Zoë's Pet Peeves: How Do They Do It?I can’t believe this is my penultimate (or possibly the last) Pet Peeve of 2011.  On the bright side (the “thumbs up” side), it’s Pet Peeve #44.  When I was about 8 years old, a very funky grey-haired aunt of mine came visiting. This aunt loved to laugh, which is good because her smile and her big white teeth would light up the room. Her laughter was like bells, a beautiful soundtrack to accompany her warm, safe, auntie smile.

Anyway, this particular aunt sat me and my sister down one evening and performed pretend magic tricks. I have no idea why, but years later I remember thinking at the time that she was some sort of gypsy. And sure enough, she told me that 4 was my lucky number. I’ve believed it ever since. Why? Because she said so. (Wish I had that much street cred…).

A sudden tragedy

While 4 might be my lucky number, me and my family sure haven’t been very lucky lately.

Some of you know that my birth mom passed away this July. Now, a mere five months later, her husband (my brothers’ dad, a man who welcomed me into his home with loving arms over a quarter century ago) suddenly passed away also. It’s only been a few weeks since his cancer diagnosis, but he’s gone. My little brothers are spending their Christmas having lost not just one, but both of their parents.

Is it ADHD, HSP, or ME?

Not only can I not meet societal expectations, I can’t for the life of me understand them…

It’s reasonable that I’ve lost my bearings. Still, I haven’t been able to write a word. Not one word. Don’t others go to work when these tragedies happen? They keep going, right?

Is it because my work is purely creative? Is it because I have to engage my mind, body and emotions when I do it? Sure enough, I’ve managed to get myself to my part-time job and function (for the most part). My two brothers have careers, wives, children (including new babies); how do they manage it all?

Is it because I have an extra-sensitive nervous system? (I’m an HSP, which means that we don’t handle emotional shocks as well as others).

How is it that people function in the face of such tragic, sad, yet perfectly normal events?

Who am I?

Today’s Pet Peeve is that I’m still sorting out in what ways I’m functional; what needs to be strengthened or nurtured; and where I excel. I’m still not sure how to cope in a world where not only can I not meet societal expectations, I can’t for the life of me understand them. For example, in many staff policies and procedures, there is little time given off for the death of a close relative (spouse, parent); and none at all for friends, extended relatives, pets…and that just seems wrong to me. I would fall apart if I lost one of my best buds (or pets); they too are family to me, and I’d be devastated.

Making my life fit me

So, for 2012, instead of trying to answer these questions; instead of comparing myself to others and finding myself lacking; instead of drawing artificial lines around what is and isn’t ADHD, HSP, or ME, I’m going to continue working on:

– Self-love
– Self-acceptance
– Balance
– What works for me

…and keep creating my life so that it optimizes my talents; makes me feel proud of my accomplishments; and allows me to hold my head high without sacrificing my sensitivity, my dignity, or my authentic self.

And hopefully, in 2012 we can keep those “Pet Peeves” to a minimum!
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