Entering into a new phase in life is usually painful and seldom easy. Transitions are often fraught with anxiety over the unknown, tempered sometimes with the excitement of newness. All of this put together can easily overwhelm someone like me.
Being on the autism spectrum has the peculiar qualities of being both a blessing and a curse. For me, this translates to an appreciation of the intense focus it affords me when I am buried deep in the bowels of a project. I also enjoy the fact that I easily spot patterns everywhere I look – although I don’t enjoy computer programming, because I really don’t enjoy scanning thousands of lines of code to spot the anomaly. There is also a flip side to the benefits, so I require adequate pacing along with R & R to avoid meltdown and shutdown situations.
Because I know this, I try to minimize my meltdowns and shutdowns by learning my triggers and avoiding them as well as I possibly can. For example, I am not comfortable in the midst of a crowd – but if I’m on stage, I don’t mind the crowd. So I don’t tend to go to crowded events and wander around. Likewise, when there are too many stimuli at once (radio and TV blaring while people talk, sirens outside, flashing lights…) it makes me anxious. Therefore I do my best to minimize situations in which I will be subjected to multiple stimuli at once.
I was just informed today that this is my last week of caring for the pup I’ve grown to adore. The first week will be a little tumultuous as I regain my equilibrium post-Luke, but I do relish the next phase/page/chapter of my life too. On one hand, I’ll miss him – but on the other hand, it frees up my time. I will rearrange my schedule, and I might even be able to take a trip out of town. Monday through Wednesday tend to be my slowest ride-sharing days, but I could not travel on weekdays while I had this petsitting commitment. I had a cancellation for October, so I currently don’t have any more petsitting jobs planned until December.
How do you handle change in your life? Do you “roll with the punches” or do you find it difficult to “shift gears”? Tell me about it in the comments below!