Ever read something that just stays with you?
A few weeks ago, I read this introduction to a book. The section was called “Toward a Meaningful Day (or, Even a Guy Without a Lot of Options Knows When You’re Wasting His Time)” – and that was just the title!
It went on to say, “Minimal intellectual stimulation, crushing boredom and, ultimately loneliness characterize lives that could otherwise be meaningful and productive.”
I have a 32 year old son on the autism spectrum. Like many parents, my husband and I constantly worked to make sure his educational opportunities were the best we could make them. No easy task as many of you know. The thinking is – give them as many tools as we can – teach them as much as possible – because we want them to have meaningful lives, meaningful futures!
Then our children leave school and enter the adult world, and we wonder – will they be lonely? Will there be different types of opportunities for them? Will their days be characterized by endless boredom? Even the best of plans, transition or otherwise, fall flat when real opportunities do not exist.
And for those of us who are parents, we find ourselves sometimes back at square one, back where we were when our children were little and we were navigating services for them. The difference now is that we’re 20 years older and our energy levels are slipping and we can’t quite believe that after all the years of work, here we are again, still trying to make sure the right things are in place for our now adult sons and daughters.
Sometimes you don’t want to “fight the good fight” because you’re simply too tired. But if not us, then who?
The book I was reading, the one that started me to think about these things again, is all about Creating a Meaningful Day. It’s a curriculum filled with rich ideas that talks about our need to partner with creative people to try to establish new opportunities; design new possibilities and suddenly, I’m energized and hopeful again.