In elementary school, my older son felt overwhelmed when he looked at a page with a hundred math problems on it. He could handle the logic of an individual math problem, but when looking at the entire page filled with numbers, his brain short-circuited and he froze up.
Life’s struggles can feel that way. If we looked at all of the difficult things in front of us, we might not bother to get up in the morning.
Special needs parents are hit hard by this. The prospect of just getting through one day sometimes feels like the densely inked math page. Trying to picture how to help a child with huge challenges over a lifetime can be paralyzing. If we thought that far ahead, we might feel like we can’t face the next week, month, or year.
But we do face each day and week because we take things step by step. Step 1: Did we avoid a sensory meltdown? Step 2: Did we manage to get our child to eat something healthy? Step 3: Did we get to the day’s destination safely? Lather, rinse, repeat, using countless variables.
I also used to feel math anxiety as a student. I shared with my son that if you block out everything but one individual problem at a time, it’s easier to digest. We can also break down each complex math problem into doable steps.
Everyone will face overwhelming difficulties in life at some point. The ability to break tough stretches into digestible bites and move forward in steps is a crucial survival tool. Counting how far we’ve made it through our checklist of steps encourages us to keep going.
It’s also fine to stop and rest between steps, recharging and moving again when we’re ready. May we all remember to stop and enjoy the view as we go along, and keep putting one foot forward!
Dramatic views of Northern California lighthouses came to mind when I looked at the photo of the iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse in this week’s World Walks from England, Happisburgh Beach.
Third in a series of World Walks contributions from the Norfolk area of England, Happisburgh Beach is famous not only for its lighthouse, but also as an amazing fossil collection site.
This week’s HikingAutism Hike Notes from the archives is Point Reyes Lighthouse. This Point Reyes site is known for having 313 steps leading to an iconic Fresnel lens lighthouse in a stunning setting.
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This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 99): Point Reyes Lighthouse
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Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.