20 Ways to Reduce Tics

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As many of you know, I’m all about raising a kid whose spirit outweighs a few tics. But now that my baby is, gulp, a month shy of 13, it’s become apparent yet again to take a look at management. His tics are loud. I mean, so loud and startling at times that this morning I yelled, “Holy Tic Man, take it down a notch!”

I get that he can’t help ticking. And I’m beyond happy that he’s okay with his Tourettes. (I know that many of your babies are not as comfortable with them. We deal with other issues and believe me, I get the heartbreak. You have an ally in me!)

But here’s the deal: I suffer from anxiety. I do. It’s waaaaay better now than it’s ever been, but here’s why. I don’t get to sit around all day and tell my husband through tears, “Ohhhh, I can’t work and pay the mortgage. I’m having a pity party and you’re not invited.” No. I take responsibility for my tendency to feel more neurotic than Willy Allen on 3 cups of Expresso fearful at times. I:

  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Take a little bit of Zoloft
  • Go to a few meetings each week
  • Talk to a therapist when I feel overwhelmed
  • Sleep well
  • Stay off of all mind alterating substances (No doobage and booze for this gal. I’ve been tempted lately, believe me, but I refrain.)
  • 2 cups of regular coffee in the morning only

The same has become true for Stink. The time has come for him to be a bit more pro-active with his vocal outbursts. If he can’t control them on his own (which apparently he can’t) we get to help him. We are the parents. We make the rules.

If you’re in that boat of wanting to suppress tics, here are some options for you.

BASICS (We’re on all of this except the dairy. That’s next.)

  1. Limit Screen time
  2. Insist on at least 30 minutes of exercise every day
  3. Limit sugar, food dyes and artificial flavors.
  4. Insist on a strong multi-vitamin
  5. Insist on a really good night sleep
  6. Get off gluten
  7. Get off dairy

MORE ADVANCED (We have the doctor and we started the magnesium. Next is the Taurine)

9. Naturopath – find one in your area that will take an integrative approach to tics. Ask him or her about supplements.

10. Supplements – Ask your naturopath about Taurine, Magnesium, a good fish oil

SUPER INDEPTH (This is happening in January after Ticmas Christmas.)

11. Salvia Test: Complete a 23andme.com‘s genetic saliva test to see what his DNA has to show for itself. Once you know, your doctor can see what is working in his body and what is not and treat it more efficiently.

12. Finger Stick Food Allergy – Get a finger stick food allergy panel by Alletess Labs.  Cost is $120. The test kit is sent to you, you can perform it in the convenience of your home and and then ship directly to the lab. Have results sent to your doctor. Once you know what your child is allergic to, you can start eliminating offending foods.

BONUS OPTIONS

13. GAPS: The GAPS diet is very intricate, but it has stunning results. In a nutshell, it heals the stomach lining so that food no longer slips through the holes, hits the blood stream and causes brain inflammation (which can cause tics.) Personally I would not resort to this diet without knowing if your child does indeed have a leaky gut. I would work with a naturopath on this.

14. Hemp Oil: There has been much research lately about the non-habit forming part of the pot leaf providing tremendous relief (or shall we say “re-leaf” for tics and twitches. Here is a link that someone in my Twitch and Bitch provided. Her son’s tics were so bad he had to miss school. They are 90% reduced now.

15. CBT: Known as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, this technique allows a child to transfer a loud or strong tic into one that is quieter and less obvious. It requires a certified therapist to work with your child.

16. Meditation: Just 30 minutes of meditation per day can rewire neurons and calm down the dopamine that causes tics. Learning to breathe and center oneself can keep give your child an opportunity to have more control.

17. Therapy: Having your child talk to a therapist can be huge in teaching them how to advocate for themselves. It’s crucial (in my humble opinion) to have them see their part in everything. While they can’t control tics, they can control how they advocate for themselves and how they behave toward others.

18. Treat the other Conditions: Most kids with tics have other issues. Often times when one treats the ADHD or the OCD (or whatever else is present) the child is calmer and the tics become fewer.

19. Hobbies: Insist on helping them find a hobby they love: Often times when a child finds something they are passionate about, the tics become less when they are focused on it.

20. Love Them and Have Fun: That is the best tip of all. Your child might not always remember a tic free childhood, but they will hopefully remember one filled with the support of people who adored them no matter what.

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Come back this week as I’ll break down this list over the course of the next six weeks, giving more detail on each tip.

Until then, may God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, change the tics you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

My book, Happily Ticked Off, is available on Pre-Order on Amazon. Get your copy today!

Happily Ticked offIf you would like to read more from me, please check me out on my new website, http://www.andreafrazerwrites.com.

52 Weeks of TS: Week 50

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. With just TWO weeks remaining in this series, there’s a chance you missed one more entries from his exciting, revealing journey. You can read all of them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, thinking about what I’m hoping to achieve through my writing. I was asked about this topic this week when I did an interview about blogging, writing and reaching out to the TS community. The interview was for the TSA newsletter, and it got me thinking: Besides a little ADHD and having a little difficulty concentrating, I don’t have that many problems writing. I can set a time line and finish the project in that time line. If I sit down in front of my computer, the words just roll onto the screen. I might not have a hard time now, and enjoy what I do, but this wasn’t always the case.

Back in school, I was always behind with my work and it was always a struggle. Being in a classroom full of students with all sorts of distractions did not make it easy. I know there are still children today who are struggling the same way, too scared and embarrassed to say anything. I wish I knew then what I know now, maybe I could have changed something in my educational process to make it easier and more enjoyable.

I have noticed recently that my tics are changing. I guess that they are always changing, but this is different. I’m not sure if they’re getting worse or if I’m just having a harder time suppressing them. I have said before how I have been getting more comfortable with my tics and not feeling the need to suppress them, but even in situations when I’m trying to suppress them I am finding it to be a struggle.

I’m starting to think it might be the Chinese herbs I’ve been taking. I have been taking them for more than six weeks now, and I don’t feel as if it’s helping at all. Now I’m just in a panicked state, wondering if I screwed up my body more with the herbs. I have made a decision to stop taking them, I have not spoke to my herbalist about this yet, but I just feel as if it’s something I need to do.

Our bodies are constantly telling us what they need. If we lack vitamin C, we crave orange juice; if we need protein, our body will let us know it needs some. This is how I’ve been feeling this week. I have been having many smaller tic attacks that I can’t control, and there is something in my body that is pointing to the Chinese herbs. So yet again, one more failed attempt to find my nonexistent path to normalcy.

One of the new tics I have noticed is a violent flipping in the middle of the night. I always thought I did not tic in my sleep. Even my husband has said that he knows when I’m asleep because I don’t tic anymore. In the past few weeks, I have noticed that In order to roll over, I tend to do this violent full body twitch to roll over. It’s so violent that I actually wake up. It wasn’t until this week that I started wondering about this new strange movement. Is it a new tic?

The other morning my husband woke up and told me I was not allowed to keep complaining about his snoring if I was going to continue this violent flipping thing I was doing. That was it, I was convinced that this was a new tic. My husband has noticed this new tic, and it is even keeping him up. Well I guess it’s even with the amount of time he keeps me up with his snoring.

I think this new tic was the last straw in my decision to stop the Chinese herbs. Is this new tic caused by the herbs or is it just more of the waxing and waning of the syndrome? It’s just gets me thinking more about what I might be doing to my body with all of these attempts to find a cure. Is there a cure? Is little old me going to be the one to find it? Is my life that bad that I need to keep attempting to do this to my body?

The truth is my life is good. I’m happy; I just do these weird movements. I’m sure I could continue educating people about the reality of TS, but how much would I really get across if I looked normal. If I twitch and tic, it will be easier to start a conversation if someone notices.

Maybe all of these attempts to find the cure, might be one more way for me to hide from whom I am, and that’s not what I want to do. Throughout this year, I have tried so hard to educate people and every time I do, I experience the greatest, warmest feeling inside. When I was hiding from who I was, all I felt was shame and loneliness. Why would I want to go back there?

I still find myself doing little things to hide from who I really am. This week I did some shopping for some winter clothes and I realized something else. I love hoods. Most of my shirts, sweatshirts, or coats have a hood. Wintertime is the best time for me to show off this love, but there is more behind this fascination. It is a way for me to hide. If I have a hood on, I feel like people can’t see my tics.

Armed with my hood, my sunglasses, and my earphones, I am hiding from the world. I think it is time to take off my armor, take off the sunglasses, take out those earphones, and pull that hood down off my head. Life is a learning experience and we spend our whole life doing this. Perhaps the whole reason I have gone on this journey was for me to learn. Let the world see me for who I am.

Until next week, “I’ll tic to you later.”

From 6 to TS to 12 in the blink of an eye

Um, Stink is 12 now. I mean, really, how is this possible? He’s gone from a short-haired, Scooby Doo obsessed 6-year-old to a shaggy haired, book reading, computer playing, comic writing tween. I mean, that’s insane.

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Didn’t I just write this article when he was first diagnosed at 6?

It’s been a long time since I’ve dealt with TS. I have my days of hand wringing over sounds and movements, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it used to be. Part of that is a healthy dose of acceptance on my part. But a lot of that is just that I love my kid for who he is becoming. I am letting go of fear, day by day, and working on my own spirit. If Stink can be comfortable with the sound of his voice, than why can’t I be comfortable with mine? It’s time.

I wish, knowing what I know now, that someone had written to me at the early stages of this journey. It would have helped to know that my son would be okay. That I’d be OK, too.

If you’re new to this journey, I can promise you that it’s all going to be alright.

I’m not sure what your plans are for 2015, but mine is discipline. It’s time to carve out time — every day — to do things that matter. When I do that, I am a happier Andrea. Then I’m happier mom. I am a better friend. A better wife. And a better daughter.

Each morning I begin with a small prayer from a devotional. At 5:30 am.

Yup, I need Jesus if I’m up at that hour. But you know what? When it’s me and a cup of coffee, I can either think good thoughts that renew my mind and hit the gym, or crazy, spinning, “Oh, God, what’s going to happen?” thoughts that just feel toxic.

I don’t have big expectations for myself at the gym. 100 calories on the treadmill and I’m good. It’s not about getting in amazing shape physically. It’s about putting myself on the machine — one foot in front of the other. I matter.

As moms of kids with special needs, it’s easy to forget who we are in the process of life. We’re always trying to fix things — make things more comfortable for everyone. But as a friend, Adelia, once pointed out to me, “All boys at 12 have special needs.” Ain’t that the truth. Last I checked, tics or not, no tween boy was ever normal. And most I know are as obsessed with video games as Stink.

For me, it’s time to be obsessed with getting back to what I love most: writing. Three days a week I’m going to blog again. (Hold me to it!)

Along those lines, I’ve got this book just sitting in my hard drive. Truthfully, it’s been rejected by 3 big agents. They loved the query, but said it was too niche. I kind of just, well, stopped sending it out. But really, that’s dumb. It just takes one agent to say yes. And I can always self-publish. The main thing is to go with my heart and hopefully affect someone in a positive way.

In my next few blog posts, I will share with you the dedication, introduction and Chapter 1 of my book “Happily Ticked Off” for you to read if you’re interested.

I’m back … with a new website!

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So I decided that when you panic over Christmas, panic over starting a new portfolio, are stressed out over looking for a new full-time job and your best friend tells you she’s getting a divorce and moving out of state, it’s not a great time to make any major changes.

For me, a major change included the brilliant idea that I was not going to write at Happily Ticked Off anymore. I wasn’t going to write about Tourettes and certainly wasn’t going to write about anything personal too personal anymore.

This was a particularly stupid idea, given that I have an entire book completed on the subject of tics. My brain? “No agent is interested… it likely isn’t as good as I thought… I over shared… oh well.” The reality: Three really big agents responded. They loved the concept, but it’s too niche. Here’s a new concept: KEEP GOING.

Here’s the other brilliant idea. I decided to hire someone to build a fancy new portfolio to show off my work. I mean, how can I get a decent writing job that doesn’t involve me commuting hours per day for a crap company that doesn’t know it’s head from its butt (not that I’ve done that recently) if no one even knows I exist? I figured this website would also house my blog. It would be kind of this “Check out my samples/hire me/take writing classes/check out my latest interviews and resume” smorgasbord.

And then I got super sad. Like an all-you-can eat buffet, I felt sick. I felt uncomfortable. And here’s why. It’s not because I am afraid of change. (Though of course I am.) And it’s not because I don’t want a fabulous new job. (Of course I do.)

It’s because, deep inside, it felt like just one more aspect my life I was “doing” rather than “creating.” Aren’t there enough things we have to do each day? Between the cooking and cleaning and teeth brushing and the dog… oh, man, the dog… shouldn’t there be an aspect of my life that is just what I want? A place for me to connect to others who are hurting? A palce for me to go to when I’m hurting? I place to laugh and be myself?

This whole works-based activity deal has to stop. I’m ready to be a human being, not a human doer.

How many more nights am I going to sit side by side at my ugly Ikea desk with my husband – him checking work servers and me searching Facebook for people with more exciting lives than me – and wonder why I don’t feel full? It’s dawning on me that this whole “striving striving striving” thing to get work and to be efficient and to be busy is for the birds. Yes, you can check stuff off the list. Yes, it might mean getting one new reader for me, a new client for him, but in the end, it’s life killing. It’s soul sucking.

Is there a time and place to work? Yes, absolutely. But sometimes one needs an escape hatch just to be themselves. For me, this is here.

I spoke to Stink about my decision to come. His jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe I had left in the first place. “But Mama, what about all my fans???” he balked.

To all six of you, my narcissist gives you his love.

I’ll see you next time. But this time, I bring homework. For now, if you would like to read more from me, please check me out on my new website, http://www.andreafrazerwrites.com.

52 Weeks of TS: Week 31

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed any of the first 30 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

I can’t believe it … my time on the vineyard is halfway done. I’m enjoying the semi-relaxing time I’m having here, but at the same time ready to be home. I am going back to New York for a few days this week, which will be nice, but I know going back home will bring on increased anxiety.

Living in the house on the vineyard is somewhat straining. Everyone here is well aware of my condition, and I don’t think anyone is too bothered by it. It can be annoying going out to dinner with someone who is flinging his head around and making noises, but everyone has seemed to be cool. I think the biggest thing that might be a nuisance to them is all of my OCD’s. I am always cleaning but with the amount of people here, there is no way I can get everything as clean as I want. It’s exhausting but I have had to just let go, which is hard.

Living with so many people is hard, it’s difficult to find any time for yourself. With the anxiety, and OCD, I have enough constant company, and sometime I just need some time to myself. This week I took a little adventure into town by myself. It was nice, I walked around, did some shopping, and did a little restaurant hopping and had some appetizers.

An excursion like this is usually out of the question with my social anxiety disorder, but it wasn’t that horrible. I was ticcing as usual and I tried to suppress most of them, but I did let some out. I was somewhat in the state of, “I don’t care.” I just wanted to be out and enjoy the company of myself.

After my date night with myself, I took a cab home, and ended up having to share it with two women. At first, I was a little judgmental of them, they seemed like snobby tourists. They started talking about a tourist T-shirt that they kept seeing at all of the tourist stores. They didn’t understand the meaning behind the shirt and I explained it to them.

We got to talking a bit, and they asked me if I lived on the island or if I was just visiting. I explained that I was here for the summer, writing a book. Anytime I tell anyone that I’m writing a book, the first question is, “OH, about what?” I told them it was about Tourette syndrome.

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52 Weeks of TS: Week 27

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed any of the first 26 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck. Do you think this really works? I don’t know, but I have a secret: I’ve only told one person this so far, and it’s not even my husband. In the past month, I have started to develop some sort of OCD/germaphobia to pennies. It’s actually growing to all change.

It used to be if I saw a penny on the street and it was face up I would pick it up, and if it were face down I would flip it over for the next person to find. My husband would always leave change all over the house, and it was my morning ritual to walk around and collect it all and put it in the change jar, this is no longer the case.

It started about a month ago, I saw a penny on the carpet in my house and it was facing head down. I didn’t even want to touch it, to flip it over, because I knew it would still be me who picked it up later. Wouldn’t that defeat the whole purpose if I were the one who originally flipped it over?

I find myself now walking around avoiding all change I find anywhere. If I really start thinking about it, (OK, I’m not thinking about it — I’m obsessing about it, but anyway) how many people, with how many germs have touched that coin, or any type of currency for that matter. Even look at the trail of paper currency, they actually have a web site where you can track where that single dollar bill has been.

When I get to thinking about this (obsessing), I think about rumors per say, about there being residue of cocaine on most paper currency. REALLY? After a million people have touched that dollar bill, you’re comfortable to shove that up your nose. I’d like to invite the world to come pick my nose. I don’t think so!

Enough with the bitching about my germaphobia with money, I’ll figure out another way to save money. Let’s talk about change, but not that kind of change, change that we can achieve.

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52 Weeks of TS: Week 26

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Tuesday, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers shares his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed any of the first 25 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

Yep, Week 26. Wow, the year is halfway done, and so is 52 Weeks of TS. After all of the craziness of packing and dealing with identity theft last week, I’m glad this week started in a new setting. I’m in Martha’s Vineyard for the next two months to finish writing my book “A Day in the Life of Tourette Syndrome.”

It’s nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of NYC, and in a setting where I can try to relax. I have spent the last week doing a lot of writing and relaxing. I do have to say my anxiety level is at an all time low, but the tics are still the same. They might have gone down a little bit, but I really can’t say I’ve noticed much change.

I guess I have to face the fact that I’m really stuck this way. Sometimes it’s just so frustrating that I want to scream. I know I could be dealing with things a lot worse or diseases, but I still have to play the “Poor me card”. It’s hard, always dealing with stares, or having to explain yourself.

Even though I’m not in the crowded city of New York, I’m still surrounded by people. I’m in a house with six other people, which is very different from what I’m used to. There is always someone around, and not much alone time. I thrive on my alone time at home, and now I’m in a situation where I’m not going to get that It’s just something that I will have to deal with and acclimate to.

Most of the people I’m staying with are family, which is a good thing. If they were strangers, I’d probably go crazy. I don’t have to explain anything to them, they all know about my TS, and my crazy OCD’s. If I’m not writing, I’m probably cleaning some strange part of the house.

I was able to escape most of my anxiety, it’s nice to leave that back in New York, but along with the tics, my OCD also accompanied me to the vineyard. I’d like to think that I’m not afraid of death. It’s inevitable, it’s going to happen. If it happens, it happens, but here’s the question: If I’m not afraid of death, then why do all of my OCD’s revolve around death?

The kitchen has to be clean, otherwise the germs will spread and then I’ll get sick and die. I can’t touch anything on the subway, because it’s filled with germs that will kill me. I don’t know, but it’s just an interesting thought.

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The real query is: Are you good enough?

Last Sunday I had a talk with a friend of mine who was asking about my book. Specifically, she wanted to know why I wasn’t jumping out of bed every day and sending my query to all the best agents in town.

For those of you who aren’t writers, queries are one page summaries of your story. It’s your show piece that not only shows your voice, but shows your platform. What else have you written? How many followers do you have? Why are YOU the ONLY person to write this book?

Honestly, the above paragraph makes me want to tear my eyes out. It’s exhausting to even describe a query, let alone write it.

While I found my friend’s utter aplomb at my lack of query writing to be flattering, I also found it highly annoying. After all, does she have any idea what my year has looked like? Well, of COURSE she does. I’ve been telling her about it in excruciating detail day after day. I could complain (and I did — quite vociferously) about how “I’m only human! I only have so much time in a day! I can’t work and take care of kids and dogs and renters and husbands AND get a query done FOR DUCK SAKE!”

And while this is very true, I had to come to terms with a stronger truth inside of me. The truth was not that I didn’t think my book was good enough. The truth was that I was afraid that other people — big people — the agents and decision makers – wouldn’t think my book was good enough.

And to get even more real, I had subconsciously been living with a more tragic tape running through my brain: “They won’t find it brilliant because they won’t even take the time to read it.”

I pretty much said that out loud to her. “I don’t really think anyone is going to read it. What’s the point?”

She looked at me, hard. She had pity in her eyes and she didn’t hide it. “That’s sad,” was all she could muster.

Five days later, I have a ton more insight as to how that tape got into my stupid brain. I’ll share it with you in my next post. I will do so less to be a narcissist and more to get you thinking about the messed up script you’ve been reading for far too long.

But first, I share with you this.

One big agent.

One strong, juicy, hairy query.

wendy sherman

 

Two more followed.

Have I heard anything? Not a darn thing. But do I care? No way. I am so proud of myself for trying all the anxiety and panic is lifted. I am starting fresh. Heck, yes.

52 Weeks of TS: Week 6

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Tuesdays over the next year, noted Tourette Syndrome advocate Troye Evers will share his “52 Weeks of TS” blog journal with the TSParentsOnline community. In cased you missed the first 5 weeks, you can read them here. For more information about Troye, please click on his name or visit his website.

This week started off like a horrible nightmare, me balled up in the fetal position tears rolling down my face.  What a way to start the week.  This all happened on Monday.  Sometimes the OCD thoughts are just too over whelming.  It’s not fun being a 37-year-old basket case, crying on his bedroom floor.

I woke up Monday nice and early and in a good mood.  I think of myself as an early bird, always up around 7 a.m.  I’ve realized lately that it’s probably the fact that I have OCD and anxiety disorder that causes me to get up so early.  As soon as I open my eyes, my brain is in full speed, obsessing about the day and what needs to be done.

Does the cat pan have to be changed, are there dishes in the sink, do we have cockroaches? I have to email that person, etc, etc, etc.  This goes on for about 10 minutes until I get up and start doing everything, and it continues throughout the day.  I think the most used app on my phone is the “gotasks” app. I make notes and reminders on that all day and night.  I will even wake up at 2 in the morning, obsess about something, and grab my phone and make a reminder for myself.

Friends laugh at me and comment on how organized I am, but it’s exhausting.

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What is your passion, mamas?

As I write this post, my nose is dripping in goo. My son is upstairs reading the fourth book of the Harry Potter series. My daughter is selling “cootie catchers” (these paper crafts that tell the future) on the corner with her friend Miss L.

Regarding my nose, it is awful to be sick and working full-time. But hey, the bright side is that Pip made me a pot of coffee before bounding out the house and Stink brought me water. My husband brought me two biscottsi and this laptop. My living room is clean and the birds are chirping! Plus two days a week I work from home. I am pretty darn lucky.

Regarding my son and his books, I’m thrilled he likes them so much. Library day is still one of his favorite exursions. I was going to write you that when he reads he doesn’t tic, but he just let out a loudish kind of exhale. I am not a fan, but he’s happy, so I must be, too. (It’s not crazy relentless unless he’s playing videos. Will I not let him play videos? No. Two hours/day on weekends is fine.)

I’m not going to fix those noises today, so I’m going to fix my mind toward gratitude. (Go ahead, slap me. I’m annoying as hell sometimes with my PollyAnna diatribe. But you should try moving toward this if you’re in a funk. If you don’t like being grateful, you can always restore yourself back to your misery.)

Regarding my daughter selling cootie catchers on street corners, Miss L’s mom is with them. And seriously, that kid makes cash — about 10 bucks each time drags the cart out and sets up shop. “Mommy, being a kid is great!” she says. “People give us stuff just because they think we are cute!”

There’s a fine line between cute 9-year-old and curvy pre-tween, so let’s just say her cootie catcher street corner days will be over soon. But guess who else isn’t going to be young forever? Yup, none other than my Stink. He’ll be 12 in January. I might not miss the tics when they finally go into remission in his late teens, but I’ll sure miss his spirit. He is pure joy and outrageous fun.

I write this because my job right now is not easy. I’m doing all this tech stuff I’m not a fan of. I commute a LONG way. I’m tired. But the deal is, it’s where I need to be right now while my husband grows his business. It’s teaching me that no one has died from a difficult employment gig. And, well, I don’t want to miss out on my kids’ childhoods because I was so caught up in what wasn’t working: tics, job stress, life changes at home.

Summer is coming. What will I be doing? Beach Fridays with the kids when I get out of work at 2. Long days at the local public pool. A camping excursion with the hubby and babies where we’ll over eat, over hike, get filthy dirty and enjoy some laughs.

Oh, and I’m going to write. Yup, I’m getting my portfolio up online and going to get back freelance writing again. If my book sells, great. If it doesn’t, I can still do the writing. Why? Because when I don’t, I feel cranky and tired and suddenly the tics are SO MUCH BIGGER than they need to be. My husband is SO MUCH MORE ANNOYING and my daughter is WAAAAY TOO DEMANDING. Writing gives me hope, and hope trumps crap every single time.

What about you? What do you do for a living? Do you work raising babies or work in an office? What is your passion? And the bigger question, are you pursuing it? I want to know. Leave a comment and let me know how I can encourage you.