It’s a Question of Motivation

I used to get excited by things – a new book or movie coming out, a hobby like stamping or blogging, being around friends, a challenge at work.  But lately it has been much harder for me to have much interest in anything.  Most of the time, I don’t want to do anything outside of my basic, normal routine, and even those things are a stretch for me sometimes.

Not all is lost.  I have gotten back into reading after a several-month period where books weren’t holding my attention very well, and I did perk up a bit when the recent Star Trek movie Beyond hit the theaters.  But given the choice most times, I would rather spend my time bingeing on Netflix or sleeping in as late as possible.

When I reflect on this, several questions come to mind:

  1. Is this a sign of worsening depression or just a side effect of the medications I am already on?
  2. Am I getting old before my time?
  3. Does it really matter?  Isn’t part of being an adult that you are allowed to do what you want with your free time, even if that is nothing?
  4. What kind of example am I setting for my son?

As you can tell from the last question, there is a fair amount of guilt mixed in with the other emotions that come up with I think about this aspect of my life.  I want to teach my son how to have a good life and become a responsible adult, but I feel overwhelmed when it comes to actually doing so.  I just don’t feel I have these skills down pat in my own life, so it is hard to figure out how to pass them on to him.

Not being able to pin down the problem makes it even harder to solve.  I keep hoping something will come along that engages me in the way that I used to enjoy.  In the meantime, I have gotten back into regular therapy to help me sort out what exactly is going on with me and what to do about it.  It’s nice to have someone who is both on your side and has the knowledge to help, especially since it has taken me a while to find her (my last good therapist moved away over a year ago and I have been to three different people since then).

I often wonder if other people go through similar times where they feel unmotivated and how they think about it, as well as what they do about it.  If you have any insights to share or can relate in any way, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

 

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A Day in Dover

Last weekend, Joe and I got to spend the weekend with his family at the beach in Delaware. Being that we are not big “beach people,” we decided to spend our Saturday exploring nearby Dover. It turned out to be a good thing that we had made our plans, since the beach wasn’t too accommodating due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Hermine.

We chose to visit three sites over the course of our day – the Air Mobility Command Museum, the Delaware Agricultural Museum, and the John Dickinson Plantation.  All three turned out to be good choices.

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Air Mobility Command Museum

First stop was the Air Mobility Command Museum, where we learned about the four different missions of this particular command: cargo hauling, in-air refueling, presidential detail, and conveying fallen soldiers.  Our tour guide was an Army veteran who had flown helicopters in Vietnam, and he was full of great stories about both the planes and the service.  Admission and the tour were free.

The picture above shows the inside of the hangar; they have quite a few planes outside the building, as well.  None of the planes were open that day due to the impending hurricane, but we were able to walk around and read about them.  This was Joe’s favorite of the places we went to that day.

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Delaware Agricultural Museum

Our next visit was to the Delaware Agricultural Museum.  This includes some indoor exhibits along with an outdoor village comprised of several old buildings that have been brought to the location.  The village included a church, a school, a barber shop, a general store, and a wheelwright/blacksmith shop, as well as an old farmhouse with a few outbuildings.  You can walk in all of the buildings, and there was a blacksmith on the premises when we visited who gave Joe a nail that he made while we watched.

Indoors was an assortment of old farm implements, a collection of wood carvings, a miniature train display, and the log house shown in the picture above, along with a variety of other exhibits.  It seemed a little bit jumbled to me, but I think it would be a good place to introduce children to some history in an interesting way.  Admission was $5 each with our military ID.

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John Dickinson Plantation

Our third and final stop was my favorite of the day – the John Dickinson Plantation.  It started at the welcome center with a short video about John Dickinson, who was a signer of the US Constitution (although he abstained from signing the Declaration of Independence because he didn’t think the timing was right).  Following that, we were sent up to the house where a couple of guides in period clothing were waiting to show visitors through the house.

The main house was originally three stories, but was rebuilt as a two-story after a fire in the early 1800s.  The section in the middle was a large dining room, which was added on and used like we would a family room.  It was later divided to include a pantry and an office.  The smallest section was yet another addition that was originally a summer kitchen.  The volunteers currently have it set up as a workroom with a loom and such.

The house was charming, and the grounds were very pretty.  The guides were also very knowledgeable and engaging.  Even better, admission was free.

mcglynns-pubIn between our second and third stops, we made a slight detour for lunch at McGlynns Pub, where we had a couple of great burgers and fries (mine were sweet potato, yum!).  All in all, it was an enjoyable and informative day in Dover.

How do you like to spend your summer holidays – relaxing on the beach or exploring like we do?  Leave a comment and let me know.

3 Great YA Reads – Gabrielle Zevin

I have been reading up a storm in the last couple of months, including trying to catch up on some series that I had started previously but lost track of.  One of those was the Birthright series by Gabrielle Zevin, about the daughter of a crime boss dealing in illegal chocolate in the year 2083.

I had read the first two books quite a while ago but still wanted to find out what happened in the third book, In the Age of Love and Chocolate.  It wasn’t on the library shelf the first time I went, but I picked up two other books by the same author that looked interesting: Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac.

I practically inhaled Elsewhere, starting and finishing it in the same afternoon that I checked it out of the library.  It was a charming and thought-provoking tale set in a world where, when you die, you go to Elsewhere and live your life again – backwards. Not so much fun when you die at age 15, like our main character Liz Hall, but at least she gets to meet her grandmother and learn how to drive, along with discovering a whole lot about the meaning of life…and death.  It’s a fun and clever book that also draws you in and makes you care about the characters.  I definitely give it 5 stars for its all-ages appeal.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is the perfect example of a book I would have loved when I was 16 and still enjoyed at 46.  It centers on Naomi, who has lost her memories from the last several years as the result of a fall, following her as she slowly regains them.  Along the way, she has to figure out how she feels about the boys in her life – her boyfriend, her best friend, and the new guy in town – and deal with their reactions when her current feelings don’t always match up with the past they remember. A solid 4 stars.

Imagine a world where chocolate is illegal?  That’s the case in the Birthright series, and the main character Anya Balanchine is the daughter of a powerful crime boss, i.e. illegal importer and distributor of chocolate.  To me, In the Age of Love and Chocolate is like the third season of a nighttime drama, when the characters’ stories have crossed and re-crossed each other until they resemble a spider’s web.  I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two books, although it did provide a satisfying wrap-up at the end.  3 stars.

Although I don’t read much Young Adult these days, it is nice to occasionally dip my toe in the water and see what is out there.  I’m always open to suggestions, so feel free to leave a comment with your recommendations!

Taking the Plunge (Again)

So this is my first blog post in a long time.  I can’t even tell you exactly how long because I impulsively deleted both my blogs last year sometime – this was a few months after deleting my Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

I have been back on Facebook for a while now and finally decided it was time to re-engage with Twitter and blogging again.  In person, I tend to be pretty introverted, especially in large groups, but I have always gotten a lot of positive energy from connecting with people online, and I miss that sense of community.

I don’t have one set direction planned for this blog; I envision a mix of personal and introspective posts along with things like book reviews and autism-related entries.  I have been on a major reading kick lately, so I have lots of books to share, and learning to parent a teenager with autism has proven to be a challenging and rewarding endeavor.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the photo attached to this post, it was taken at the Museum of Ice Cream that popped up in New York City earlier this month.  Among other things, they had a “ball pit” filled with plastic sprinkles!  It was a fun place to visit, and we had some great ice cream to boot. 🙂

So, leave me a comment to let me know you visited and what you are most interested in hearing about.  You can also follow my blog to get notified of new posts (see the sidebar to the right if you’re on a computer or scroll down if you’re on a mobile device).

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk to you soon!