Avoiding discomfort vs the necessity of the mundane: the rainy Sunday Blues

My life is not particularly glamorous or exciting – but I am excited about it much of the time. Today however I am right in the thick of the mundane necessities: the things I have been letting pile up – that encourage my nose to wrinkle and a shoulder-relaxing-sigh to escape in quiet resignation.

I do not have the luxury of crafting a long and carefully proofed post today. Sometimes – you have to pick and choose. I would rather be writing than doing the mundane. I would even rather be cooking…

It is a pleasure based principal: we want most to do the things that give us pleasure – and we want to avoid the things that do not.  Unfortunately, the world and my life cannot be focused around my pleasures – as simple as they may be. This is a view I need to continually model and share with H.

It is so easy for those who live with and/or work with children with extra challenges (cognitive, social, sensory, focus, emotional, self-regulation, etc) to inadvertently give them the impression that they should never experience discomfort. The fact is that many of us are uncomfortable (at least in some little way) a fair amount of the time. We just don’t go around talking about it – because it is not very acceptable socially and others would avoid us.

Children on the autism spectrum who have a core challenge in understanding the perspective or experience of others, may not see or understand that others have to suck it up and bear with discomfort and unpleasantries. Should we consider that they may not understand that we experience this – if we do not overtly share it?

I am in no way suggesting that being insensitive to the needs of those with the challenges of autism is an option. That would be ridiculous. Nor should we go around grumbling or complaining to our children. What I am instead suggesting, is that those of us who are not Autistic consider sharing our perspective so that we can normalize some of the discomfort felt by those in the spectrum and support their ability to be resilient and work through discomfort. This also creates an opportunity to talk about and model our strategies for handling discomfort and how we know that this (the not so pleasant thing) may help get us what we want (the pleasant or desirable thing).

H. asked me what avoidance is…

I explained…

He responded, “Oh, it is the opposite of will-power!” (Smart kid!)

And on that final note – I’ll head back to the mundane …but I can’t help wondering if this post still ended up being a part of my own discomfort avoidance program


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2011)

About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
This entry was posted in Aspergers, Autism, Dealing with the mundane, discomfort avoidance and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Avoiding discomfort vs the necessity of the mundane: the rainy Sunday Blues

  1. I am so glad you spent a few minutes to avoid your discomfort today, I could not have needed to hear this message more today. Thanks.


    • Leah Kelley says:

      Aw… you are such a sweetheart and you are most welcome! This post is actually from some time ago… but I am glad it resonated with you. It is one of those that still holds true for me as well.


  2. Pingback: Parenting fail at The Waffle House | Outrunning The Storm

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