I knew this would happen when I entered the Sadness part of the Grief Cycle I am on.  I am getting nothing done.  My energy level went from “I can push a little more out of myself” to “I’ll do that tomorrow…maybe.”  And then to top it off, I got sick.  I was sick for awhile.  Then I got better, but the boys’ night time routine went from a 30 minute thing to a 2 hour thing because Tyler doesn’t get his paci anymore.

I realize that all these things are excuses…some better than others.  I could still get some things done.  I just haven’t been.

But the nice thing about life is that it just keeps coming every day.  So there is always time to get back on the wagon.

Back on the treadmill.

Back on top of grocery shopping.

Back on doing the dishes.

Back on preparing for the vendor fair I am going to be doing in ten days and for which I will only have 1 hour to set up, which is a ridiculously small amount of time with no room for errors.

I guess the anniversary of 9/11 is a good time for people to take stock and realize that it is time to get back in the game.  There is always time to decide to not take life for granted, but if you do it later rather than sooner, you will look back and wish you had picked the sooner option.

I guess that means I am running on the treadmill tonight.  At 10 PM.  So much about my ability to do something like that should be appreciated.  The ability to own a treadmill.  To run.  To not run in fear but for something that means a lot to me.

And I guess I can make sure the kitchen is cleaned up.  I really do feel better when the kitchen is clean.

So many amazing things in my life right now.  It is weird to be in this place that I am in.  I caught a glimpse of sunlight before entering a cave.  But the cave is beautiful as well and I need to get through it to get to the other side.  It has been placed in my path for a reason.  Life doesn’t stop at the different stages of life or the grief cycle.  My body and mind need this place right now…that is why I am here.

I do, however, really need to get back on the treadmill tonight.

From my heart,


(c) Rachel Flinchum 9/11/2013


Okay. Let’s do that.

So about a week ago, I noticed I was entering Sadness on the Grief Cycle. I had no idea how much this would affect all the different aspects of my life. Before I could write 10,000 words a day. I could barely wait a day before blogging again. I was sewing and painting. I never wanted to sit down and read a book because I had too much stuff to do. I was getting settled into my exercise routine to prepare for the upcoming 5K for Autism Speaks.

Now…now I am so ridiculously unmotivated it is frightening. The lingering sadness I am experiencing is coloring everything I do. Even brushing my teeth seems futile. They are just going to be dirty the next time I eat something. Sigh.

Sometimes it is my mood, but more often it is just the lens through which I see everything. I am still happy about a lot of things. Tyler is doing really well in school so far. We just ordered our Team Ty-Ty t-shirts. The Walk Now for Autism Speaks is only a little more than a month away. I am doing a Vendor Show in three weeks which will hopefully raise more money for the Walk and help me sell some of my horde of made baby items.

But everything seems a little less colorful…a little washed out.

Especially my creativity. I open a New Post screen on my computer and just stare at the blank box. Nothing comes. I will sew for a few minutes and then just wander away from the sewing machine.

I look at my Walk Now for Autism Speaks Walk Fund, which isn’t growing anymore, and instead of brainstorming new ideas, I just get discouraged and close the app. And it is stupid that I am discouraged because I have exceeded my goal for the year and I am really proud of myself and the people who have supported me. But then I think about all the families struggling with non-verbal children and bullying (the parents get bullied too) and it just makes me sad.

The ONLY reason I even know I am on this repeating grief cycle is because I have read books on autism and families dealing with it. How many other parents are out there that are going through what I am going through right now, but they don’t understand why? You know, when I am talking about autism awareness and trying to raise support for it, I am not only picturing beautiful, gifted children who need our help. I am picturing the mothers as well. The ones who are confused, angry, sad, and broken. The ones going through what I have had to go through and am still going through. I can look into the eyes of a mother of an autistic child and see many things that I wish I could take away. There is pride, love, and fierceness, but there is also brokenness, betrayal felt, and exhaustion.

How can we keep the good things of this experience but remove the bad? Tyler is AMAZING. He is loving and kind and honest. Having Tyler as my son is a blessing and I love every part of him. Even his autism. I would have been devastated if my parents had tried to force me to be right-handed. I have no intention of curing or “fixing” Tyler’s autism. He is unique and we need his perspective and contributions. But raising him to function in our world should not be a traumatizing event. So he needs to do things differently or needs extra help. Okay. Let’s do that. I shouldn’t have to fight for it. I shouldn’t have to bleed for it. I shouldn’t have to be broken in the process.

I wish mothers lived in a world where their child, whoever they are, are accepted as who they are. Do they need time with a professional therapist to learn to talk? Okay. Let’s do that. Do they need to have a place they can go to when things overload? Okay. Let’s do that. Do they need to get a service dog to keep them from wandering off and hurting themselves? Okay. Let’s do that.

Why isn’t that the answer more often. Okay. Let’s do that. We need a Let’s do that World.

I need to get out of my sadness funk. Of course, that will just land me in another category. Sadness can be good. I usually use the time I am stuck here to put things into perspective. I build up some inner reserves and just let myself be still for awhile. Life doesn’t slow down though and right now Sadness is not working in my favor.

So time to move on to another Grief category. Okay. Let’s do that.

For more on the Grief Cycle categories and other information I have picked up along my journey, check out my book.

From my heart,


(c) Rachel Flinchum 8/30/2013