What time is it, anyway?

What time is it, anyway?

In Canada, we have a folk goddess named Joni Mitchell. I hope you’ve heard of her, she is one of our national treasures.

She played Woodstock. (Note: A reader, NDJ, has commented on this post, pointing out that Mitchell never attended Woodstock. Click the link below to read the comments.) Many of her songs have been covered by artists around the world. And she is my number one favorite professional Canadian singer/songwriter.

One of her older songs is called “The Circle Game.”  In one of the verses she mentions that in teenage years people live life fast but older folks tell them that they will reach a point when they will be dragging their feet, trying to “slow the circles down.”

I see the wisdom in that, but I don’t seem to experience it. I don’t feel the need to slow things down. There’s a part of my mind that still sees me as an 18-year-old.

It’s the same part of my mind that still wonders what I should be when I grow up. It’s the part of me that wants to live in the city and in the country at the same time and never thinks of my suburban home as a valid compromise.

It’s the piece of my brain that still thinks there is time to go back to school and become a medical doctor. There is plenty of time to do or be anything I want.

But is there?

I know that examples of achievements in later life abound. Stories about people graduating university in their eighties make the news because that’s a rare occurrence, but occur it does.

In my mind, though, I feel like I could try several of the options that appeal to me. And there seems to be the perception that I would be able to squeeze in any other ideas that might come along.

Time is on my side

I’ve heard the clever sentiment “No one gets out of life alive.” but we only have circumstantial evidence to back that up, right? I prefer the adage “No one’s gotten out of life alive … yet!”

And thinking this way isn’t foolish

If you think that life is winding down, you’re going to wind down with it. I like the saying “You’re as young as you feel.” I wish I didn’t physically feel like I’ve been beaten for the last century, but in my mind I feel like it’s summer holidays and I need to get in as much play as I can before school starts again.

And that’s just short term thinking …

And what happens when “school starts?” Well, that means I have to make the fun-loving part of my mind go dormant and focus it on next spring, the next summer holidays.

So what does this have to do with ADHD?

It’s taken me years to reconcile myself to the fact that I look like I’m irresponsible because of my wide open view of my future. And a few more years to stop feeling like I should agree with this assessment. I don’t need more self-esteem issues, I need fewer. So I’ve decided to embrace the part of me that wants to try new things. I’ll stop beating myself up over gaining the equipment, along with the knowledge, for some new hobby or vocation and then moving on before I’ve made a career out of whatever it was.

Where’s the profit?

And some of these things stick. I’m still a pretty good photographer. I’m not a great musician for stage work, but I don’t like stage work much and I do think I’m a reasonably good songwriter. I’m not much of an artist, but I do work with stained glass and I do write some poetry that appeals to me, if to no one else.

So the perception of time as being limitless is okay with me. I’ll deal with both old age and my demise each in its own time. And before those things happen, I’m going to ignore them. I’ve got more attractive ways to waste my time. I think I’m going to finish building that row boat this winter.