slow because we are not in as much trouble as last time. We will be dividing our money between trying to build a savings account and the debt we do have on a year long plan. It's what we can afford to do. Last time we were not so lucky and had to make drastic, life changing cuts and huge sacrifices to sustain our home and our life. It CAN get better but it takes willpower, support, guts, thinking outside the box, and grace. Grace is the biggest factor. Life is more than money. Money IS important but it's like health. 

Speaking from a place of chronic illness I now know that health isn't everything either. I can still live a wonderful life in pain or ill health. I can feel my value and cherish my life even with hair falling out or my skin breakouts of hives or the pain that sends me into spirals. It's not all bad and in fact some of it teaches me my value in a different way. It's possible. Would I prefer to have health? Yes! But wasting time on envy of others who have that health, wishing my moments away with "if only's" or idealizing health as the only possible way to have a valuable existence, is a precious waste of ME. The same applies to money. Like health, it is important. As in health, it is crucial to make some necessary adjustments, do the research on your current condition, accept or grieve the changes of life ahead, but then apply grace to the fact that life may always be a tad different for you and those changes can bring some freedom and joy in a different way.

If you are in pain this holiday season, I am sorry. I know what that is like. We almost felt suicidal one christmas due to finances and having NOTHING. I understand. If you are in that place DO NOT give up. It CAN get better. We saw a financial advisor at christmas and he told us to go bankrupt. We didn't. (We would have if we had to.) Despite him saying that we could never sustain what we had, we proved him wrong. We took a few of his suggestions and made some of our own adjustments. We did what was necessary and we still have our home. This was a financial advisor who told us we could not have what we now have. Defy the odds. It CAN be done. It can look dire but there are ways to make life worth living. Remind yourself of what you do have and make steps towards what you want: freedom. There is hope. Latch on to it and while you are at it, find someone who can help you through this time. Life is still worth living, even in crushing debt. In fact, I had some of my most beautiful moments during this time too. Yours WILL happen. You can help yourself too.

I wish you a season of freedom. I wish you bravery to make the changes that some will condemn you for, others will view as selfish and some may shake their heads in wonder. Don't explain because they can not possibly know all of your life...just make the changes that are needed one small step at a time. Most of all I wish you grace. First for yourself and then for others as you transition onward.

Walking this journey with you. "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow, So have yourself a merry little Christmas now..." (from the lovely melancholy christmas song below).

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Link: Ten myths about Aspies By Sam

Sam has been a long time blog friend. She has been a sort of accomplice to me in discovering all things Aspie on my journey. She was one of the first Aspergirls on the net that I connected to. I am often slack jawed at her accuracy of relating an experience very similar to mine. This is rare in my world. She also is great at making lists that are to the point but full of descriptors that help friends and family to side step ableism.

This post had me nodding with every word. My two favourite highlights are below:

"Myth #6: Aspies Need to be Taught by Non-Autistics How to Be in the World -There is nothing more insulting to most Aspies than another’s assumption that we need to be taught how to be in this world. Adult Aspies have taught themselves how to survive from a young age. We had to. We had to learn, imitate, and get by with our building skill set. We don’t generally welcome or appreciate unsolicited advice, nor do we have fondness for others who think because they hear a label that they know more about us than our own selves. We learn the best through self-study and through the companionship of other autistics. We learn the best when we aren’t preached to, told what to do, how to act, or set up for failure by mainstream’s expectations that we should somehow mold ourselves into being someone else."  
This is the bane of my existence and has followed me through out life. If someone will try to do this to me it is guaranteed that I will walk away or become a tad hostile. I am not easily influenced. I find that I have survived and mimicked and become more appropriate than most "normal" people in most situations. I know more about myself than most do and find the fact that it's assumed otherwise to hold the greatest point of contention for me.
Myth #10: Aspies Long For Attention - We sometimes share a lot about our struggles, about our autism, about our Aspergers. We might write blogs or share posters on social networks. We might advocate or speak publicly. We don’t have a choice anymore, because others who aren’t autistic have been largely speaking for us. And the information that often rotates through the masses is inaccurate, misrepresented, and/or stereotypical regurgitation that is outdated and false. We get tired of being told who we are and what we are and how to treat us and fix us. We don’t think we need fixing. We think others who lie, deceive, manipulate, and purposely hurt or ostracize others are the ones that may perhaps need counseling. We find our ability to maintain laser-sharp focus, to accomplish large endeavors, to create in a new way, and to find answers no one else knew were there, amazing! We appreciate are often off-the-charts admiration and adoration of nature, music, and animals. We appreciate those of us that our poets, those of us that our philosophers, those of us that are comedians, those of us that are scholars, and the like. " 
I used to get this a lot...the assumption I wanted attention simply because I shared my interests or spoke up for my rights or others. Now, because I have stepped out of so many forums I am probably accused more of selfishness, which I also know to be untrue, but I find it interesting that sharing equalled needing attention from others.  I also find that this happens as an accusation because we make interesting or counter cultural decisions that most view as attention seeking or reactionary...however, because our brains are different (mine with aspergers and my husband's with ADD) our reasons are often different then what the majority assumes.

 Self advocacy specially falls into this category. It's fine for parents of disabled children to have blogs and speak about their "tough" times or the issues but it is not ok for a person who actually has these things to tell it like it is. This is less accepted because it comes from the cultural context of disbelief that a person with these conditions can think, tell the truth, write, express or be reliable. This fact shows how far reaching ableism is in cultural mentalities. Self advocacy is frowned upon yet it is the most needed form of advocacy in any brain difference to combat ableism. I don't always write a post on Aspergers because I simply want to, sometimes I HAVE to because I want the world to be less ableist for my children and future generations. I am also sick of the condescending way brain differences are viewed. I despise attention unless it is from my husband or children or in a needed situation. I like to be in the background observing so I am glad Sam addressed this accusation. 

The other ten myths are point on as well. I hope you check out the link. Thanks Sam for putting time and effort into combating myths.

This is by Samantha and SO good for Aspergirls. I would highly recommend for any who wish to understand women and autism to listen while doing chores or watch during downtime: