Along with several other on-going projects (including work on my next book on special needs), this year’s increasingly diverse commitments will again include writing monthly columns for Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine. You can find my 2008 columns addressing special needs by clicking on the above link. 

The 2009 columns will offer more general slice-of-life observations and my photography. As new columns see print, I will offer up the previous month’s work on this blog so you don’t have to go searching for them. I believe strongly that successfully meeting the challenges of special needs requires some balance in your life, not focusing solely on special needs 24/7. There are, however, several sites that do all-things special needs very well, and I’ll be recognizing them here in the coming months. 
In the meantime,  I’ll continue to work hard to provide you with some needed life balance on this blog, providing you with brief escape from your tremendous daily parenting challenges, complete with some life-saving humor, as well as continuing to provide valuable special needs info, too. Remember to send me your success stories, Faces of Ability!, and topics you want addressed, too.

That said, here’s my first CAWLM column for 2009 regarding that pesky word ‘resolutions’. Enjoy!  
(Photo: ‘Pretty Flower’/Judy Winter 2008)
Eagerly Seeking New Adventures!

As I write these words, the world outside my office window is draped in sparkling, pristine snow— it’s pure and untouched, waiting for the first imprint to forever change it’s look, texture and scope. This magnificent seasonal event, courtesy of Mother Nature, makes us again believe in the world’s beauty and infinite possibilities. At moments like these, all things are fresh and new. Our fragile world appears at peace.

We can give ourselves permission to wipe human landscapes clean and start fresh, too. The New Year offers rare opportunities to examine our lives more closely, discard what’s not working, and realize bigger dreams. January is our gentle life snowstorm, filled with shiny new possibilities. Forget about New Year’s resolutions, words that set us up for failure. I prefer the words, ‘eagerly seeking new adventures.’ It sounds enticing and fun— even a bit naughty.

Recently, I had breakfast with a terrific mom, who like many of us, is juggling too many balls and in danger of dropping them all. Intent on making other’s dreams come true, she’s losing site of her own. She’s exhausted from the never-ending demands of special needs parenting. Like many women, she’s been trying to do it all—and discovered she’s only human.

Perhaps the greatest gift we offer others in 2009 is to slow down the frantic pace of our lives. Take time again to dream big, to grieve, to laugh and cry and volunteer, and to become better examples for our children. Our actions tell kids more than tough words ever will. We should put our own oxygen masks on first. 

The possibilities for New Year adventures are endlessly exciting—just waiting for you and me to make our first bold mark. How will you imprint the landscape of your life?

My 2009 fantasy (key word) list includes: riding the Maui Zipline, savoring Italy and India (if only through PBS’s new series), taking my photography to a new level, penning my next book, mentoring a child, lots of yoga and deep breathing, more play time with my daughter, husband and grandoggies, and indulging in yummy new fudge flavors, after biking more often on that magical island called Mackinac

Life isn’t a sprint. It can be a marvelous adventure, beginning right now.

Don’t miss the incredible opportunities. ####

Judy Winter