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Quick update on Parenting Kids with Issues.

Jun 1, 2019

In other words, a quick update on my daughter. When I posted my entry about the trials and tribulations of parenting kids with issues my daughter was not in the best place. But, because I'm a tenacious son-of-a-gun, my wife and I are on the same page, and I have a world-class doctor, we have made substantial progress in the month since. 

First, I want to thank everyone who gave my love and positive feedback about that post. I was pretty worried about saying some of the things that I said, but thought it was important. I'm glad it was well received. Thank you all.

Second, don't give up. My daughter is now on very low doses of three different meds. Not exactly how you draw it up for you 5-year-old. But she is back to the kids who spontaneously tells me that she loves me and falls asleep in my arms most recently at a friends BBQ on Sunday. For those who are against "medicating kids," I got my daughter back... and I'd rather call it "treating kids" anyway. And, yes, sometimes that involves medication.

One last note as it relates to my last post, (backdated to look like I posted it last week, but also written today.) When my daughter is not well, she is the definition of an energy-sucker for our whole family. And, our kids are the only people in our life who we don't get to choose. Not matter what happens with her, I will love her and take care of her. Having said that, she can be really disruptive. If there is anyone else in your life who causes you that much pain and frustration, I'd consider jettisoning them from your orbit. They probably aren't worth it.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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I really like my clients!

May 24, 2019

When you first start a business it is really hard to say no to anyone. You will take anything you can get that is a paying gig and plenty that is unpaying. You also generally cast a pretty broad net until you figure out what you do best, enjoy most, and can actually make a living at.

It has been my experience that people can bring you energy or take your energy. I think I learned that from my amazing Mentor/Coach, Jerry, or maybe somewhere else in coaching school. But the more I work with a diverse group of clients the more I see this to be true. One energy-sucker in an important place in your life can destroy you. And you may not even know how damaging the effects of that person are until you get out from under their shade and into the sun. That can change everything. 

I was reflecting the other day on how much easier my coaching life is now that I have a "mature" practice. I attract clients who are serious about change and I am better at vetting them to make sure they aren't lying to themselves that they are ready. Sure, I have tough sessions, but it is different when it's a tough session with some with whom I have a real connection and to whom the work is important. There is a big difference between 50 minutes of intense presence and concentration with that person and a session with someone who isn't ready or invested. 

I had a busy week last week. 5 clients on Tuesday, 6 clients on Wednesday with only a break for my workout in the middle of the day, 4 clients and a consultation on Thursday sandwiched around a workout and a speaking engagement in Somerville (90+ minutes in the car.) And at the end of it...

... I felt somewhat fatigued but not in any way destroyed. In fact, some of those session and the speaking engagement were so productive that I found them energizing. And, that's just my professional life.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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Your pharmacist: An underrated relationship

May 13, 2019

I always say that my most important relationships are:
  1. My wife
  2. My prescribing physician
  3. My pharmacist
I'm posting this now because I've had many clients and folks in my support groups lately tell me what a hard time they've been having with their pharmacies. What do they all have in common? They all go to CVS. I haven't gone to a CVS for my regular scripts for many years, and there is a reason. They suck. They are unwilling to get me what I need, aren't truthful about when things are going to come in and don't really want to provide any actual service.

Over the years, since leaving CVS, I've used several Walgreens, an Osco inside a Shaws, an Eckard, a Rite Aid, and currently go to the pharmacy at the Wegmans in Westwood. With the exception on one particularly surly pharmacist at one Walgreens, I've never had the problems that I've had at CVS. 

Check out this catch 22 from the last time I tried to use a CVS. They only get their Schedule II meds (stimulants, etc.) delivered once a week. They put their order in on Friday for Monday. I want to pick up on Saturday. I always coordinate drop off and pick up with my food shopping. So I drop off on Saturday and pick up on the next Saturday. But since I drop off on Saturday and they refuse to keep my meds in stock, they can't put in the order until the following Friday for the next Monday. 

Then when I tried another CVS, they ordered during the week so my Saturday to Saturday cycle would work. Except that their policy was that an Rx couldn't be dropped off more than five days in advance. And, of course, they were unwilling to be flexible with that policy. So I'd have to find time to make multiple mid-week trips to the pharmacy every month. 

Currently the closest pharmacy to me is a CVS. When we moved here I went in to ask if they would be so kind as to order a specific generic brand of Clonidine for me. Since you basically can't get the name brand anymore, I've found that a specific generic works better for me as the thing that counteracts my stimulant-based insomnia. They told me that I couldn't even make the request. As I recall, they pharmacist couldn't actually do any of the ordering manually. They just got what corporate sent. 

But they were really excited to sign me up for mail order scripts. Sure. You can't make it happen in the store. Let's add in the US Postal service and I'm sure my meds will be on time and accurate. And, I'd still have to go in for the Schedule II's anyway. 

Bottom line, avoid CVS and make sure that whomever you pharmacist is that they are a human being who is willing and able to help. It shouldn't be that hard to find. Good luck.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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Organizing Your Legos

Apr 19, 2019

Legos are possibly the most annoying thing in the world to organize. They defy categorization and are basically impossible to put away in any meaningful way. 

What to do with the completed sets? That depends on if your kids actually play with the sets once they are assembled. 

If your kids do play with them, what do you do with half assembled sets that have been semi-destroyed by said play?

And, if your kid has ADHD, what do you do with the 8 - 10 half assembled sets that he/she "is going to get back to and finish late?"

The first step is to consolidate the legos into one location. I've been slowly getting them all into my son's room for over the last few months. He used to put them together in the basement because if he did it anywhere else his little sister would destroy them. But he never wanted to go down there. It's not really finished... okay it's not finished at all. So, once we got them all into his room, the legos were everywhere. They were like sand on the beach.

I finally settled on a three part system that put together three previous systems for lego organization that were all semi-successful. 
  1. Shelves for the finished product. Adjustable track system-style shelves that are adjustable to accommodate the impossible different heights of completed legos with solid shelves, not wire ones. picture  #2
  2. Stacking bins for the in process sets. The key here is to have one bin per set and to try not to let the sets get mixed up. I would also suggest leaving the instructions right in the bin with the set.  picture #1
  3. One big-ass bin under his bed for all the miscellaneous pieces. Don't even try to sort those. It is not possible. I've tried a few times to sort by color or even to pull out all the wheels. You will either go blind or go insane.  not pictured
Happy building!



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.


Organizing Your Legos
Organizing Your Legos

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Today is the day

Apr 26, 2019

Every year sometime in the spring, my brain stops wanting to do work. All I want to do is get out in the garden and grow stuff. Even on a rainy day like today. It almost feels like my medication is not working right. It's kinda' like that feeling you'd get the last week of school when you knew it was almost over and the sun was shining and your body was just telling you to get out of that room and get out in the fresh air. 

For me this has been going on for about 5 years, since my business really took off and I worked my tail off all winter. Once the spring really came, I'd get this feeling. The first  year I noticed it and freaked out. I thought that my meds had actually stopped working. But the following year, I remembered that something similar happened the previous year. And, it went away eventually. But it was still a bit scary. Every year I've recognized it better and freaked out less. And this year, I realize that it happened today. I would have guessed it happened a little later, but it is what it is. It's nice to know that it's nothing to panic about. 

The next step is to monitor my attention for the next few months and see when it comes back. Not to say that it is completely gone. I have had a very productive day. I'm just having trouble sitting still and doing office work. I definitely missed posting last week and put doing this off until 3:15. But it is what it is. No sense in fighting it. I've already exercised today. After this I think I'll meditate and see if that gets me chill enough to write another post to back date for last week. 

My point is that for me, at least in this realm, self knowledge and acceptance is the victory. I have a presentation to do by May 1st and a conference proposal to do soon, and I'm (in theory) working on my first book... but if I can't still those things will have to not get done today and I will have to be okay with that. 

...And I have been super productive in the garden. Check out my new grow lights! 



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.


Today is the day

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The toll of parenting kids with issues

Apr 12, 2019

I don't know if I"ll end up finishing this post or leaving it up. It is somewhat personal. If you read my stuff, you know that I'm not one to shy away from personal stuff, but this has to do with my kids and I'm not sure how I'll feel about what I'm about to write once it's down on "paper." But I think it is important for us, as parents, to share our pain and vulnerability so we don't have to suffer alone. So, here goes:

I just don't think the average person/parent has any idea what it is like to parent kids with real issues. It takes a toll on your mood, your sleep, your attention, your weight, your social life, your pocketbook, and your family unit. I'm not even sure where I'm going with this. It is more stream of consciousness than anything. But I am a life coach. I am good at that, because there are many, many things that I've figured out about life. But that doesn't mean I have it all figured out... or that it is even possible to figure it all out. So I want to admit to y'all that I'm struggling right now with my parenting. 

There is a delicate line to tread. Really the issues are my kids, particularly my daughter, who just turned 5. She's bipolar. She is like a little terrorist in our house. It is just so hard to work all day, run a household and that that entails and "come home" to a child who is a constant tantrum, won't eat dinner, and won't go to the bathroom by herself. She wakes up and comes into our bed nine out of ten nights. And we never know when she's going to completely lose it. In a lot of ways it's like being in an abusive relationship... that you can't get out of.

I'm ashamed to admit that there are many days in the last few weeks that I've sincerely felt that I would rather not be a parent anymore. I love my kids fiercely, but they have ground me down. Now, nobody get worried. This is not a desperate cry for help. I'm not going anywhere and am not going to do anything crazy. But that's just an illustration of how difficult it is now. 

My neighbor and I were catching up the other day. He has three kids around 7, 5, and 1. And he was lamenting how little time he gets to spend with then in the evenings. Meanwhile I was thinking that he was lucky that he wants that time. I'm often praying for bedtime to come. And, I know that if you don't have kids with real issues and you are reading this, you probably think I'm the worst person in the world. I guess I'll have to own that. I promise you there are other good/great parents out there who have the same thoughts. I want them to know that they are not alone. 

I have friends who take their kids on vacation and have a great time. That is my idea of hell. They are a monumental challenge at home. Why would I take them anywhere else where I can't control the environment? (By the way, I'm sure I'm now on some NSA watch list because I mentioned on the internet that my daughter is like a terrorist. So I guess we can't travel with her anyway.)

I remember one time at a baseball game my son was playing in several years ago I watched a mom walk over to the game to watch her son with her 4 other kids walking behind her may way for ducklings-style tallest to smallest. They were maybe 11 - 2 years old. They all had clean white shirts or dresses on and the all sat on a blanket and watched the game while they amused themselves. Honestly, my reaction was, "Fuck you!" I only have two kids and they are nearly killing me. This woman has 4 or 5 and looks super zen like she just walked out of a yoga class. 

Not that I really, truly resent people with neurotypical families. But it is hard not to feel comfortable in confiding in some of our better friend. I don't think they really understand how hard it is when your kids are garden variety wild, crazy, or weird. Clinically wild, crazy, or weird is different. And, they don't always see it. But we do... every morning, every night, often in the middle of the night and all weekend long. 

Thus ends my shameful confession. 




Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.





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