Walking in the dying sun



In a few moments, I have to go upstairs and find some way of disconnecting RT Teen from the computer. It's a tricky procedure involving distraction and bribery dressed as encouragement. Like a sad little flower at the back of the room, RT needs to feel the sun on his face and top up on his non-vampiric vitamins.

I know he's done some writing today and I also know he has made amazing progress with his spectacularly creatively mathematical mega-structure on Minecraft.  It's just that every time I walk in the room he's playing some strange cookie game. And I mean an actual cookie game, with a giant choc-chip cookie on the screen, not some weird hybrid of those internet sprites meant to make our lives easier.

If I was able to go in, unseen, he would be sitting there, his face alight in happiness and his body glowing gently in sympathy with the screen. And he would be socialising.

This is what happens whenever I try to get him off the computer. I know he's been working, Minecraft or otherwise. I also know he's been gaming, cookies or otherwise. But when I go up to detach him from the tech, his American friend will have come online and they'll be chatting.

There is some tech-connection charm which is activated by online chatting. When the chatting begins, all other pursuits are put on hold and I am barely even allowed to look at him. It is paramount that he not leave the computer, though he seems able to chat and still play games. He must stay where he is because their time-lines have coincided and they are communicating across the waters.

No matter that the sun is going down, or the dog is dancing. The fact that he has sat there for a full day means nothing. Neither does that ache in his mouse hand or the weird dryness in his throat which will eventually turn out to be thirst.

It is chat time and America is online, or at least the very particular part of it which shares exactly the same interests as RT Teen.

If I was a non-aspie mother, I would rail at RT and explain about the sunshine and the exercise and the fresh air (don't we all remember the lectures about fresh air?). I would insist he comes off and tell him he can chat to his friend another day. I would make sure he ate and drank away from the computer and did Other Stuff with his day.

I would not go up, see his happy face and leave him for another half an hour. I wouldn't feel ever so gently jealous that I didn't have the internet when I was growing up. I wouldn't go back downstairs and dance with the dog awhile, before going online to find out how much time before the sun goes down.

The aspie life isn't always complicated. Sometimes it is as simple as the hours spent in happy pursuits, the kind of activities which don't have to be what the majority think are good for us.

Readers, I know vitamin D is very important and so, apparently, is fresh air though it was never explained why. It's just that friends and play and contentment aren't always found in a bracing wind or a dying sun. Sometimes they are right here, at home, just on the other side of the water.

Amanda
  
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Manic Optimism




I never understood people who talked about doing something and then, well, talked about it some more. How long does the talking stage go on if someone really wants to act? How long is it before plans become events?

I know there are lots of people less hasty than me. They plan things out, think it all through, consult sensible others and make real strategies for success which have nothing to do with my manically scribbled notes in many notebooks. These are the ones who know before starting if their plan has a chance of success.

Then there are the ones who do all of this and make the right noises but never seem to get off the ground. They haven't discovered the plan is unworkable or even very risky, they just don't move. The next time you see them and bring up the grand scheme, they are pleased to talk about it but the conversation is either a re-hash of the last time you met or it's yet another nuance of the scheme they need to iron out.

They are the careful ones, the ones so very careful they rarely do anything. This is a shame because many of their plans are great and I'd be happy to dive right in and help.

Except that I'd be happy to dive right into the lava flow if you told me the suit would hold. And I'd be the one diving into the shark pool, if you said being dressed like a shark would keep me safe. Diving into tricky but exciting scenarios is one of my favourite things.

I love the exhilaration that comes from hoping and feeling a plan will succeed and diving in to see if I'm right. There is nothing quite like the swoosh of warm air as you sail through the atmosphere, hoping it will be a soft landing. Having visualised the soft landing, it is almost a truth it will come to pass.

The planners know a soft landing should be built into the plans and the careful ones know that they're not silly enough to dive into anything, not with a family, house, pets, retirement plan and good causes to think about. The only one diving in is me, whizzing past with a superbly-optimistic grin on my face, just knowing it's all going to be fine.

If anyone lacks confidence in their plans they can come to me and have them shored up for free. I can tell them how it will succeed, give them extra ideas to make sure it does and dive right in, to encourage them onward.

The careful ones better watch out as even with their determination to act only when the earth collides with the sun, I have been known to make the most stolid, reliable person jump before they were ready.

And then my own plans: diving in is happening even as I am planning. A vague idea, drawn with the end of a matchstick, is enough to have me in motion. I can sort out the rest on the way. No matter if it is a short trip to the ground and the rough or soft landing, on the way is all the time I need to fine-tune the details. Trust me!

I should add that despite this maniacal need for action, I do try to learn from my mistakes (it would be super-human of me to ignore my mistakes as there are so many of them). So even though I'm diving in, I do look around to see if there is anything familiar that can go wrong. This knowledge of past pitfalls is what can make me so useful to other planners as I know what can go wrong. It's a pity it never stops me trying again though.

Diving in, over and over, is a stalwart part of my aspie life. Optimism is under-rated: it keeps you young in mind, if light in wallet. It means you are always ready to try new things and have the confidence to make them work, no matter what, right up until something better comes along.

Here it is, readers, the recipe for an exciting life. All you need is a short plan and a platform to dive from, then you are all set. No, don't wait until you find something suitable to dive from. Look here, I have this box you can use. Just make room for me beside you. Now, don't Blogger is a free blog-publishing tool from Google for easily sharing your thoughts with the world. Blogger makes it simple to post text, photos and video onto your personal or team blog.be shy, just jump!

Amanda
  
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How to Talk to Your Aspie


I wish I could talk to people, you know? Talk to them in the same way as when I write my blog or my books. The written word comes so easily compared to the stilted, stuttering, compacted conversations I offer in the real world. How does this happen? Why can I write it and not say it? It is the same brain behind both things!

And this is how I came to the second book in my Crazy Girl in an Aspie World series. I realised that a disproportionate amount of my blog posts were spent analysing communication and explaining how hard it can be for aspies to talk to other people, let alone explain their feelings.

People who found my blog searched using phrases like, ‘talk to an aspie’, ‘why can’t aspies talk,’ ‘weird aspie talk’ and ‘strange things that aspies say’. Yes, we are weird and say strange things or we can’t talk or people try to talk to us and come away confused.

Faced with the real world, lots of aspies freeze and need to give themselves a push to carry on into the maelstrom. It is hard out there. The world is filled with a myriad of aggravating events which impact on the aspie psyche and leave us reeling as if in pain. On top of all this, we are expected to communicate too.

I often think that communicating with other people is like trying to talk in the middle of a thunder storm or while being chased by wild, hungry animals: the other person doesn’t see the storm or the pursuit, they only see you, stood like a great wedge of cheese, staring at them with your face fixed in confused thought. They wonder why you don’t speak, they ask if anything is wrong and then they leave.

The storm abates, the animals vanish and the aspie is left alone, quiet, annoyed with their inability to communicate but at the same time relieved that the danger is over. They can relax until the next time someone wants something from them. And maybe by then they will have got the hang of this talking business.

This book is titled, ‘How to Talk to Your Aspie’ but much of it is written from the aspie viewpoint. Some of these chapters are adapted from my popular blog, Crazy Girl in an Aspie World and are included because other people have found them relevant and helpful.

Family, friends, best beloveds, have a look at the world from an aspie point of view and see how creative, frightening, annoying and enlightening it can be.

How to Talk to Your Aspie is available on Amazon as an ebook (paperback due out soon) and on Lulu as a paperback.

Amanda
  

My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter