Pause and Affect: Autistic Reflections Away

It was an unannounced break from the blog.

Nothing happened; I was out of state, away vacationing. Months and years ago, I’d have felt guilty for not hanging an out-of-office sign here, but I’ve learned to trust people to be more understanding.

But I still felt a teeny bit uneasy while on vacation.

Vacationing while autistic just isn’t vacationing.

That’s OK.

Many people look for the BREAK in routine as the object, the major events that rakes across their dreadful monotonies, the joyous, carefree lightning locks of freewheeling adventure, perfectly-framed travelogues, and limitless Epicurean delights —

No, that’s not me.

I live in the routine. I glide through the monotony. I rest easiest in the pulses, knowing where the surges and pauses are to come.

This vacation was a better one.

In The Life Autistic, you’re probably not living for the weekend nor readying to plunge headlong into the idyllic charms of beach, amusement park, or [insert stock vacation here]. You’re planning. Preparing. Adapting.

Or in some cases, you’re undoing yourself from the stereotypical notions of what a vacation should be and readying, preparing, smoothing out the folds of dread.

This is also OK.

I’m back now.

But I’m not quite back here.

Vacation was a good break from the creative ventures too, where the pause helped me reassess where I am burning bright or burning out.

It clarified the kind of things that are still burning hot and fueling a lot of joy, despite the expense. Videos (short and long) remain a fruitful endeavor, and I’ve found myself being worked into more speaking and podcast engagements — those are both new, and I enjoy contributing where I can.

But that leaves, yes, my writing.

Despite this being my first autism advocacy venture, it’s veering closer to burnout. Ironic, given my Hephaestean craft, writing as a first love as well. It’s a fickle beast — the fires temperamental.

I won’t be forsaking this in total; I just need to extend the vacation to this domain too. The stories will be told, not forced. For as much as I devote myself to routines, I’ve learned to pinpoint when they’re serving me, and when I’ve veered too far into serving them.

Vacation had a purpose.

I’m glad for the purpose in unplugging, enjoying some sand, enjoying time with my family, seeing my kids enjoy their first visit to the Atlantic Ocean, seeing weird birds, and then following up with a more mellow staycation at home. It was purposeful, and I enjoyed it at my autistic best.

But it served a good creative purpose, helping me see better what I really wanted to come back to and what I felt could wait a little longer.

The words can wait.

They’ll always be there.


One thought on “Pause and Affect: Autistic Reflections Away

  1. I really value all your words! Written, spoken, type read from a screen, words heard from a screen… Thanks for all that you do!

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