I Need To Do This My Way: I’m Contrary Like That, That is My Neurodiversity
April 25, 2021
There is a newish term called neurodiversity. It can be used to describe children on the autism spectrum disorder and I think a better term. Can someone and the way their brain works be a disorder? Or are they just different? And on this blog different is 100% okay.
I was exhausted yesterday and did not play Catan with the children last night. Our son purchased Catan months ago and we still have not played. I had been up early at 4am sending emails and doing some climate work organizing, and we did go to volleyball. I did try to get the ocean beach plastic from #donttrashmissionbeach and it was very stressful trying to find parking in that area of Mission Beach. There is almost no parking. I know myself and I had circled around with my daughter in our car three times, and I ended texting her that I was going to head back home and try again some other day. The whole endeavor was very stressful because I know I am not a good driver. Well, I am a good driver because I know that I have to be very careful and I don’t take risks. I had my ex-28week preemie in the car and the last thing I’m going to do is risk her and myself trying to do a trash art advocacy project – especially since I’m trying to save the earth partially for my own children.
So I ended up driving home and that whole short episode was emotionally exhausting. Writing and editing the paper for the Journal of Applied Research on Children was not exhausting. Composting was not exhausting. Gardening up on my roofdeck was not exhausting. Being told by my mother-in-law that I needed to change the soil on all the plants up on the roofdeck when there are now glorious ladybugs there was exhausting. I absolutely hate being told what to do. I love to learn and to collaborate, but being told – I cannot stand it. I know this because we all need to learn and make mistakes and those are my mistakes to make. I did end up swapping the rosemary plant I had up on the roofdeck with the other rosemary on the backyard. They are both in containers. I learned what my mother-in-law was trying to teach me about the root system and the compost. The soil needs to be heavy and anchored. I get that. But combined with the whole trying to get ocean beach plastic from #donttrashmissionbeach and being almost commanded to come by a fellow litterpicker to get some stuff through instagram – does not mesh with me.
And that was why I was exhausted yesterday. It’s good to self-reflect and understand that about myself. Have that quiet moment with yourself. The picture above is the posters/flyers I finished to advertise for out Youth Arts Contest. The original virtual poster was made on Canva and there is no way to print it without paying $6 a poster and $1 a flyer. I have the money I could use to pay for that advertising because we are FISE, Financially Independent to Save the Earth, but that is not the point. The point of this advocacy thing is that I want to do it on a shoestring budget and demonstrate that money is not going to solve this thing. Only people are going to solve this climate crisis. Individuals with all their eccentricities. And my eccentricity neurodiveristy is that I will not spend that much on posters that would cost at least $100 and could not even guarantee it is on recycled paper. Instead I found a ream of paper on sale at Staples that was 500 count only $10, and made of 30% recycled content. I just printed them at home. It took about 2 hours of my time and that is okay. It’s time I’m willing to give.
I was contrary, neurodiverse, and eccentric yesterday. I didn’t like when Mr. Plastic Picker told me to just pay for expensive wastefull posters printed on virgin forest paper. I didn’t like it when another litterpick I felt (and I’m pretty sure it was just my perception) was telling me to make a risky driving journey that may have been easy for others, but it was not going to be easy for me. I didn’t like it when my mother-in-law wanted me to disrupt the soil on the precious potted bluberry bush I had been working on for the last few months. The whole point is not necessary to make a lot of food. I’m trying to reflect the solar energy and decrease the urban heat island effect and I’m trying to create a home for bugs. The planter that I had been most proud of and checking in on everyday, was being criticized. And that hurt. That hurt a lot. So I told her I’m consider that out another day and to leave my planter alone. I’ll figure it out myself and I’ll ask questions later. I think she understands. But I was having a contrary, neurodiverse and eccentric day yesterday. But I slept and I feel better, and I have to work this morning doing PE clinic and be a conventional person.