I was recently at a conference and one of the sessions was about finding your passion. The speaker said, “Selfish is not a dirty word.” Wow! That was a light bulb moment for me. It’s okay to be selfish. Even with two kids with disabilities, it’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to have dreams. And it’s certainly okay to pursue those dreams.
I have driven a minivan for over 11 years. For seven of those years, it has been a wheelchair accessible minivan. If I’m completely honest, the van sometimes makes me angry. It is such a blessing for our family, I feel guilty for being mad. I feel guilty for wanting a different car to drive. I feel selfish for even considering buying a different car to drive when my son isn’t with me.
Last week, on a whim, we went and looked at cars. I wanted a small, fun convertible. On an even bigger whim, I bought that car. I then lost sleep over buying that car. I felt so selfish for buying that car. I didn’t need it. It was definitely a want. I wanted something for me that had nothing to do with my kids. I wanted to feel free. I wanted to find myself and start dreaming again.
My new car is named Joy. It brings me joy to drive the car with the top down with the wind blowing through my hair. It brings me joy to feel free. It brings me joy to start finding myself again. I’m hoping this new car is my reminder that it really is okay to be selfish.
In the big scheme of things, if I start putting myself first sometimes, I will have more energy to invest in my boys and my family. And that will make everyone happier. It really is a win-win.
After making the difficult decision to medicate your child, with time and on occasions, old symptoms return or new ones appear. Once again, you’re faced with what felt like an already-made decision - to medicate higher or more, or not.