Cynthia’s Yearlong 50th Birthday Bash–October Update

J0341653As I described back in April (you can read the post here), I’m celebrating my 50th birthday with a year of activities, challenges, and FUN designed to honor this milestone. I’m calling it Cynthia’s Yearlong 50th Birthday Bash, and so far it’s been an incredible experience.

Here’s what I did in October to mark this big and badass year:

▪ Launch—The nonprofit I founded, Autism A to Z, launched loads of things this month. The organization is now sponsoring a monthly activity for autism families (and their friends). Last week we took a trip to Brentwood to visit the Smith Family Farm’s wonderful, low-key pumpkin patch and farm stand. In November we are visiting Ardenwood Farm to make corn mosaics and learn about monarch butterflies. We’ve also started a weekday support group as well as a Saturday support group/playdate in the park. There are hikes and sensory friendly movies on our calendar as well as an upcoming advocacy workshop and fundraiser. We’re going to be busy….

▪ Submission—My previous submission to Helen wasn’t accepted, but they asked me to submit again so I sent a different piece for their next issue. I also submitted pieces to Lunch Ticket, which is something I’ve always meant to do but never did, as well as Mason’s Road because they were looking for work dealing with memory

▪ New Things—1) Painting! I haven’t painted since grade school, and wow, was it fun to try it again. 2) Ladies Night Out at the Cellar Door Wine Bar in Pleasanton. 3) Thai dumplings—yummy. 4) Green chili soup—even more yummy! I will definitely return to Pescadero just for that soup. Yeah, it was that good.

▪ Challenge—Last month’s challenge of preparing my daughter for 5th grade outdoor education camp went smashingly well. Katie stayed the entire four days and had very little behavior while there. Once again she more than exceeded my expectations. I call that a success! This month’s challenge was to find locations not only for Autism A to Z’s support groups, workshops, and activities, but also a new home for Storied Nights: An Evening of Spoken Word. After more than a year, we had outgrown our initial venue at Peet’s Coffee & Tea in downtown Livermore. There are still plenty of details to work out, but I believe we have found new homes for all of these varying activities. This might not sound like much of a challenge to you, but believe me, it was.

IMG_0099▪ Fun—This month I had a wonderful four-day “staycation” while Katie was at outdoor education camp and took a fantastic intuitive painting workshop with six of my Right Brain Business Plan cohorts: Kiala Givehand, Susan Miller, Beth Barany, Virginia Simpson-Magruder, Donna Rowe, and Monica Garcia. It was so much fun to play with these creative and inspiring women! I also had dates, dates, and more dates with a wonderful new man and took a day trip to Pescadero. Both the town and the state beach were delightful, and I can’t wait to return. Last but not least, we drove to Oakland and saw the incredible Greenwood Avenue Halloween puppet show. Both Katie and I loved it.

I’m six months into my yearlong birthday bash, and I’m having so much FUN! What new things are you trying this month? Leave a comment below.

Until next time,
Cynthia Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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