I don’t know about you, but there are definitely days when I lose sight of long-term goals. I become impatient. I forget to respect the process… whether it’s my own, my husband’s, a friend’s or either of my children’s. I just don’t. I want things to happen on MY time frame. I like when things happen in exactly the way I imagined they would, with the speed in which I hoped for. I LOVE when things happen even faster or in a way I couldn’t have imagined and end up even better than I thought. But when things meander along, taking their time, going at a pace far too slow for my liking I have trouble… My father used to say to me, “You want what you want, when you want it.” This was NOT meant as a compliment. He was right. I am impatient. I prefer when things I want to happen, happened yesterday.
I used to think I would become more patient with age, but if anything, growing older makes me even less patient as I’m more aware of my mortality and that there really is an “end” to all of this, or I should say an end to me(gasp!) and therefore I have to hurry if I’m going to get everything I want done, finished. You know, things like changing the way people perceive autism, changing the way society treats people with disabilities, changing how our education system works… little stuff like that… *Big grin.
So when I’m hit with a wave of impatience, when I am most definitely NOT respecting the process, whatever and whomever that may apply to, I must remind myself of my tendency toward impatience and that I do not control much of what happens in this world. Everyone can let out their breath now; I know that was something most of you were concerned about. *Said with a big smile and a generous dollop of sarcasm.
Respect… this is something I think about a great deal. My daughter’s life is no less worthy of respect than my own. Respecting her means, listening to her, finding out how best to communicate with her, I have to respect the way she learns, the best ways for her to express herself in any given situation, the way she takes in information, the time she needs to move from one thing to the next, the clear instructions she needs so she can do what is being asked and honoring her as a human being who deserves to be treated with dignity.
Musings of an Aspie wrote a post the other day entitled, (Not) a Little Slow. It’s a terrific post, one I wish was part of a “Welcome To The Tribe – Things You Should Know Handout”. I wish this handout existed for all of us when we receive an autism diagnosis, whether for ourselves or our children. Actually this imaginary handout should be made available to every human being on this planet. If we treated all humans with the kind of generosity, respect and civility practiced at Autism conferences where Autistic people are not only in attendance, but are largely responsible for the creation of the programming and planning, this world would be a better place.
Em & Laura on the subway