Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Living Independently

I did a Google image search for independent
living and this is what popped up, and it
reminded me of my cousin BT because when
he first had an apartment he was always
writing on Facebook about how he was
hungry and had no food!
So I am officially, for real this time, moving to Oregon in exactly a month, give or take a few days. The plan so far is for my dad and I to drive out there about a week or so before my cousin's wedding, and then I will be able to go to the wedding, and I'll pretty much be an out of town wedding guest who never leaves! I'll stay with my Auntie Em and Uncle J for a while until I can find my own place, which I hope won't take very long... I love staying with them, but the whole idea is for me to get on my own, so staying with them forever would sort of defeat the purpose of that!

I have lived on my own before, but I never did a really great job of it. Hence, why I eventually failed every time. 

Last week my parents went to Arizona for the White Sox spring training, which they do every year. My mom has this chart she made, and she prints it out on her computer every time they are going to be out of town. It shows all of the days that they are going to be gone, and it shows a list of all the things I have to do each day, some of which is different from what I usually do. 

The things that she puts on there are walking the dogs in the morning (which I don't usually do, because I usually just take Lily in the backyard, but my parents for some reason trained Trixie not to poop in the backyard so now she needs to take an actual walk in order to poop!), give the dogs food and water, bring in the newspaper, open the blinds, and turn off the porch light, in the morning, and then bring in the mail, walk the dogs again, turn on the porch light, shut the blinds, make sure the dogs have food and water (which they didn't usually finish from the morning), walk the dogs again, and lock the back door. I think that is pretty much it. All week long I check the boxes as I do them, and that way I know I did everything, plus it shows me how much longer until they get back. I used to get really panicky when they left, because I felt like I would never see them again. But that was about five years ago, and now I am much better. 

The things that she does not put on there are wake up, eat breakfast, take vitamins and medicine,  make a lunch for work, take a shower, get dressed, go to work, come home, eat dinner, get in pajamas, and go to bed... because those are things I already do every day anyways. 

I was thinking, when I get my own apartment, maybe I will make a list like this for every day, at least until I really get used to it. I think I would probably also put on there about eating meals and taking showers, because even though I already do those things no matter where I am, checking them off makes me feel better and would help me stay in a routine. Sometimes when I get out of a routine (like right now while the school district I work in is on spring break) I start neglecting even normal things, like taking a shower and eating, and I just sleep all day instead. 

I was also thinking of making a list of things I can make for dinner, so that I wouldn't have to try and think of something every day and end up eating cold cereal because my mind goes blank. I am great at making macaroni and cheese, and I am also great at making stir-fried veggies and rice, or rice and black beans, or pasta with veggies and cheese. (I like to try to make new casserole recipes I find online, but basically they can all be summed up as pasta with veggies and cheese!) I don't eat meat, so my choices are pretty limited. When I took care of my roommate's kids full time I would make them things like chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner, but for myself I do not eat chicken! And I don't like really spicy things. So this puts a lot of limitation on my diet, because a lot of vegetarian recipes depend on spices for flavor. I will not eat curry. You cannot make me. 

So for all of you wise people out there, what would you put on these lists if you were me? And do you know any easy, tasty and not-spicy vegetarian dinner recipes? 

Also, I am working hard at finding creative ways to fund my move, and also to fund the opening of Over The Rainbow. So I started selling things on eBay! My dad just gave me a whole bunch of interesting rings he's found at flea markets (he is trying to thin out his collection a little) and they are all there. I also have an Otter Box for iPhone 4 or 4s there. If you want to check out what I have, click here! 

See ya later, alligators! 


  1. So happy you are planning your move. That's a big step! I love lists and on some days I do something not on my list, then add it just so I can check it off! So I say, make all the charts and lists you want, just keep a little flexible for all the surprises in daily life. Vegetarian dinners: if you use eggs try quiche or frittatas; quinoa pilaf stuffed in tomatoes and baked; tabouli salad; or you could invest in a cookbook by Jeanne Lemlin; I have a cookbook called "1000 Vegan Recipes" that has tons of meatless non-spicy recipes.

    1. I tried to make stuffed tomatoes once using couscous. But when I put them in the oven, all of the couscous kept rolling out of the tomatoes! It probably would have been better to add something to make the couscous moist so it would stay in. I will look for the JEanne Lemlin cookbook!

  2. I really like the list idea! I mostly use post it notes and a calendar. I just bought a new legal pad notebook today and am starting to write in it everyday to keep track of purchases, thoughts and ideas. One central book will probably help.
    Yes! Dinner ideas is such a good idea! Making dinner for the family is the most stressful part of everyday. I usually have on hand a casserole so I always have something ready to eat. I'm not a vegetarian, sorry, no meal ideas.
    On my list I put appointments, I'd put all three meals, maybe put boxes I could check off. I'd schedule a reminder to go outside, check the mail and when to take the garbage out.
    Oregon is beautiful! I had my best vacation along the coast. What part of the state are you going to?

  3. Hi, Angel. Loved reading this article. You sound like a courageous soul. I really like your idea of making lists. I would say, the more lists the better, as they will take away the need to think so much about things.


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