Month: February 2013

Draw Something Resembling Anything

And the drawing is...

Guess it? This was an easy one.

Our boys are growing up so fast. Once upon a time, they were connected to me. Then, hubby went and cut the umbilical cord. Ever since then I’ve been herding cats, desperately hoping to catch them and hold them long enough to get some quality time. These days they’re connected to other things…like their iPads, Xbox360, or their Mac. These are their new lifelines. So, I’ve done the only thing I could do. I’ve decided to meet them on their ground. I text them and I send them game requests. I’d friend them on Facebook if they had Facebook pages.

One game I play with my sons is DrawSomething, which is an online version of Pictionary. You draw something and the person you’re playing with attempts to determine what the scribbles you just traced onto the screen of your device mean. My first world problem is that it’s hard to draw a detailed image on an iPhone (even the iPhone 5 with its larger screen). Luke is a natural born artist. He has always enjoyed drawing and his creations on this app are quite detailed and contain appropriate contextual clues so that the amount of guesswork is deeply reduced. Joe…well…let’s just say his drawings are basic. They require a lot of creative thinking on my part. I don’t always know where he’s headed with his art but, as his mother, I feel it’s not an option to guess incorrectly. So, this simple game of drawing becomes a game of mental gymnastics for me. I become Sherlock Holmes. To solve the mystery, I must enter into the mind of the drawer who, in this case, is an 11 year old boy.

Tonight, after weeks of pestering him mercilessly, Joe finally acquiesced and sent me a drawing. This drawing was of a large brown object, which I eventually conjectured was an animal despite the fact that it seemed to be headless. I stared at it blankly for a few seconds and then traveled into the depths of Joe’s frenetic mind. I had an idea but had to verify my mental image with the letters provided for the drawing. Thankfully, tonight’s drawing was an easy one. You see, where I will draw the clue I think I can represent most easily for the other person’s interpretation, Joe most often chooses to draw clues that have a personal meaning for him. Translation: I see a lot of shark, prehistoric creatures, Star Wars, and superhero drawings. Tonight’s was no different. The minute I entered into Joe’s 11 year old brain, I could see where he had gone. To the ice age, of course. Why not?

I love that Joe is not the least bit concerned about his drawings. He doesn’t wonder if they will be understood. He draws what he likes, no matter how hard it might be to convey. I imagine that Joe is so used to meeting the world the way he is required to, so used to following conventions that don’t work for him or even make sense to him, that when it comes to this game he feels free to be himself. And, that is an awesome, wondrous thing. I enjoy these occasional opportunities to get inside his head. I figure it’s the closest I will ever be to him again.


Vomitoriums, Clone Troopers, And The Sahara…Welcome To My World

On Floreana Island in the Galapagos with the monkeys I'm not totally certain belong to me

On Floreana Island in the Galapagos last August with the monkeys I admit I’m not totally certain belong to me

Some days I wonder if the children I parent are even mine. They certainly resemble their father more than me and, if I hadn’t actually seen my belly shrink approximately the size of a child and then watched their wrinkled, newborn faces as they screamed their way toward the ritual of their first weigh-in (I scream every time I weigh in, so I understand), I might not have accepted this gig as their full-time, gainfully unemployed, tutor, chauffeur, cook, maid, and all-around-slave. I mean, it’s a thankless job and I know someone has to do it, but without even so much as similar eye color to go on, I have to wonder sometimes.

And, it is because I wonder that I so heartily appreciate it when the Universe provides me with proof that these spawn truly do belong to me. This evening we were driving home from dinner. The three of us were having a stimulating discussion, the kind we often have when we are trapped in a moving vehicle together. First, Joe attempted to educate me about the vomitoriums of ancient Rome, at which point I had to tell him that a) yes…I am old enough to have knowledge of such a thing but not old enough to have firsthand knowledge (thank you very much), and 2) no…it is not what you expect it is. Google it, my young apprentice. The conversation turned then to a discussion of the stop-motion animation video they planned to make when they got home and to which Luke had already assigned the pre-production, working title The Suite Life of Rex and Cody, after the Lego Clone Troopers he planned to turn into stars.

While the boys excitedly discussed Clone Trooper stage blocking directions, it began snowing. When it begins snowing at any point after the end of January, I begin cursing. Once the holidays are over, I see no point for the snow. I graciously allow winter a full-month to vacate once the holidays are in my rear view mirror, yet tonight winter was mocking me. It’s not the snow I hate as much as the cold and, glancing at my car’s thermometer, I registered it was a balmy 19 degrees outside. This, of course, caused me to interrupt their conversation with a pseudo-expletive.

“Cheese and rice!” I exclaimed mostly to myself. “I hate the cold. Have I ever told you that I hate the cold?”

“Yes,” they replied in unison with a bit too much annoyance.

“I like the cold,” Joe ventured. (Joe is the one who least looks like me. Did I mention that?)

“Really? You would rather it be 0 degrees than 100 degrees?” I responded.

“Yep,” he replied with confidence. Of course, this is the child who told me his dream vacation destinations include Antarctica and Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

“What about you, Luke? Would you rather be hot or cold?” I queried.

Before Luke had the opportunity to answer, Joe and his impulse-assisted mouth burst back into the conversation to persuade Luke to his side.

“Luke….100 degrees is torrid. It’s a warm spring day in the Sahara,” he shared. (Joe pronounces Sahara as sah-har-ah rather than the more common US pronunciation suh-hair-uh. It’s positively British of him. He won points for that even though he was busily arguing against me. But, I digress.)

“Joe,” I asked, “did you just say torrid or did you say horrid?” I knew he knew the second word, but I’d never heard him utter the first.

Torrid,” he repeated as if my elevator didn’t reach the top floor. Then to make matters worse he added, “it means oppressively hot.”

“Gee…thanks for the explanation, Joe. Believe it or not, I am perfectly well aware of what that word means. Why don’t you spell it for me?” I asked.

“T-O-R-R-I-D,” he answered both quickly and flawlessly.

“Wow,” I said, duly impressed. “Good job, Joe.”

“I would rather it be 100 degrees,” Luke chimed in, perhaps fearing we’d forgotten about him. “I could always take my shirt off.”

“Keep your shirt on, Fabio,” I replied.

“Who’s Fabio?” Joe asked.

“Oh…never mind,” I said, disgusted and depressed that I had dated myself by decades.

The conversation returned to stop-motion videos while I wondered at my son’s new word. According to the most recent educational report we received about Joe and his learning disabilities, both his working memory (the ability, for example, to mentally add 26 + 54) and his processing speed (the amount of time it takes him to do such a math problem) are well beneath average for a child his age. These deficits make school quite difficult for Joe. The one bright spot the tests illuminated, however, was in Joe’s Oral Language skills. Turns out that as a 5th grader he currently has the language skills of a 9th grader. I smiled to myself at his use of the word torrid. The kid did inherit something from his ancient mother with the BA in English and the MS in Professional Writing. Genetics did not grant him my blue eyes or my freckled fair skin, but he did end up with my curiosity and a sturdy vocabulary. For a brief second, I spied something of myself in my son, something we had in common. Tonight, for a few seconds, I was 100% positive he was mine. And, while one could argue that the things I determined we had in common are more likely derived via nurture rather than nature, I don’t give a flying fig. I’ll take it.

I’m No Mother Teresa

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” ~Mother Teresa

Sharkboy's box

Sharkboy’s box

I remember when I was in grade school, on February 13th we would decorate boxes that we would use to collect Valentine’s Day cards from our classmates the next day. With red, pink, and white construction paper, tiny scissors with blunted tips, and the ubiquitous Elmer’s glue we would craft works of art to hold the innocent and sweet messages heralded by Snoopy, Scooby Do, the Pink Panther, and the Hulk and delivered by our sugar-enhanced classmates. In 6th grade, our teacher, let us play our 45’s on the record player while we worked on the boxes, and Cheap Trick belted out “I Want You To Want Me” while I cut hearts out of square pieces of paper that were folded in half and then affixed them to the shoebox before me. Those were the good old days (emphasis on old).

Last year, despite my cynical disdain for this heart-shaped holiday, I made the choice to participate in my sons’ Valentine’s Day parties at school. When I arrived, I noticed that on the desks of children in the classroom were all manner of decorated boxes, bags, tins, and pails. On my sons’ desks were plastic grocery bags from Safeway. Sad, but true. I hadn’t realized that many schools no longer used classroom time for artistic pursuits like heart-covered boxes for valentines. And so, my sons were given plastic bags by their teachers because their mother had failed to provide them with lovingly festooned containers in which they could collect and bring home their cards and candy. In that moment, I imagined myself in a tattered ball gown holding a dozen wilted roses, a tiara missing its rhinestones perched clumsily on my wild-haired head, and a white sash emblazoned with the words “World’s Worst Mother” running diagonally down my front. Loser with a capital L. I was a sullied angel fallen from the heavenly sky of stay-at-home mothers.

This year, I determined, would be different. My sons would not be doomed to a plastic-bag fate. Yesterday, at 9:30 after I dropped my boys at school and acquired an appropriately caffeinated beverage, I locked myself in my office/craft room with two small shipping boxes, cardstock, duct tape, adhesives, scissors, google eyes, and some slowly atrophying creative skills. I first pondered what might not embarrass them too fully at their advanced ages of 9 and 11. My original plan was simply to cover the cardboard boxes with paper and duct tape (they are future men, after all) and then carve a hole in them. So far, so good. Then, realizing that my usual cut-out hearts might not be “cool” enough as enhancements for a boy’s box, I tried to envision what might be a more appropriate fit for my guys. Joe’s box theme came to me immediately. Joe loves sharks. In our house, he is Sharkboy. Sharkboy’s box would need teeth. Luke’s box was a bit trickier. Luke is our cuddly kid, friendly and open-hearted, not unlike a small and slightly less furry Golden Retriever. I wanted to make him a dog box that would represent his personality, but feared he might find it too girly or babyish. Ultimately, with not one more suitable creative thought, I went for it.

I spent two hours measuring, cutting, gluing, taping, coloring, and wrapping those plain cardboard boxes. Considering my lack of forethought to materials acquisition, I did okay with what I found around the house. The boxes, while not representative of the kind of creative work of which I am truly capable, are much better than a plastic grocery bag because they were created from my heart and are filled with my love. As much as I can be contained, I am housed in those boxes.

The boys were satisfied with my little surprise. Joe confessed that he was hoping he would have time to make his own box, but then admitted that the Minecraft box he had pictured in his head would be nowhere near as nice as the shark I had created. Plus, he said, he did not want me to have gone through all that effort for him for nothing, even though I assured him that my reward was in making the box and not at all tied up in whether he actually used it or not. I appreciated that he acknowledged my effort, though. Luke loved his doggy box so much he said he wanted first to use it to deliver valentines to his classmates before allowing it to receive valentines from them. Then he said he wanted to keep it in his bedroom after his party was over. If he does this, I assume that dog, like our own dog Ruby, will ingest a lot of Legos.

I may never do great things in my life on a grand scale. I will not cure cancer or design a mode of transportation that will put humans into the farthest reaches of space. I will not stop global warming or solve world hunger. I may never write the great American novel or make a million dollars. And, we all know I’m certainly no Mother Teresa. But, after yesterday’s creative bent, I was reminded that at least I can do small things with great love. It’s those little things that will comprise the balance of my life and hopefully prove that I was worth my carbon matter while I existed here on Earth. And, who knows? Maybe the two small things I helped to create 9 and 11 years ago and have loved dutifully in my own small way ever since will someday do a truly great thing and there will be a miniscule part of me in it somewhere. I think that would count.

You’re Unique…Just Like Everyone Else

My "different" children

My “different” children

“Always remember you’re unique…just like everyone else.”

One of the biggest challenges being a kid with a learning difficulty is feeling different. I’ve watched both my sons as they tried to acclimate themselves to their differences at school and, by far, the biggest stress they faced was worrying about what the other kids would think of them. Joe, for about a year, did not tell anyone about his ADHD. He simply was not comfortable. He worked hard to try to fit in and that was how he wanted to deal with it. Eventually, he told a few friends who handled it just as I expected they would. They did not care. They attend a small school, and this group of 13 children have been together for 5 years. To his classmates, Joe is just Joe and knowing about his ADHD didn’t make him any different. When Luke was diagnosed with dyslexia in November, he also was adamant that he did not want anyone to know. I didn’t push him into telling anyone because I respected his apprehension, but I did mention to him (with permission) that his friend Annie Oakley (not her real name) also had struggles. I suggested that it might be good if both of them could talk to each other about their difficulties. He looked at me dubiously and took my counsel under advisement.

Early this past week, out of nowhere, Luke announced to most of his classmates that he had dyslexia. Like Joe’s classmates, they looked at him with a quizzical so-what attitude and moved on. No one understood or cared or asked questions. It was no big deal…with one exception. His partner in crime and fellow horse-lover friend, Annie, immediately glommed onto him, happy to have someone with whom to share her differences. Right after Luke’s confession, he got into the car and declared that he and Annie needed to have a play date (I love that he still uses that term) soon so they could “talk.” I thought that was about the cutest thing ever, so I set up a time for Annie to come to our house on Friday and stay for play time and dinner. The two of them were so excited they could barely focus at all at school before the play date. As proof, I offer up Luke’s spelling test grade, which has never been great but this week hit an all time low of 52% on a list that was not the toughest one he’s ever faced. Their palpable excitement would have been amusing if it weren’t exhausting me.

We had scarcely gotten everyone settled in the car Friday afternoon and weren’t even out of the school parking lot when Luke piped up.

“Okay. So, let’s talk about this ADHD and dyslexia thing.”

Instantly, Annie opened up. She told our boys about how she found out about her ADD and how her life has changed since her parents told her. She and Joe talked about attention-deficit with each other, and she and Luke talked about how hard it was needing special accommodations at school. They all talked about how demanding school was and how much they grappled with reading and timed tests. They talked about it non-stop for 20 minutes on the ride home, sharing stories, successes, and tips. They all felt comfortable about their differences because for those 20 minutes they weren’t different at all. It was, by far, the best 20 minutes I have ever spent in a car with children who weren’t sleeping. I was a fly on the wall for the most genuinely sincere conversation my boys have shared about their trials. Listening to them open up and, above all, be at peace with themselves was the greatest gift I’ve received since learning about their amazing brains.

The rest of the play date was a rousing success. The three of them had a blast being the funny and ingenious kids they are. They took turns making videos with Luke’s iPad as they pretended to be news reporters, fashion icons, and pop stars. Luke hammed it up for the camera with long, improvisational monologues that kept the others in stitches. At one point, Joe was wearing one of my dresses over his jeans and t-shirt and was topped off with a tangled mullet wig as he sang into a magic marker. My sons may not be A students, but their creativity knows no bounds. And Annie, who I have always regarded as very bright and sweet, met them as an equal the entire time. Hubby made his famous chicken nuggets and handcrafted milkshakes for them and that was the only time they were still and semi-quiet all afternoon.

When they were young and I had no experience with children, I had a hard time recognizing that our boys didn’t fit in with their peers, mostly likely because I didn’t want to admit it. Even when their teachers made reference to slower progress, I reasoned it away as late-bloomer syndrome. I subjected them repeatedly to age-appropriate activities that the books said they should be able to do but at which they continued to flounder. I could not understand why school was so difficult for them when they were creative problem solvers who made connections between disparate topics with ease. I grew increasingly frustrated when by age 8 they could not yet ride a bicycle or tie their shoes despite constant instruction. When it was spelled out to me by professionals that my children had actual, brain-related differences from other children, I was heartbroken. This was not what I expected when I signed up for parenthood. I thought we would have children who sailed through school like hubby and I did. No one wants their child to be “different” because “different” kids get beaten up. Eventually, though, to help them come to terms with their differences I had to make my peace with them. I stopped looking at my sons through the eyes of the struggles I knew they would have and instead allowed myself to see the benefits their unique brains would provide them. Sometimes thinking differently can make you highly successful. You need look no further than Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, or Ted Turner to recognize that. The other day, though, I have to admit that it felt pretty good to see them play in a group and feel for a while just like everyone else.

Step Away From The Rhino

Step away from the rhino...well, maybe not this rhino.

Step away from the rhino…well, maybe not this rhino.

A few weeks ago I was perusing the news online when I came across a headline about a rhinoceros attack. I normally find the news either incredibly infuriating or simply plain boring, but this article piqued my interest. On January 12th, a woman from South Africa was gored by a rhinoceros while on her honeymoon. She and her husband had been vacationing in a nature reserve and were out on a jeep tour when the tour guide told them to pop out of the car so he could get their photo with some rhinoceros standing nearby. The couple was apprehensive, but the guide assured them it would be fine. Just after the guide snapped the photo, the woman was gored from behind by the male rhino. She was hospitalized for a collapsed lung and some broken ribs but will recover. She was lucky.

These type of incidents are teaching moments for me. I’m continually telling my children that wild animals are wild animals. I recently showed them a video of tourists in Yellowstone who were walking on a boardwalk too close to a bison. Now, perhaps they thought that bison understand the right of way implied by a boardwalk and that this bison, therefore, would yield the way with perfect etiquette. The bison, however, not giving a flying fig about the human-placed boardwalk in the middle of its territory, charged at them. They all escaped unscathed, but at the end of the video an adult is shown laughing at the whole chase, as if it’s just a cute story. I shake my head.

I wonder about humanity sometimes. I wonder whether we’re bright enough to survive. My children hear me comment to this effect quite often. They hear my tales of rhinoceros attacks and charging bison and understand my disdain for the truly inane things people do sometimes. First thing this morning, Joe came into my room carrying a small, model rhino, which he set on the bathroom counter.

“I was just thinking about that lady who got attacked by that rhino. What was she thinking?” he said. “I mean, seriously. Why would you even get that close to a rhinoceros? They weigh over a ton and have two sharp horns.”

“I don’t know, Joe,” I replied.

“They’re not house pets. They’re wild animals. WILD animals. You don’t know what they’re going to do.”

At this point I was feeling proud that Joe understood the point I had tried to get across by telling them that story. I was patting myself on the back for a job well done.

“I just don’t know what she was thinking,” he went on.

“Well, I guess that because the guide said it would be fine the couple assumed it really would be. But, I’m with you. I would not choose to stand within feet of one of those animals. I like to think I’d know better,” I said.

I’d know better,” he said. “She was just stupid,” Joe announced.

When he said this, it at last occurred to me that Joe was repeating verbatim what I had said out loud to myself when I was reading the news story that day. I was blown away by the complete lack of common sense this couple had shown. I know that people have a difficult time with perceived authority in situations when they feel they are being pressured, but isn’t there a point when you realize the danger and simply step away from the rhino? Still, I’m not teaching the right lesson if along with the animal safety tip he’s hearing my commentary that people who stand with rhinos might not be the sharpest knives in the drawer. So, I attempted to correct my misstep.

“Joe, maybe you should try to be more kind? It’s not as if she set out that day to be gored by a rhino. It just happened. Someday you might do something stupid and need some understanding,” I suggested.

“Probably not that stupid,” came his instant reply.

I didn’t know how to respond to that comment. On the one hand, he obviously missed my point about being kind, and that’s not good. But, on the other hand, I agree that he is clever enough to know you don’t get within feet of a rhinoceros. I have high hopes that he would be on the winning end of a Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest contest. In the end, I decided that all I could do was drop it for now and try to do a better job of not constantly commenting about humans performing stupid human tricks.

When I see in my children the worst of myself I am reminded that, especially when I’m not paying attention, I’m setting an example for them every day. I teach them as much with my snarkiness and impatience as I do with my generosity and love. If I could only figure out a way to get them to tune me out when I’m not at my best, I might be able to raise children who would be forgiving and kind and who also would know well enough to just step away from the rhino.


Party Like It’s 2022

Rotten parents skiing Crested Butte sans children and looking happy about it

Rotten parents skiing Crested Butte sans children and looking happy about it

Yesterday I happened upon a blog post that set me to thinking. The blog’s author, Alecia of Freak Show Minus Tent, wrote that she is disturbed by the notion that some parents look forward to time away from their children. Then, she requested feedback as to whether her readers were looking forward to having their children move away from home. Now, it’s not Alecia’s question that bothered me. I honestly think it’s a great place to start a real conversation. What bothered me about her post was the way I felt when I read it. I felt judged unfairly. I felt inadequate. You see, Alecia’s assertion is that it’s somehow wrong to want space from your children, and I’m a person who loves my kids yet sees nothing detrimental about needing time away from them. I’m not the world’s most patient person. I am a bit selfish. And, to top it off, I am an introvert who needs peace and quiet to recharge. Does my need to have a break from my noisy, non-stop children on occasion necessarily imply that I’m an unloving, careless parent? I suppose, to some people, it does.

I’ve never looked at my desire to have a break from my mischievous cherubs as a parenting flaw. For me, that downtime is a prerequisite to ensure that when I am with them (which I am the vast majority of the time because I am a stay-at-home parent) I am calm, cool, collected, and mostly emotionally stable. I have made sure that my sons know that I’m not simply their cook, maid, and chauffeur. Since the boys were 2 and 4, I’ve searched for ways to pursue things I enjoy, things that are separate from my life with them. It started with a 2-day, 40-mile Avon Walk that required hours of training. From there, I took classes, began practicing yoga, and started writing again. I never wanted my sons to think that they were my raison d’être. I wanted them to know that they improved my life, not began it. I wanted them to see me not just as Mom but also as a person. I hoped to set the example that a family exists because people care for each other and take turns making sacrifices for each other. And this is what I believe I have perpetuated by occasionally asking them take a back seat. I hope I’m teaching them that the world does not, despite what they believe, revolve around them.

As to the question of whether I will celebrate the occasion when our youngest heads off to college in 2022, my answer is yes. We have 18 years to bring our kids up the best we can with whatever skills, resources, and talents we can muster. We will pour our blood, sweat, and tears into their development. When they are ready to leave home, we need to acknowledge that this phase in our parenting experience is over. We’ve completed the task we were charged with. We’re graduating and, for that reason, we should celebrate….not because of what we’re jettisoning but because of what we’ve accomplished. So, yes. When our youngest is headed off to college, I imagine we will celebrate. Perhaps we’ll even throw ourselves a little party to mark the end of an amazing journey and to acknowledge the beginning of a new one. And, when the wine bottles have been emptied and our friends are gone, I will give myself a small pat on the back for doing the best I could in my own impatient, somewhat selfish, introverted, quiet-seeking sort of way. Then, make no mistake about it, I will go to bed and cry myself to sleep because my heart will ache over the loss of my precious little ones. And the next morning I will wake up, wipe the tears from my eyes, figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and look forward to someone showing up with their laundry.

No Such Thing As Small Change

Years' worth of small change can really add up!

Years’ worth of small change can really add up!

I hate carrying change around in my wallet. My purse is heavy enough without my having to lug coins everywhere with me. So, for years, I’ve removed the change from my wallet and deposited it into glass containers we’ve kept in our bedroom. Every bit of change that hubby left lying around or that I found in the washer or dryer was collected and dropped into the jars as well. We’ve made a game out of it. After paying for the church we rented for our wedding with over $150 in spare change that we had saved, we understand that saving those seemingly worthless coins actually pays off. So, for several years now we’ve been telling ourselves that we will take it to the bank to exchange for cash when we have something memorable to spend it on, something we know we want to do but might not be able to afford to do otherwise.

Well, with our sights set on kayaking the Wailua River in Kauai with the boys in a couple months, we hauled all our change to Wells Fargo yesterday to cash it in. When we came in carrying our heavy jars, I expected the tellers to close their windows. I worked at a credit union when I was far younger than I am now, and I remember how much I dreaded the customers who took me away from my window to feed the change converter. But, they were very accommodating and, in just 10 minutes, they had our grand total. Steve’s estimate was $392. Mine was $429. We were both wrong. After socking away spare change for a few years, we’d saved a grand total of $468.20. Sometimes it pays to be patient. We will now be able to afford our river paddle excursion and a two-hour whale watching expedition. And, we will feel great knowing that our little effort yielded a big, memorable result.

Worth the wait

Worth the wait

I’ve been thinking about how often I am unwilling to acknowledge that it’s the little things that add up to create the big things. I, like most people, forget the value of patience and perseverance because I want it now. But, the best things in life aren’t the ones that come quickly. They’re the ones that we work on day-by-day, and they don’t seem like much as we’re doing it. Consider Michelangelo’s statue of David. At one point, that 17-foot tall statue was nothing but a large block of untouched marble. Only with steady patience and dedicated effort over a period of three years was Michelangelo able to create the glorious sculpture people still marvel at over 500 years later. It takes vision to acknowledge that effort rendered in seemingly miniscule amounts will inevitably enumerate over time, and only when we’re willing to settle in and commit ourselves with patience will we realize real accomplishment and self-satisfaction. You can’t cash in your change jar after just one day, one week, or one month’s worth of efforts. You have to hang in there because some day it will add up and you will understand that some change is definitely worth working for.