Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Living with myself, in the present

I'm never here.  Oh, I look like I'm present; I've learned to smile and nod with the best of them.  But while the world passes me by I live an alternate reality inside my head.  I'm always thinking about what I should be doing, or what I could be doing, or what I'm going to do, but very VERY rarely am I focused on where I am.

I also spend a lot of time thinking on what I'll do WHEN.  When I loose the weight, when I have time to exercise, when my little girl is old enough to do whatever it is for me, and how I'll implement this project I have in mind to start 6 weeks from now (when I've already got 6 projects in various stages of incomplete).  And I live in various fantasy worlds, how I would live my life if my American Idol/America's Got Talent auditions had gone differently, or what if I got around to writing one or more of the books in my head and got it published, or what if I was an artist who actually made a living creating... ANYTHING!

I wonder if it's part and parcel of the ADD.  I've noticed this is particularly bad when I WANT to do something (usually want to make something, some project I've started) but I'm doing family things instead, and you know what?  It's causing me to miss out on what's REALLY important.  Ok, so potty training isn't glamorous, but if I let it be it can be plenty exiting!

When I can manage to focus on the present I realize, it's pretty good.  I have a fantastic husband, an amazing daughter, and a job that leaves me enough free time to occasionally create things on the side (and it's a pretty interesting job too).  Why can't I manage to be fully HERE more often?  When I do manage it I find I'm more satisfied with the way things go and my evenings move smoother, perhaps because I'm enjoying time with my wonderful husband and fantabulous daughter instead of getting frustrated at all the things I'm not doing.  But when I let my mind wander all I see is wasted time, wasted tasks, wasted effort.

I need to find a way to keep myself present, to keep from thinking that I'm wasting time at the very times I should be enjoying the most.  So in an effort to focus on the here and now I've made a few resolutions (I would call them New Year, but I've actually been working on these for several months now).

  • I will medicate my ADD, not with sugar or with caffeine, but with actually ADD medications.  I will find a schedule for these medications that works for me, a way that doesn't interfere with my sleep schedule (to often, occasional insomnia comes with the territory), and will manage those awake hours in a way that makes good use of the time (not in reading the entire WOT wikia yet again).  If my current medication doesn't work for me then I will find a doctor who will work with me to find one that does.
  • I will get up and move more.  I may make use of my treadmill desk, I may go for a walk, I may take up running, or I may do something drastic and try to catch up on the yard work that needs doing around here!  But I'll try to do something active starting maybe 2-3 times a week.
  • I will no longer waste time shopping for stuff that doesn't make sense for me to buy.  They're very pretty, but I already know way more than I ever needed to know about diamonds.  There is no need for me to spend time browsing in stores that don't sell clothes in my size, so if you don't make an XXL or 16 you can expect me to cancel your store credit card, and just because I like your handbags doesn't mean I want to see all the cute outfits that I'll never fit in to so you can expect me to unsubscribe from your newsletter (I'll buy my handbags somewhere else, or better yet, make them).
  • I've got to cut way back on sugar.  Oh, I know I can't cut it completely out (my husband's cookies and cakes and bread are WAY to good), but I can cut out the Skittles and the M&M's (even the dark chocolate peanut ones) and try to pair my sugar with whole grain flour whenever I have to bake.  I know I'm going to have some sugar, but I'd rather have one truffle from Godiva than a whole bag of Starbursts.  
  • And while I'm at it, I'm gonna eat more green.  Not that I'm gonna eat a salad every day, but lately I've been so focused on making more room in the freezer that I've lost sight of what I should be eating.  Don't get me wrong, it's nice that I've cleaned out a couple of ice cream containers, but I KNOW I'm just going to go out and buy more ice cream.  It's satisfying to see more room for stews and meatballs and chili, but I've got to stop eating things just because they're there.
  • And on that note, I've got to pay attention to what's just there.  I've always been bad about mindless eating, so I have to find ways to clear stuff out, put it aside, make it plain that the bad stuff is not for me.  Oh it'll still be in the house (I need the Skittles to bribe Talia), but it'll be somewhere that's designated for other people and NEVER in my office!  I need to clear out my office snack drawer of everything except healthy snacks, really only nuts.  I don't need chips or crackers or pretzels, and if I do need chocolate I need to make the effort to go get it from some other part of the house.  
  • So I suppose I need to create a stash of high quality chocolate that's not in everybody else's way (boy, this to-do list is growing).
I need to be the wife I want my husband to be married to, and the mother I want my daughter to see.  That means more than my relationship to food by-the-way.  It also means I need to act like I care about myself.
  • I need to wear REAL shoes when I go out, not just house slippers that I tell myself look almost like real shoes.  I should probably not even wear tennis shoes most days, but I'm still working on that.
  • I need to wear makeup.  It makes me feel better about myself.  I may have the most pared down makeup routine on earth (OK, I know I don't, that honor belongs to my mother), but that routine needs to exist (it hasn't for a long time).  It needs to be something workable that I can maintain and do every day, or at least almost every day.  
  • I need to wear clothes that are right for me.  Not that I'm going out and buying an entirely new wardrobe, but I need to stop falling in love with something just because it fits.  I need to learn what colors work for me (after years of wondering I think I've finally figured out that I'm a "soft summer" though I have yet to really figure out what that means I should wear), and yes that means no more black.  It doesn't matter that it's slimming, and worn by ninjas (can ninjas wear brown? purple?), and it's EVERYWHERE.  Black doesn't work with my skin.  I've known this for nearly 20 years (since prom dress shopping) and yet I still have black in my wardrobe.  It's gonna have to go.  
  • So are the socks and underwear (and anything else) that have holes in them.  It's not like I don't have enough socks and underwear (if I ever get around to folding laundry so I can find it).  If it's holy and worn out and I can't mend it then it needs to go.
  • And to top it all off, if I live in the present then instead of having my mind wandering, maybe I can use all that extra brain power to be more understanding of others.  Starting with my husband and daughter of course, but I look back over the years at conversations I've had (or only had in my head) and way to many of them were me spouting off about stuff I thought I knew.  I'm sure I've lost friends for it.  Maybe instead of trying to convince everyone (mainly myself) that I know everything, I should be more accepting of what other people know, or need.  Maybe I should recognize that I don't know it all, indeed as I get older I start to realize just how much I don't know, and maybe if I'm here, REALLY HERE, I'll start learning from other people what they know so much better than I do, about EVERYTHING.
Is that enough?  I don't normally make resolution lists, certainly not around New Years.  In the past I've laughed about New Years resolutions (even if I secretly made one or two to not keep on my own).  Maybe that's another thing I need to change, but this list is long enough already.  I tried not to put any absolutes in there.  I know I'll fail (there will be dark chocolate peanut M&M's) but if I don't cut things out completely, if I only do as I should part of the time, it will still be an improvement over what was before.  But then, I'm not thinking about what was before anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment