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by Julie Brooks

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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

New Year - what will it bring?

Hi everyone

Wow! Where did the 2nd half of 2017 go? It flew by in a blur! We were really busy with our shop - bringing on board some gorgeous Jane Davenport art products and the new Ranger Letter It collection, AND Sizzix dies, machines and tools. And life was even more challenging with my autistic son, who's night-time routine entered an all time low to the point where I wasn't getting him (or myself) to bed until after 3am every night/morning. Actually this had been building for a while, and by Christmas I realised I had never felt so exhausted and burnt out in my life! For those of you who don't know, my son has a particular "brand" of autism called Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome, which basically means he perceives pretty much everything in day-to-day life as a demand and he has a pathological (hence not conscious but sub-conscious) need to avoid everything perceived as a demand. It has huge implications on quality of life for him and for me, not least of all when it comes to toilet routines and particularly his night-time toilet/bed routine. And so, having gone a full 14 months with no respite whatsoever from caring for him and living what is a very restricted and regimented lifestyle, and going back 14 months I only had one week's respite when I took myself away for a week (to gorgeous Mallorca, where I spent half of the week - literally - sleeping!), it has really taken its toll on me as I'm sure you can imagine.

However, new year, new determination from my son to improve at least this part of each day, and we have enjoyed 1am bedtimes for the last 3 or 4 nights in a row. I am still utterly exhausted and still dozing off by tea-time each day, but I guess it will take some considerable time before my body feels better again. I just hope and pray this new "early" bedtime continues long term.

So, as you can imagine, my creativity has taken a big hit too. Hence no blog posts! I managed to make umpteen Christmas cards between August and December in the few spare hours I got here and there on days where I could even concentrate for long enough to put anything half-way decent together, but otherwise nada, zip, zilch! It's not for a shortage of ideas, I can assure you, because my head is constantly full of ideas, but turning those into something tangible was as challenging as attempting to climb the Empire State Building with no equipment or support! So I focused on trying to create cards to promote the Christmas ranges we had in the shop and that was as far as I got with any creative time at all.

Still I enter this New Year hopeful. Hopeful for more improvements in my son's routines and OCD which involves him working incredibly hard every day to try to overwrite all the stuff in his head that gets in the way of a more "normal" life, hopeful of feeling more like myself as time goes by, and hopeful of being able to get back into the creative zone properly at some point.

So far, I've made a few cards with a paper pad by Craftwork Cards called Tropicana (which we have in our shop - www.beebaabcraftingsupplies.co.uk  - gotta give our shop a plug somewhere lol!). It's something at least.

This one also has flowers cut from the Paradise Paper Pad

So, onwards and upwards! Thanks for sticking with me even when I had nothing to talk about.

Back soon!

Julie x