Relax - Life's Too Precious To Waste

I don't know about you but I've found as I get older I seem to have lost the ability to relax and am always busy doing something.

My family have told me I must have a "rest" but I find it difficult. Even if I do just sit in a chair my mind doesn't switch off. There are so many things I feel I must "do".

However, this past week I have had a complete break from the computer and my normal day/night "job" and have spent it on a caravan holiday. Actually it was more of an educational trip as we were searching for further educational facilities for our autistic son when he leaves school.

Hopefully it was successful. Time will tell.

The break did me good and I came back feeling refreshed despite our caravan site being at the end of a runway. We weren't aware of the location when we booked, but saw a Typhoon, Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire and a Hurricane which were interesting if you like that sort of thing.

However, the Harriers, F15's and Tornados made an impressive sight flying over at 200 feet – noisy but impressive!

Unfortunately, when I returned home and turned on the computer I was faced with so many e-mails I received a message to say my in-box couldn't hold any more.

My sense of well being soon disappeared.

Spam is a big issue these days and often it's hard to know which e-mails to read and which to ignore. For me the subject line is a big deciding factor or a recognisable sender's address.

Sometimes, however, I just get drawn to e-mails and can't explain why. This is one I read and I think someone, somewhere is trying to tell me something.

Maybe it's a wake up call and I need to listen. Life is too precious to waste.

What do you think?

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer)

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realised that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you's," more "I'm sorry's."

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it, live it and never give it back.


Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with, and what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I hope you have a blessed day.


Autism And Disability - Why Little Things Can Mean A Lot

My son developed autism just after his first birthday and I wouldn't describe my life since as being easy.

However, today I was reminded just how lucky I am.

Through various non invasive interventions, endless patience and persistence, he has developed into a nice young man who I can now take most places without wishing the ground would open up and swallow me.

My son is eighteen, physically very capable with a great sense of balance and hand/eye co-ordination.

He's now easy to look after and despite using limited language to communicate, he tries very hard in other ways to let people know what he wants and needs.

Another boy I know also tries very hard to communicate. However, he's not quite so physically able, infact he's in a wheelchair.

Now eight, he's become a very frustrated little individual who likes to assert himself whenever possible.

Unfortunately it is making it increasingly difficult for his mother to look after him and take him out alone.

Not only is he getting bigger and heavier, but where once he was happy to be pushed along wherever his mother chose, he now grabs on to anything he can get his hands on to prevent the wheelchair moving, especially if it means leaving somewhere he enjoys.

Railings, gates, lamp posts are all becoming hazardous and he's now mastered the art of the wheel chair equivalent of an emergency stop by putting on the brake when the chair is in motion.

The last time he did it his mother had taken him to a play park and he'd been reluctant to leave. Needless to say he'd entwined his little fingers around every thing he could manage on the route back to the car.

His mother anticipated further problems once they reached the vehicle so as soon as they got in range she got her keys out to open the car by remote control.

The plan was to make the transition from chair to car as quick as possible but her son had other ideas. He pulled on the brake, the chair tipped up and in her haste to keep it upright she dropped the keys down the drain.

The mother just sat down on the kerb and laughed. She had to, if not she would have cried and I know from experience that once you start it can take a long time to stop.

Hearing that story made me once more appreciate just how lucky I am.

One thing which would have made a considerable difference to the lady in question would have been a companion to help her - a friend - another pair of hands.

Over the years I have come to know one thing with certainty and that is the people who require the help the most are the ones least likely to ask for it.

I'd like you to bear that in mind the next time you think about your friend, relation or neighbour and imagine walking a day in their shoes.

Sometimes, even the smallest, simplest thing can mean so much and the difference between being able to cope or not.

I am fortunate in that I have a Circle of Friends for my son. They are people who have his best interests at heart and do fun things with him. It gives him the opportunity to enjoy a variety of activities, and gives me a break from having to be completely responsible all the time.

All are volunteers and help because they want to. They derive as much pleasure from the association as my son does and we all benefit from the relationship.

My Circle also enables me to give quality time to other family members. Often disabilities split families in two and I know of several couples who always do different activities so their "normal" children don't lose out. Some even take separate holidays.

Being a parent is never an easy task but when you have a child with a disability the family unit is frequently under strain. Many couples can't take it and there are more than a few mothers (and fathers) left to cope alone.

I know we all live in a busy world but most of us could, if we wanted, spare a few hours a month to help someone in need.

Believe me, it can make a huge difference.

For more information on autism and how to form a circle of friends