I’m the kind of tired that makes you question whether 5:53 pm is an acceptable time to just call it a night. I missed my blog post yesterday because I couldn’t get a connection to the site I publish on at our Airbnb, but I choose to forgive myself. My husband ran 13.1 miles in two hours and 41 minutes and I couldn’t be prouder. Sometimes you miss things because the actual living of life comes first. Enjoying a post race dinner and the Greyhound Hall of Fame with an awesome partner trumps trying to find a suitable wi-fi connection any day.
Set your goals and aim high, but be willing to adjust and forgive yourself when things don’t go according to plan. One missed blog post is no reason to throw the whole challenge out the window. The purpose is growth, not perfection - know what I mean?
Putting pen to paper -
Giving voice to the thoughts that echo
In the early morning hours.
As I lay here contemplating,
Life, the universe, and everything.
Douglas Adam’s was right,
We forgot to ask the question.
Now it’s just perpetual limbo,
reaching out in the dark for something,
Not quite tangible enough to grasp.
Today, I don’t feel like writing a blog post, but I’m here because I committed. Sometimes we just have to dig deep, deep inside ourselves and grab hold of our “oh yes I can”. These are the moments it’s most important to have a clearly established why - a reason we can fall back on when we’ve started to forget the point of doing a thing in the first place. So, what is my why?
I could have chosen a million things to do for 100 days, why exactly did I choose writing a blog post? Because, for as long as I can remember, writing has been my most authentic means of self expression. I kept a dear diary or journal all through middle school and high school (which I burned much later in life as an act of catharsis and letting go of some serious trauma). I have notebooks full of poetry I’ve created in some of my darkest times. Writing is what has kept me sane, but at some point over the last decade, I just kind of let it lapse. I started a blog, quit a blog, started a new blog, quit that blog, wrote this very blog for a while consistently and then vanished into the night just as quickly as I began.
Somewhere between the ups and downs of living and all the shit that goes along with ADHD and chronic pain, I forgot the power of writing shit down to get it out of my head. That’s why I chose this challenge. That’s precisely why I’m writing a blog every day for 100 days - to remind myself of the power of writing for expression. I’m forcing myself to let go of my agonizing perfectionism and to just sit down and clickety clack on the keyboard and see what comes out. I mean, I didn’t think that I had anything to say today and we’ve got three paragraphs. Clearly, I’ve got a lot more to learn from this exercise - here’s to day 10.
Cooking is difficult for me. I love trying new foods and I love preparing them. I don’t love meal planning, grocery shopping, and the inevitable clean up afterwards. If I’m standing in the kitchen getting ready to make a meal and the skillet I need is dirty or the trash can is full, my brain just gives up. This is my ADHD and executive dysfunction at work.
I get it, we all get tired. We all have days where we just don’t want to adult anymore, but this is different. It’s like running into an actual brick wall and then being paralyzed, lying on the couch doom scrolling, and then despising myself for repeating this cycle over and over and over again then giving up and ordering DoorDash (which is stupid expensive with all the fees).
I’ve decided to meet myself where I’m at for a while and ordered some meals from Factor75. They’re fully prepared, heat and eat - absolutely no prep necessary. Yes, they are a little pricey at $13.49 a meal for 6 meals BUT it’s a hell of a lot less expensive than using DoorDash and a lot more nutritionally complete than fast food.
I was worried about how the food would taste, but so far have been pleasantly surprised! The mushroom, tomato, goat cheese cavatappi and shredded chicken taco bowl were drool worthy AND it required zero effort on my part - microwave and devour. Plus it was so filling (and trust I’m not one of those people who eats a Lean Cuisine or a handful of almonds and feels satiated).
Moral of the story here, sometimes we have to stop beating ourselves up for what we can’t do and just figure out how to thrive in the moment.
P.S. You can use my link to get up to $150 off your box if you’d like to try it out for yourself!
My biggest fear about committing to 100 days of blog posts is running out of things to write about and the root of that is perfectionism. The whole point of writing is to write - no crank out 100 brilliant, prize winning pieces of prose. I get stuck on should way to much, and if there’s one piece of advice I can pass on from an excellent therapist I had, it is we have got to stop “shoulding” on ourselves.
Should is a trap. We get all gummed up in it and become emotionally constipated - obsessed with perceived expectations and guilt for not meeting them. We think about what others want for us or from us, and about what other people are achieving and then fixate on all the ways we are falling short. It doesn’t get us anywhere productive and we just end up feeling like shit.
Take today for example: I’m wearing my stretchy pants and contemplating going to yoga at 8:15 (that’s an hour and fifteen minutes away). Now, I do enjoy yoga but there are a lot of days that I just don’t feel physically up to the challenge. I could do something else like take an easy walk on my treadmill with IFIT, which I equally enjoy, but I’m thinking “I should go to yoga.” I wrote it on the calendar, I went to one session two weeks ago, and I promised myself I would do more yoga. What will the teacher think? Am I a failure because I can’t make my body do yoga every Tuesday?
The truth is, the teacher probably has a million things on her mind (the least of which is me), and even if she does happen to think I’m a loser, that’s not my issue - it’s hers. I know that my body has good days and bad. I know that I’m trying my best to listen to my body and challenge it without punishing or breaking it. I know that walking or even resting are equally important parts of achieving balance. The toughest part is reminding myself of that every single day.
So, you know what I’m going to do? Close my eyes, take a deep breath in through my nose and out through my mouth and I’m going to listen to my body. If it feels like doing yoga, then I do yoga. If it feels like walking, then I walk. If it feels like resting, then I rest. It really is that simple. We just have to learn to listen to our inner voices and let the rest go.
I’m doing the last of my personal training sessions in the pool. There is something absolutely magical about the smell of chlorine in the morning. A million years ago, I was on my high school swim team. I was not athletic, did not participate in other sports, and wasn’t particularly big on school spirit, but I’ve always loved to swim.
Some of my best childhood memories are in the water and my swim team nostalgia is so strong, it still permeates my dreams. I was deeply saddened when I realized recently that I can no longer swim laps. In addition to the arthritis in my knees and hips, my shoulder now clicks painfully when I try to rotate it. Yes, I can still tread and do water aerobics or even kickboard, but there’s just something different about cutting through the water doing laps - the flip turn off the wall. One of my goals was actually to be able to do a flip turn again, but now that doesn’t seem possible.
This is why it’s important to allow our dreams to evolve. What we envision for ourselves today may not fit where we are at tomorrow and even though that can be sad and difficult, we owe it to ourselves to find our happiest selves in the moment. In the words of Lisa Hammond, “Sometimes on your way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one.”
My husband Ian is gearing up to run a half marathon next Saturday, and this is just a leg of his training journey for a 100K he’s running at the end of September. This will definitely be the longest and hardest distance he has ever run by far. The last two years he has done a 20 miler, and quite frankly this both blows my mind and inspires me.
You have to understand that my husband is not athletic and never has been. He didn’t play sports in high school or college; he played tuba in the marching band. He has his masters in English and loves to read Star Wars books. So how the hell does this man end up training to run a 100K? He too was inspired.
His friend started running ultra marathons and then started a supplement company with his wife specifically for ultra marathoners. As an extension of this business, they hosted their first 100 mile/100K/20 mile race at the Hell Creek loop at the lake in Wilson, Ks. Ian wanted to be supportive, so with zero running experience he signed up for the shortest distance of 20 miles. Not only did he not die, he signed up again last year, and despite the fact that he was beyond exhausted, he decided on the way home from that race that he would do 100K this year.
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs then you know about the physical limitations of my body due to a myriad of health concerns. I will never, ever be able to run 100K, nor do I want to; however, I will always be there to cheer my husband on and support him in any way that I can. I will also continue to nurture this spark his dedication has inspired. This is day 6 of my 100 days of writing blog posts, and this is also the most I have written in as long as I can remember.
My passion isn’t running, it’s creating and for ages now, I’ve put it off. I’ve neglected this blog, my podcast, my polymer clay, and a public speaking course I paid good money for. I’ve let my ADHD and my exhaustion back me into a corner, and it’s high time that I started taking care of myself. I’m working toward spending less time on the things that don’t feed me, and more time on the things that do. I’m opening myself up to learning as much as I possibly can about my ADHD and figuring out what actually works for me.
I don’t have to run an ultra or measure myself by a neurotypical yardstick. I can instead choose to be inspired by the passion behind other people’s pursuits and stoke that fire in myself for the things that make me happy. I can find joy in the journey and start letting all that other shit go.
Chronic pain sucks. My knees hurt so bad last night that I dreamed about them. It’s this stupid weather that can’t make up it’s mind: warm for a few days then cold, then warm again. The most frustrating thing about all this is that my mobility is affected. Arthritis in my hips and knees means that I can no longer drop it like it’s hot, or some days, even walk my dogs to the park two blocks away. Yes, there are things I can do to help, but what has me screaming into the void is that this isn’t something I can totally reverse.
There’s no amount of stretches I can do or laps I can swim to change the fact that I’ve got fibromyalgia and arthritis. What I can absolutely do is not give up. Some days I will be able to do more, and some less (or barely anything at all), but the only way I can know what’s possible is to try every day and be patient with myself.
Yes, there will be things I just can’t do, but I owe it to myself to not decide what those are ahead of time. I have to go into each new day with a heart open to discovery. It’s not about figuring out what I can’t do, it’s about figuring out what I can and that’s an adventure worth getting out of bed for.
Wound so tight I’m vibrating, all my thoughts an electric hum.
Am I still breathing?
Pretty sure I’m still breathing.
Tap, tap, tap the microphone - is this thing on?
Say my own voices reverberating through the noise.
It’s never quiet in here, we love the quiet,
But we are afraid of silence.
All the versions of myself constantly shifting,
Blurring all the lines.
It’s like grabbing paint by the fists full,
Trying to sling it on the canvas before it escapes,
Dripping through my fingers.
Not sure who thought letting me roam free range,
Was a good idea in the first place.
Who knows where my thoughts will escape to
I have been fighting the mess of my house for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, my parents actually took a picture of my bedroom for posterity because they said no one would believe just how messy it actually was. My clutter has clutter and it feels like an insurmountable mountain. As I’m discovering, this is a fairly common theme among people with ADHD. There’s actually science behind why it’s so damn hard to get my shit together.
It has to do with a lack of dopamine and executive dysfunction (a topic I will be tackling in a future podcast episode). For now, suffice it to say that I end up in comfy pants binge watching Netflix instead of tackling the mountain more often than not which leads to feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and defeat. I actually WANT a more organized space, I thrive on it and even feel inspired by it. I’m at my best creatively and emotionally in an orderly environment, I just can’t seem to get there.
This year, I turn 42 and Douglas Adams once said that’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I’ve been focusing my energy really hard on this finally being the year I get my shit together, but it occurs to me that I’m going at this from the wrong angle. Maybe, instead, this should be the year that I finally stop judging myself and punishing myself for falling short.
I’ve been focusing so much energy on making my life look like someone else’s Instagram feed that I lost sight of me. I don’t need to be someone else, and neither do you. Our messy imperfection is what makes us human. And this year, I’m going to work really hard on embracing that, on learning how to create a life that fits me. As Momma Cass once said, “you gotta make your own kind of music, you got to sing your own special song, even if no one else sings along.”
I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that. Let’s make a promise to each other that this year, we sing at the top of our lungs even if everyone else thinks it’s off key.
Creating my own sunshine 🌞