There are SO many changes in life, all the time. Especially in winter. Everything is darker, colder, full of different daily processes, and outside activities involve a lot more preparation. Bleh.
But. . . there is one thing that doesn't change. . .
something that is always there for me, even when the world feels like one big attack on my senses.
And that thing is:
Seattle Aquarium moon jellies, photo by Rosemary
My mom, Rosemary, and the jellies.
Every time I have needed the jellies, they have been there for me.
What is something that has been there for you when you need some calmness and/or consistency?
This is my kind of vending machine!
The Dreaming Comics and Games (a comic book store in Seattle) had this vendine machine at GeekGirlCon.
was great yesterday!
My friend Christina and I had a very fun time!
The building it is in is the most sound friendly building I have ever experienced! The whole building has amazing acoustics! All noise was softer than usual crowd noises!
Art as Business Online panel
We attended some awesome panels.
Took some photos of people. Well, I took the photos, my friend did the talking with other people for me.
"You are the mast of everything situation."
Found a very hilarious and grammatically incorrect fortune.
With the help of my kind and patient friend Christina, I learned and played a new game, while communicating with someone I just met- who was also kind and patient.
We played the game Oz Fluxx
. I was intimdated by all the words on each card! It helps to have someone else who is able to explain it by showing. :-)
And best of all, the building where the convention is being held, has these "pocket" type rooms around various areas of the building that are quiet and very acoustically appealing! It was a GREAT place to get away from crowds and reset/take a break/decompress.
I am, both, tired and excited to go back again today!
Today is day one of two, of GeekGirlCon
GeekGirlCon is all about recognizing and celebrating
the contribution of women in all aspects of geek culture.
I have been looking forward to it since last year's event, which was the first ever GeekGirlCon.
I have never felt so comfortable in a convention environment. The panels, speakers and the over all crowd were just wonderful last year. I learned a ton about woman in business and gaming. I am hoping it will be just as great this year!
When I go to any event that involves a lot of talking and listen (conventions, workshops, classes) it takes a lot out of me. So, for the next week or so, I will be doing mostly short, visual blogs. I plan on sharing a few fun images I captured last month, but haven't gotten around to sharing yet.
I love this photo. This was one of the only photos I took last year at GeekGirlCon. I plan on taking many more this time!
If you are interested in learning more about GeekGirlCon, I highly recommend checking it out! You can visit their site here:GeekGirlCon
I was supposed to have a social day yesterday and meet up with a group of people for a friend's birthday.
When I got onto the train to go to downtown Seattle that was full of people, and very loud noises, I realized I had forgotten both my headphones AND earplugs. Yikes!
The rest of the ride just got worse. But I kept going. I continued with my plan.
Cars, sirens, people, buildings:
I just covered my ears and kept walking.
I even stopped to buy a cheap pair of headphones to get by.
I went to the library in hopes to be able to "reset" myself.
No luck. But, after about 2 hours, I did calm down enough to cancel my plans via text and start heading for home.
. . .
The walk to the bus tunnel felt like I had stopped trillion times along the way. I had to stop often to process enough of my surroundings to safely cross streets, walk down hills, and to try and contain a meltdown. It is very important to take extra precaution when escalated, shutdown or melting down. Anyone who is autistic has great difficulty processing information. We take in so much and it can be very chaotic. When close to, or mid meltdown, my processing and my motor skills are not good. So for my own safety, I stop a lot when these kind of things happen. Especially when it is just me and I have to get myself home safely.
Instead of feeling bad about having to cancel the rest of my day, I chose to try and make the most of it by hyper-focusing through my camera lens on the trip home.
So many pictures. It helped.
Do I regret trying to persist social plans?
I don't know.
I don't regret listening to my body when I knew the best recovery was to go home. In the past, I would have shutdown as much as possible, while still appearing to be functional, just to keep plans and to make others happy.
Now it's time to make me happy.
Everyone deserves happiness.
Note: The images are intentionally blurry. It is more the way I see and process things when I am escalated, shutdown or melting down.
I enjoyed a lovely picnic, with my friend Sam, yesterday at Green Lake Park
. We ate lunch and spoke of art and human behavior.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/
Having an experience that is mostly calm and good is so refreshing, to me. It's a reminder that not everything is a sensory overload.
. . .
Of course, to get to the calm and good moments takes great preparations of extensive who, what, when, where and always a plan "B" and sometimes plan "C", "D", "E". . . and so on.
Being prepared is a good feeling.
For the second year in a row, we went to Seward Park, in Seattle, to enjoy the quietest fireworks display to ever exist!
We got a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier and many, many fireworks displays from across Lake Washington.
Plus, there really were not very many other people at the park.
It was a great fireworks display for anyone that wants to enjoy the colors in the sky, but are sensitive to sound and vibrations.
Just in case it had been louder than last year, we came prepared with my earplugs
, ear protectors
, and my body pod
I am happy to say, I didn't have yo use any of those. Well, actually, I did have to wear my earplugs at home and on our way to the park.
It was disturbingly loud in our neighborhood!
I am very thankful for the tools I have in my life to help me be proactive in less-than-desirable situations.
My first day implementing my newly created IPA Spinner
My spinner landed on bike ride!
Robbie was very supportive. He even found an Art Bombing Exhibit
, made up of knitted snails! He knew it would be easier for me to transition out of the house with a fun distraction.
Once we got to Volunteer Park
, it took us a while to find the snails.
It was a fun, little adventure!
After the snails, we went for a bike ride. The bike ride was off to a rough start after I became quickly overwhelmed by too many things and change happening all at once. Only half a mile, but I felt accomplished afterwards.
Sometimes it seems like the more fun I have in the morning, the more I sacrifice the rest of my day. I spent my afternoon and evening recovering from being very overwhelmed.
I wish fun, good things weren't so overwhelming.
I am glad I chose to do these good things. It was worth it.
My friend Eric and I rode bikes at Seward Park yesterday. We rode about 5 miles. It was such a calm, enjoyable ride. I look forward to biking more with Eric.
It was the first time Eric rode his new bike! I was able to teach him some basics of bike safety
Goodwill had a great selection of helmets for $3-$5! Such a great deal!
Eric on his new bike!
For anyone looking for a very simple bike safety web site, go here:Bicycle Safety
Yesterday, Robbie and I were supposed to visit the the Seattle Aquarium
We arrived only to find out that the aquarium was to be closed all day, due to a fundraising auction.
Erg! Change at the aquarium!
Note, it is ALWAYS a good idea to bring a written alternate plan.
Peer next to Seattle Aquarium
We had an alternate plan in place, so I was able to isolate myself while I processed and transitioned. I was able to do this much faster (and much calmer!) than without an alternate plan/"Plan B".
Meltdown averted! . . . or at least until we arrived home and I was triggered by multiple changes, plus an accidental allergy.
The allergy cause is still unknown at this point.
We have narrowed down to my new soap or a certain sunflower oil.
(random soap stock photo)
I sure hope it isn't the $9 soap! It was the only one I could find at Whole Foods that:
A) listed all of the ingredients
B) did not have chemical additives, fragrance, wheat, or soy.
Including transition time, I was in the soap aisle for 20 minutes looking for a soap. The brands I normally shop for are not always available.
Allergies are such a pain, but I must do what I need to so that I can remain out of hospitals.
In summary, yesterday was tiring and aggravating. But, looking back, I still consider it a good day because I spent it with family. Family who chose to have their day meet mine. To spend time with me on my level. Their love, kindness and support were just what I needed to get through.