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On Fire

This is a hard one to write.  It’s hard to admit when one burns out.

My burn outs are never permanent, and I probably shouldn’t call it burn out but something more creative like “rest and regroup,” or my more common aphorism, “my dyslexia vacation.”

The fact is the advocacy fight for my child takes more out of me then I ever want to admit.  The washing machine of meetings and ARDs spits me out at the end all hot and discombobulated.

And, the truth is I knew it was coming, and was desperately trying to hold it at bay, but I was just kidding myself really.  I was burned out before the last ARD meeting and sitting there knowing in my gut that to change them would require suing them, the last part of my fire flickered out.

My burn outs usually start with depression and are quickly followed by self pity, anger and then a swan dive into the pool of my insecurities.  Once I start questioning everything, that’s when I realize it’s time to shut down.

A year ago during my first dyslexia burn out, I said I was going to take a month long vacation, but after a week I was recovered and back at it, pushing forward with my usual tenacity.  This time, I think the month off will really be a month off, and possibly a tad longer.

I still have things I will be working on, things that need to be taken care of, but it’s appropriate that as school comes to an end, that this dyslexia warrior gets to take a short respite.

We all need time, rest and recovery.  We as women are especially poor at actually granting that to ourselves.  There’s always something to work on, something that needs tending, and personally I feel guilty, like I’m failing my family if I just lie in bed all day, watching the movies I want to watch, just me myself and I without a care in the world.

I don’t get my nails done, I very rarely have a pedicure (it’s been 2 years since my last one), and while I splurge on my hair dresser, that’s about all I give myself in what the world judges to be materialistic spoiling.

I spent the last weekend focusing on a long procrastinated project, organizing my in-laws pre-digital photos, as well as our own for digitization.  Over the last few months I’ve been photographing every single piece of artwork my son has ever created in his life too.  Well, I’m almost done with both and the idea of finishing those two projects this weekend instead of working on anything dyslexia related makes me pretty giddy.  It will feel good to have these two projects behind me and in a place where I can focus on next steps with all of these images.

Other things calling to me:

  • I have 2 potted plants that need some attention.
  • School is about to be out and my son wants to take a trip somewhere and my husband is loving that idea.
  • I’d like to meet with a carpenter to redesign my office into an actual useful space as opposed to the stress inducing cluster that it is.
  • I’d love to learn how to crochet so I can make amigurumi because I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of knowing how to do it, don’t ask me why.

In other words, I just want to BE for a stretch; so I’m going to just be.

Funnily enough just saying that relaxes me and puts a smile on my face.  Now that I can admit I’m burned out, the pull to rest is overwhelming, and that’s ok.

What life has taught me, rather painfully, is to allow myself to take a step back and recover.  If we don’t embrace that concept then we don’t take care of anyone well because we can’t even take care of ourselves.

As a friend of mine said yesterday, the dyslexia battle is a beast.  Well, even the strongest warriors need to recover.

I see myself as a phoenix and this as the in between time in the stages of life.  I burn to ash from time to time, but rise once again, majestic and powerful.  I look forward to catching fire once again.


So, as I begin my dyslexia vacation, I wish everyone who reads this grace and joy for yourselves and for your family; I wish everyone congratulations for surviving yet another school year; and in case my vacation is a tad longer than I’m planning, I wish you the most amazing summer.  I hope it’s filled with lots of quality family time for making wonderful memories, and if you’re able, the chance to stand some place magical and take in the beauty of the world.  For me, that will be staring at the horizon where the ocean meets the sky, pondering the grandeur of the universe.

See you soon!

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