Yay… May!!! There are so many things to celebrate in May! Graduations, Mother’s Day, high school proms, weddings, new baby animals, new flowers…. everything is beginning to bloom once again! It’s been a busy year thus far! I’m working on a 52 week resolution challenge in which each month has a different theme and each week has a different goal. So far, I’ve worked to get healthier, happier, give up things that take away focus from my family and done home improvement! This month, I’m going to work on making the world a better place!
Have you ever made a new year’s resolution, only to abandon it a short while later. Resolutions can be challenging when they are not clearly defined or when they are set for an infinite amount of time. I recently listened to a book by Shelley Wilson, called How I Changed My Life in a Year. In this book, she took on a new resolution each week for one year, thereby changing her outlook in life and creating healthier lifestyles. I have decided to recreate this process in my own 52 Week Resolution Challenge. Please feel free to follow my progress or join me in your own quest to create better habits and change your own outlook on life.
May – Make the World a Better Place
Perhaps it is due to all of the plants coming back to life, or from spending April sprucing up my house, or maybe my mind is on my girl scout troop bridging over into Brownies, but it is calling me into action to make the world a better place!
Week 1 – Start a Support Group for ADHD/ADD
If you have a child with ADHD/ADD or you have it yourself, you understand that everyday life presents a lot of challenges. From getting ready in the morning, to getting out of the door, contacting teachers, taking medicines, handling homework, avoiding distractions and dealing with extreme emotions, this disability is exhausting! According to WebMD, about 11% of school aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Yet, to a mom who has a child with ADD, it doesn’t feel like help is readily available to this group.
- My Plan – I am going to contact my school and school district to see what kind of support group is available and to see if we can start one.
- Day 1 – Today, I contacted our school counselor, as well as the head of the counseling department in our district, to see if a support group existed for ADHD/ADD parents and students and if one did not exist, could one be started!
- Day 2 – I heard back from the counselor! She informed me of some groups at school that might help my children and also told me about CHADD. I will have to look this one up. Additionally, she mentioned the Zones of Regulation by Michelle Garcia.
- Day 3 – I heard back from the district! She is going to pass my email along to the head of the gifted department and the strategic planning committee for our district!
- Day 4 – I responded to a couple of e-mails from the counselor and the district. Other than that, I focused my efforts on researching options for making t-shirts. I would like to use t-shirts as a way to promote kindness and bring awareness to ADHD.
- Day 5 – I spent the day with my younger two children since my son and husband were camping with scouts.
- Day 6 – My husband left for out of town today. We spent the morning flying kites up at school with the kids and then he left at lunch time. The kids and I spent the rest of the day at home doing various activities around the house.
- Day 7 – I focused on getting laundry done and cleaning the house. We might possibly have a girl scout bridge ceremony here over the weekend.
While it doesn’t appear that there is a support group for ADHD in our district, at least I am working with the counselor to get some information about the disorder. I have also “put the bug in their ears” about possibly needing and starting such a group.
Week 2 – Make a Difference in the School Community
Sometimes, in order to make changes in the world, you don’t have to look any further than your own home. Little things can often have a rippling effect that can lead to larger impacts. This last week was extremely busy, particularly with my husband being out of town and the school year coming to a close. Since I didn’t have much time, I decided to make my goal fairly simple. My goal for the week was to start collecting box tops and soda tabs for school again. While it is nothing huge, collecting box tops helps bring money to the school for various equipment, which can make a huge difference in my children’s education. The soda tabs, while a small gesture, helps to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House. It is a charity that helps families while someone is receiving treatment for diseases, such as cancer (https://www.rmhc.org/about-us).
Besides my small collections, I also used my girl scout meeting to teach the girls about manners. We had a tea party in which the girls earned accessories (or lost accessories) depending on the behavior at the table! It was a lot of fun and all of the girls did very well!
Week 3 – Turn My Yard Into a Natural Wildlife Habitat
Part of making the world a better place is to taking care of the creatures and plants that live on this planet! I thought that the best place to start this would be in my own backyard. When looking at the list to certify my yard as a National Wildlife Habitat, I realized that I have many of the requirements already met. If you are interested in certifying your own yard as a Natural Wildlife Habitat, you can visit https://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/Create.aspx .
Over the next week(s), I am going to check with my husband to see if we can install our rain barrel, then hang up some bird houses, weed and place more mulch in the beds, prune some trees and clean the birdfeeders. After that, I should be able to certify my yard!
Week 4 – Focus on My Family and My Home
It may seem silly to focus on my family and home when I’m trying to make the world a better place. However, if my family is unhappy and my home is unorganized and we are stressed because of it, our attitudes may be negative and may have an impact on the world around us.
This past week, my children got off school for the summer. I took this opportunity to sign them up for the reading club at the library, give them summer challenges and continue to work with the younger two on their bikes as they figured out two wheelers (They got it! Unfortunately, my daughter broke her arm last night…. 3rd time in 4 summers… same arm! She was even wearing elbow pads. We are bummed!) We also took the opportunity to go to one of the local history sites to learn more about the Native Americans that once lived in our region! Educating your children, working with them and helping them face and conquer their fears is one of the best and most important things that you can do for them! It strengthens your bond, builds their confidence and wisdom, encourages them to explore and helps them to be braver people!
This week, my husband also took off of work so that we could work on our house. So, far, we haven’t done a whole lot. Life is getting in the way. We organized our downstairs room, which became a priority after a tornado warning in the middle of the night caused us to cram in there and sleep on the floor for a couple of very uncomfortable hours! We also spent some time at our new subdivision pool party to hopefully find some new friends in the neighborhood and went on a family outing to a local historic site. We had a family member pass away, our daughter broke her arm and another elderly family member is undergoing heart surgery in a few more days. Family is our first priority, so every day we are literally rearranging what we had originally planned out. Life is not perfect! Things come up and you have to learn to be flexible!
Week 5 – Focus on Family
This week’s focus was on family again. We had my aunt’s funeral, my daughter got her hard cast on and we traveled out of town to visit my husband’s grandmother before she had her heart surgery. While none of it was planned, and the circumstances aren’t what we had hoped for, it is always nice to spend time with family… particularly with family members that haven’t been seen in a while! Many of my cousins agreed that we should not wait for another funeral to get together. So often, life gets busy and we don’t take time for those that we love until it is too late! Don’t keep putting off getting together with loved ones! Make it one of you goals to visit or call someone today!
This month was not my most productive month as far as this challenge is concerned! It was just such a full month! I did accomplish some things and for that I have to be proud of myself. There is also another important take away here. Changing the world does not have to be some monumental task! Even small things like collecting soda tabs or spending time with your child can have larger impacts than you realize! Even a small pebble make ripples that far reach beyond where it landed!