I recently wrote about the impossibility of slowing time and getting a re-do of all the moments missed while trying to calm the noise in my head and the constant cycle of mental reminders that make up a day in the life of someone with ADHD. While all the chaos can never be contained, it is definitely important to make an effort to do so.
One thing I know about myself is that I really don’t know how to relax. Even when I appear to be doing absolutely nothing on the outside, my insides are still running a mile a minute. The thing I wish to relax from most is the constant noise in my head. The steady pounding of thoughts so strong it feels like I can feel them traipsing across my temples. Sometimes when I am lucky I can hyperfocus on what I’m writing and for a little while at least only have ONE set of thoughts running through my head. But that is rare. Most of the time it’s a carnival fun house in my brain and I can’t decide whether to laugh or if the mirrors and clowns are scaring the bejesus out of me.
Every so often, as I did the other day, I have to remind myself that I’m not living in the moment. I have to force myself to take a step back and just look. I have to be reminded that life is fleeting and moments, once they are gone, are gone forever. January first, I started a thankfulness jar. Every week, A- and I write down something that we are grateful for or something that happened during the week that was good, and drop it in the jar. We’ll take them out on New Year’s Eve and read over them, remembering the good that was had in the year that will be passing. I’m pretty sure A- thinks the idea is lame, but she would never say so. One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to help her with seeing good in things, even when her depression was eating away at her. There are moments of good and moments of happiness in each and every day just as there are moments of bad and moments when we are disappointed or annoyed. At the end of the day we tend to focus on those bad moments, letting them determine what kind of day we had. I want to focus on the good things, the happy things, and let those rule my perceptions. Sometimes A- forgets to put something in the jar, but mostly she is a good sport and I can’t wait to see what all we remember about this year.
This morning I’m sitting here thinking about the week past, and readying myself for a new one. I am thinking about the things I have to be grateful for. Most weekends fly by with me barely noticing. There are always things to do like laundry or cleaning or tasks I haven’t finished. And there is the guilt. I waste a lot of time on guilt. This weekend, when I got off work on Saturday, I went home to a fairly clean house (which was awesome!) and one of A’s cousins came over with her friend and had dinner and played games. Her cousin will be leaving for the summer, so it was good to be able to spend time with her before she left, and we laughed. A Lot. That is what life is all about. It isn’t about the stress and the worrying. It’s about spending time with people we care about and really being in that moment. It’s remembering to stop and enjoy ourselves and give ourselves a break from the guilt and the worry and the to-do list. Sunday I was able to go a ball game with my sister, A- and A-‘s friend. Again, we laughed way too much and had a good day. And again I let myself be in that moment and enjoy it. I wasn’t sitting there thinking about the laundry, or the yard work or the floors that needed sweeping back home. It was my day off, it was a gorgeous day and I was with people I cared about. That was what mattered.
One of the best things that happened last week was actually a message that someone sent me to pass on to A-. It doesn’t happen often that I can see something that instantly reduces me to tears, but this message did. I am so very grateful to have people in my life that care about A- and me. Especially A-. She so needs to know that people care about her, and that she is an amazing, wonderful human being and is worthy of people’s love. This person is always there for her. She knows this on some level. She trusts that, but he felt that maybe he’d never really told her, and he didn’t want her to have any doubts as to how much he cared about her, or that no matter what happened in her life, or what mistakes she might make, that he was a constant, that he would always be there. She’s been let down before by people who should have loved her but abandoned her. It’s hard for her to trust that she can’t lose someone who truly loves her. The timing of this message was perfect, as it was something she definitely needed to hear this week. And I was grateful that he took the time to let her know. She probably won’t tell him how much the message meant, but I know. I watched her tears as she read it. I watched as she smiled a small smile and knew that he didn’t have to send that to her, but she knew he meant every word. I watched her struggle to accept the idea that she was worthy of having someone care that much. And I was grateful.
So today, as I groan because it’s Monday, and I think of all the things I have to do this week, I also remember to be thankful for the week that just passed. I had some less than perfect moments, but I had some pretty great moments too. There is no such thing as perfect. But I can embrace the good and the bad in every day, take what I need from each one and move on. So let the week begin – I’m ready for what it may bring, and if I’m lucky I just might learn a thing or two.