Merry Christmas

…and merry/happy every other holiday or event you might be celebrating right now! I’m celebrating the fact that my fifteen year old has two weeks off from school. ūüôā

How is everyone holding up under the holiday prep weeks? ¬†I see so much self-criticism going on around Facebook regarding not “doing the holidays well enough” ¬†and it makes my heart hurt for all of you, and for myself because I’m definitely not immune. ¬†These days are so hard.

I also think it’s cruel and unusual punishment to send out SAT scores two days before Christmas. Cross your fingers for my high school junior? ¬†She receives accommodations but that means she spent over 5 hours on a rainy, cold Saturday taking the SATs. ¬†Exhausting to say the least, and at worst, not very conducive to brain function and thinking processes. We walk that fine line between knowing some accommodations are necessary but sometimes make it all harder. ¬†I know, and she knows, that SAT scores are not the end-all-be-all of life, but she also wants people to know exactly WHO she is, and when test scores don’t reflect that, it annoys her. (Annoy meaning drives her crazy, LOL)

I posted on the blog’s Facebook page about this study: ¬†Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.¬†¬† From the study’s abstract:

 The results suggest that participation in MBSR [mindfulness based stress reduction] is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.

I will fully admit I did not read the whole study. So I’m not even sure if the noted increase in gray matter actually means anything in a practical sense. I’m guessing they are saying that there is¬†an increase¬†in the¬†number of neurons in areas¬†learning, memory, emotional regulation, perspective taking, etc, and that *that is a good thing*. ¬† Hopefully it’s a case of “more is better.” ¬† I’m sure if I read the study I could figure it out, but, you know…Christmas. ¬†I’ll just practice some mindfulness this week and see if my brain feels heavier. ūüėČ

I’m having a horrible time writing this because my children are practicing their church choir Christmas play songs loudly a few feet from me. ¬†I love it and loathe it at the same time. ¬†What holds me together is the conviction that I am SO PLEASED to be able to have a home where they can do that – where they can be themselves, sing out loud together most of the day if they want. ¬† Well, until a sibling says “Could you please stop that infernal noise already? Or at least sing this year’s songs??” ¬†That last line question was just asked by my 7 year old. ¬†I guess it’s OK to sing but singing last years songs TOO, is just too much.

On my last post, I wrote that I was studying for my Speech-Language Pathologist Praxis exam. Well, ***I passed***!! (yay!!) ¬†It’s a hard, technical test, and I’m somewhat surprised I passed because I didn’t spend half as much time studying as I feel I should have. I even did better than I did the first time I took it, almost 20 years ago. ¬†Passing the test means I can be re-certified and re-licensed, both of which I let lapse when I had 3 kids under 6 and no intent to go back to work. ¬†So now I’m filing out my paperwork, and intending to open a very part-time private practice. ¬†Right now I’m trying to figure out the best way to set up my online presence…I want to offer more than speech/language services, but I don’t want that to get lost, either… I have two related URLs saved, and OH, I just want to help the WHOLE WORLD and I want to do it NOW! ¬†This is when my husbands INTJ-ness comes in handy. ¬†Just focus on the next thing, Amy, just focus on the next thing.

Right now the next thing is getting off this computer.  Many blessing to my readers this holiday season!  Thanks for putting up with my rambling!

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