Daily Life

unexaminedlifeAn unexamined life is not worth living, as the saying goes. I ran across that quote recently and, for some reason, it made me think about blogging.

With my curiosity aroused, I pulled up my blog and realized that I haven’t posted anything to date in 2014, and that in 2013 I published a total of just 5 posts.

So where have I been?

Actually, I have been adjusting to what feels like a whole new life. I have switched from a part-time to a full-time work schedule, become separated and now divorced from my husband of twenty years, moved from a house to an apartment, been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, helped my son (who is also on the spectrum) adjust to a new school, put down roots in a new church, and even gotten a kitten.

I have maintained some friendships and let others go, sought out some new kindred spirits and reconnected with some who were lost along the way. It has been a whirlwind and a roller coaster all at the same time.

Through it all, I have missed a lot of things about blogging – the chance to control your own soapbox, the interactions with readers and fellow bloggers, and the way it makes you think about what is going on in your life and try to distill some meaning out of it.

At various points along the way, I have identified myself primarily as a special needs parent and later as a book reviewer, but for now I just want to be me and see where that road takes me. I make no promises about keeping to a schedule of posts or sticking to a particular topic, and I reserve the right to change my mind and contradict my earlier opinions at will!

My hope is that by searching through the jumble that is my brain, I will occasionally unearth some insights worth sharing, or at least help me clarify the questions that I need to be asking myself.

soleprovisions

Sole Provisions is an online retailer specializing in shoes that combine fashion and comfort. I recently had the opportunity to check out their website and receive a pair from either their Orthaheel or FitFlop line to review.

Of course, being the detail-oriented person that I am, I immediately spent quite a bit of time browsing their website to see what their products were all about. I was quite impressed by the selection of styles, ranging from cute flats to functional sandals to even boots.

Also being a casual dress kind of girl, I was definitely interested in the comfort aspect. The FitFlop shoes all feature a patent pending Microwobbleboard midsole that not only redistributes pressure more evenly along the bottom of the foot, but also provides excellent stability and support for amazing walking comfort, while the Orthaheel styles feature a built-in, lightweight biomechanical footbed that supports the feet while helping to realign the lower legs and improve posture.

The Sole Provisions website is extremely easy to navigate, with great search filters to narrow down your choices until you find the perfect pair for you. I chose an adorable pair of flats in a pretty teal color. This exact style is no longer available, unfortunately, but they are introducing new styles all the time, so I am sure you would be able to find something that suits you. Here’s a picture of the shoes I got:

sophia

Personally, I found the orthotic footbed to be incredibly comfortable and supportive. The only drawback for me was that, due to my fairly narrow heels, I had difficulty keeping the shoes on when walking. This is not an uncommon occurrence for me, and adding a pair of heel cushions helped somewhat, although I may end up gifting these shoes to a friend with more normal width feet so that they can be enjoyed to their full potential. Despite this issue, I would definitely visit their site again for the large variety of sandals and other shoes with adjustable straps at the heel.

This week contained a major milestone for my son, and it’s not even autism related – he got his first pair of glasses! Doesn’t he look great in them?

I had taken him for an eye exam last fall and his vision was 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. At that point, the optometrist suggested we wait a year since his vision was pretty close to normal and we weren’t sure if he would wear the glasses faithfully.

Well, this fall I heard from the TSS that Michael had been moved to the front of the room because he was squinting to see the board. The school nurse said his vision came out at 20/30 and thought we could wait until his insurance kicked in again to go for an exam, but I decided we had better take the plunge and go in now. Good thing I did, because although his vision was in fact 20/30 in one eye, it was 20/75 in the other, and he did need glasses.

He was such a hit with the ladies in the office! When the lady helping us pick out frames asked him whether he played a lot of sports, he told her he was, “more brain than brawn”!! Then, when we picked up the glasses this week, he put them on and turned to look at me, saying, “I can see a lot more wrinkles now”! Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten him the glasses!?!?

Thankfully, he is happy to wear them and enjoys being able to see more clearly and read the board without squinting. I also think he looks quite handsome, but still kid-appropriate, in his navy blue frames. :)

So I’m sitting in my quiet apartment, listening to the the dryer tumble and thinking that I should be continuing with my cleaning or getting ready to go to my friend’s house this afternoon to work on a couple of projects with her. Before I do either of those things, however, I’m going to attempt to update my blog with something more than a book review.

I have been seeing a lot of posting about the uncertainty of what is going on with Feedburner, and after much thought decided to switch over to Feedblitz. It appears that both my site feed and my Feedblitz feed are coming through to both Google Reader and email okay, and the people who were subscribed directly to Feedburner are getting a message to update their reader. (Let me know if you are seeing anything different, please!) I’m happy about the switch, especially because my Feedburner account still reflects my old blog name in the URL as I didn’t want to lose people when I switched to a different domain a couple of years ago.

In the midst of this, I also decided to stop using Networked Blogs and also not to have Feedblitz post to Facebook, as the posts get grouped together instead of staying as individual posts. Instead, I plan to just manually update Facebook when I want to share a post, which will allow me to personalize it more anyway. I feel like I’ve lost touch with who is reading my blog somewhat, as I’ve pulled back from posting about personal stuff a lot over the last few months.

I have been reading a ton lately, as you’ve probably noticed from the number of reviews posted, and I was looking over my Fall Into Reading goals to see where I’m at with those. I guess I’ve gotten a bit sidetracked in my reading, because I haven’t make too much progress:

  • I have read 4 of the 6 review books. One I decided to pass on, and the other I haven’t received yet.
  • I haven’t read any of the nonfiction books, all of which are still sitting on the shelf looking a bit forlorn.
  • I am going to the library today to see what I can find from the fiction list, as well as to re-check out The Night Circus, which I got halfway through and had to return to the library. It is really a very good book, and I am eager to continue with the story.

So, only 4 out of 24 completed, so it’s time to stop letting myself get distracted by whatever comes along and stay focused on my list.

On the personal front, I have been working on connecting more with other people and on dealing with the emotional issues the separation from my husband has raised. I joined a community group at my church, which is sort of like a life group or small group except that it is more focused on Bible study. We are going through the book of Job together, which I love. It’s so interesting that most of the people at this church have come from different church backgrounds and are finding healing and community here despite some variations in theology and style of worship.

I am also attending a Divorce Care group, at another church nearby, and am attempting to admit and deal with some of the intense emotions I have been stuffing for a long time. It’s a difficult thing, especially as I don’t really know what to do with the feelings or how to process them. But at least it’s a start.

Well, the dryer has stopped turning, so I had better keep the laundry going and attend to some of the other domestic chores on my list for today. Michael will be home from his dad’s at 6, and we already have an epic Pokemon battle planned for this evening, along with his favorite brand of chicken nuggets for dinner. I hope everyone reading is having a good weekend and will be blessed this week with all the grace and strength you need.

I wanted to share with you a short social story I wrote for Michael to prepare him for starting fourth grade at a new school in a few days. I will probably write more stories to cover different aspects of school that Michael is worried about, but this one was prompted mainly by his reaction to the teacher assignment letter we got.

When I opened the letter and told him his teacher’s name was Mrs. Godfrey, he immediately got very upset. “I can’t have a teacher who is God-free,” he protested. “I’m going to have to talk to her about that or it’s going to be a very bad year.”

I tried to explain that it is just a proper name and isn’t spelled the way he heard it, and that it doesn’t tell us anything about her personality or beliefs, but he was convinced that this was a bad thing. I got the idea today to look up what the name “Godfrey” means and then decided to write this story.

I am sharing it here, although I shortened all the names except for the teacher’s. Feel free to use it as a springboard for your own story or share any other ideas or suggestions with me for other stories. I am planning to do ones for the bus and the after-school program once I have more details about how they work.

This school year, I will be in fourth grade at MV Elementary School. My teacher’s name is Mrs. Godfrey. The name “Godfrey” comes from German words meaning “God” and “peace.” B. [a family friend] had Mrs. Godfrey as her teacher when she was in fourth grade too, and she says Mrs. Godfrey is a wonderful teacher who especially loves science.

I already know a few people at MV. I have met Mrs. B, the school secretary, and Mr. R, the principal. I will also have two teachers that I know very well from when I went to P. Elementary – Mrs. F for speech and Mrs. C for physical education. I will meet more new teachers and staff people once school has started.

I will ride the bus to school in the morning. Mommy will take me to the bus stop and wait with me for the bus to come. In the afternoon, I will ride on a van to the after-school program. Mommy or Daddy will pick me up from there when they get off work.

This will be an exciting year as I get to learn new things and meet new people. I will make lots of new friends. MV has a great playground too.