In the year 2009, I thought all was well. I was married and working at odd jobs. My wife and I were able to support ourselves comfortably. We had been married for 25 years.
My wife’s health was such that she needed companionship nearly constantly, and over the last ten or so of those 25 years I was that companion. In the course of our marriage I would estimate that we spent as much time together as a couple that had been married for 40 years. In the two years since 2009, I have been diagnosed with ADHD and in the last four months I’ve lost my wife and taken on the job of writing for Psych Central as the ADHD Man of DistrAction.
Good timing? Hardly …
We had no children, my wife and I. I view this as both a blessing and a curse. No one here in my household to comfort me, but no child mourning the loss of his mother or shouldering the burden of looking after her grieving father.
And now I am one. My house is huge and echos loudly. I’d move but I’ve lived here for 26 years, longer than I’ve lived anyplace else. I know it as home and it’s the only real constant in my daily life these days. God knows I’m not stable enough to be referred to as a constant in my life or the life of anyone else.
But life goes on and so must I
On Wednesday I published a post about my pride in my community. That stands. I meant every word of it. I would not have gotten this far without you.
On Friday my post was about my shame, the burden that I, like many, if not all of you, gather up through our lives and shoulder daily. It was a fairly difficult thing to write, not because of the content, but because examining and inventorying my short comings always fuels the fires that burn away at my limited self esteem.
So where does this leave us?
I thought I had written a well balanced pair of posts, trading off both sides of the situation. This morning I realized that, although the two halves of this dichotomy have been documented in Wednesdays and Fridays posts, we are still left sitting in a circle in between these two opposing camps with no resolution to the dilemma.
So what do we do?
I propose that we do what all those who would move forward must do: Step away from the cage that these two views would keep us caught in, make progress, not excuses, step into the future.
Pick a challenge from your life and deal with it. Make it a small one, leave the big ones alone, they’ll wait for you. Pick a room, or a desk, or even just a pile of papers. Make it a small pile, you’re not out to change the world, only your perception of it.
With bells on …
Set a timer so that it rings every five minutes and clip it to your shirt or put it in your pocket. Do the task you’ve set before yourself. When the timer goes off check to see that you’re on task, and start the it again.
Pat yourself on the back
When you’re done – stop. Go get a glass of water or a cup of coffee or tea or whatever you think of when you think of break time. Sit, sip, congratulate yourself.
Savour the success for as long as you can. I know we’re not good at this, the sensation was probably gone by the time you got to the fridge or the kettle, but try, you deserve it. You’ve stepped out of the cage.
We can be proud of our tribe. We can be down on ourselves. But when it comes to life, we have to walk our own path. I, for one, am going to have to clear mine before I can get any farther down it.