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unleashing The Foorce

I am a planner. When we go on vacation, I usually spend hours late at night looking up a dozen different hotels, rental properties and activities so that every possible circumstance has been accounted for including weather, children, traffic, bedtimes, and especially bathroom proximity. I plan my meals for days at a time and make elaborate grocery lists to save time and money in the store. I make huge “to do” lists and desperately rely on a calendar to tell me where to be. I say “just in case” a lot.

I wasn’t always this way. When I was younger I would get out of class on a Friday afternoon, hop into my ’89 Plymouth wagon and drive 4-5 hours to see friends upstate, sometimes just for 24 hours before heading back to work or school. I made plans at the last second, threw some clothes and make-up into the backseat and left. I said “yes” to everything, last minute concert tickets, new jobs, new apartments and roommates, trips anywhere.

Not planning has its downsides. When James was born I went back to school a few days later, a Junior in college on a music scholarship and determined to keep it. A week later James had his first of what would become many surgeries – the nearest major hospital was about 3 hours away from school. Needless to say I hadn’t planned on faxing my homework into my professors for weeks at a time, missing school, or on having a disabled child. 3 surgeries and a million doctors’ appointments later, James was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder, kind of like winning the lottery in reverse. By 1 yr old James had a busier schedule than I did – speech, OT and PT 3 times per week, doctors’ appointments weekly, 10 surgeries before the age of 2. Then came the ABA therapy for 40 hours a week, a revolving door of schedules to manage. It became impossible not to plan, to account for every minute of the day. Then, planning became a comfort, of knowing what was going to happen in a world of constant surprises. Now, 10 years later with 3 children ages 5 months-10, it is a way of life. I am a details planner – doctors, groceries, schedule, parties, therapy, kids’ activities. My husband is a big picture planner – home, retirement, career track, college. Between the two of us we seem to have all of the bases covered, except for when we don’t.

NYC is a great place to be whether or not you are a planner, but my unbelievable planning skills + all NYC has to offer = one awesome mailing list and blog full of plans for the person/people in your life with special needs (and often everyone else in the family). The sheer magnitude of services and events in the city has overwhelmed my planning tactics, motivating me to plan everything while also allowing me to relax because I know that there is always something for James.

The goal of my blog, still a work in progress, is to bring us all together. I firmly believe in “strength in numbers” – the bi-monthly meetings at PS 163 this year have been proof of that. I will post activities, events, meeting dates, product reviews, services and other information geared toward the special needs community here. In addition, I plan to post discounts and coupons specifically for this community. I am excited to get started and of course, have big things to plan!

  1. Mike
    March 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Nice start Michaela. You have never been a wallflower or one to wait for the world to come to you or run over you. Mom use to laugh because I always had lists of lists n plans. As you know it is a marathon NOT a sprint 🙂

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