Key Notes to Self

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.92" saved_tabs="all" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" align="center" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" max_width="75%" module_alignment="center" show_bottom_space="on" src="http://www.brendashiekh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Brenda-Husband.jpg" /][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.92" background_layout="light"] I’ve been interested in trying my hand as a keynote speaker!  My husband was almost in tears at the thought of me speaking for a large professional organization promising to deliver a solution to their problems.  With what, my experiences as a mom?  He was trying to be supportive, but what came out was “Exactly what kind of organizations would hire you to speak?  I’ll pay you fifty bucks to be quiet, right now!”  He didn’t say the second part, but I could read his mind.  He had a point, what would I say? “I told you three times to pick up those toys on the lawn…1…2…I’m counting?”

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I argued back that I manage to get all of our eleven children up by 6 in the morning, dressed, fed, homeschooled, picked up and dropped off to all their various activities, sports, dentists,  orthodontists, therapies, shop and feed all of them, shower them, play with them, make sure they brush their teeth and are in bed by 8:30… and I don’t do late.  I think trucking and logistics companies could learn a thing or two from me?  He laughed, but that just made me more determined to validate my strange life.

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I started charting the high and low points over the years, and to be honest it looked like the monitor screen of someone having a heart attack.

 

19 years old:  college dropout, fired, bad relationship – mess.

 

27 enrolled in law school, happily married, house – success.

 

36 fertility drama, late term losses, can’t have more kids – mess.

 

39 years old – fertility jackpot, first marathon, beach house – success.

 

40 – son injured, cerebral palsy and epilepsy, lawsuits – mess.  You can see the pattern.

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Every time I found myself stuck in a mess, I realized I could either change the outcome, or change my perspective about it.   I made vision boards, set goals, took massive actions, and just decided everything was working out for me even if it didn’t seem like it.

 

My friends ask me how I handle so many kids, when they want to jump off a bridge with two or three. How do I stay sane when my son has to be rushed to the ER.  How do I handle financial turbulence, children with autism spectrum, and ADD.  I handle it by not scaring myself with stories about how things might get worse or be permanent.  I keep my focus on what could be possible and discovering the gift in each experience.

 

I’m not saying I don’t have very regular moments of panic and overreaction, but I’ve set a limit on how far I’m willing to indulge in suffering over any one problem, or reveling in any success for that matter.  Life to me is an awe inspiring ride filled with every range of human experience.

 

My husband and I talked about a day in our future.  We know we are inventing our lives, so we might as well chime in consciously from time to time. He imagined he would be spending the day helping young people invest in their dreams and still being home in time to catch the 49ers win the Super Bowl.  I saw a private plane whisking me off to my sold out public speaking engagement about embracing how funny and absurd it is to have a son with Asperger’s.

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In the meantime, I bought Judy Carter’s book called the Message of Me and I’m taking some classes on keynote speaking!

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PersonalRosemary Watson