I’ve never run a marathon.
And I am not ever going to.
If there were ever days of running long distances for me, they’re over, trust me. And by long distances I mean anything over a block. I can walk for miles, yet running is beyond the capacity of my lungs and the resilience of my body.
But I am in a marathon, one that requires endurance and resilience and determination.
And I’m winning!
I am determined to cross the finish line of my life having crammed as much enjoyment into it as I possibly can. And I’m not talking about bingeing on stuff that is fun and crazy.
Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and then left it in the washing machine wet for a week.
Not instant gratification
When I was a child, I lived on a farm. That’s where I grew up. It was a mixed farm and there was little room for frills. But my brother and I wanted horses so badly we could taste the wanting.
We saved our pennies and nickles that we made from doing odd jobs in the village. We sold dew worms that we made our father catch (he was good at that). We scrimped and cached or coins and finally we were able to purchase an old mare who had a colt at her side and was also with foal.
When they arrived, a way of life began that was idyllic and good, and one that lasted quite a while.
Well, those of us with ADHD have a tendency to make snap decisions based on instant returns. And we tend to discount the long term implications.
The short description is an analogy that goes, “I have many important things to do, they will make my life better in the long run. But I also have a bicycle that I like to ride with my friends. That will be fun to do now. ….. let’s ride bikes.”
Every time I got a quarter for cutting someone’s lawn or fifty cents for plowing someone’s garden, the money could easily have been spent at the general store (stop laughing, I really am that old), but instead of a soda and a chocolate bar that would have lasted less time than it took to earn the money, I put it into my future.
Now I don’t remember any one particular soda that I ever drank, but I remember that pony and the years we spent together.
And my life is kind of a mix of unmemorable treats that I know were fun, and very memorable things that took some work, but were long term good things in my life.
And I’m still working on making long term good things happen, still in it for the long haul, still running my own kind of ADHD marathon. And still battling to keep myself putting pennies in the jars, still trying to not give in and just “ride bikes.”
And the analogy falls down right about …. here!
In a marathon, the finish line is what you’re trying to achieve. But life is about the journey, not the destination.
So I’m running the marathon for the sake of running the marathon, ’cause if I quit, someone is going to put me in a car and drive me to the area reserved for people who didn’t make it.
I don’t want to be there, I want to run. I want to run past all the finish lines and keep going as long as I can.