Tag Archive: habits


Organization revelation

I went to my first CHADD (Children & Adults with ADD) support group meeting last night.  There were about 10 of us, mostly women.  I was kind of surprised that it was mostly women, I guess because all the ADHD kids I remember from grade school were boys.  That’s not a very good gauge of the male:female ratio, though — after all, I had it and never knew.  It could very well be the case for many other girls.

Apart from the discussion serving as yet another confirmation that I do indeed fit the description, I picked up a very interesting tip from one of the other women in attendance.  She told us a little bit about an online application called WorkFlowy, which she uses to help keep herself organized at work.

We also talked about the need for people with ADD to have tasks broken down to their most basic components — it gave me kind of a flashback to when I was really little and would never clean my room. The only time it got done in a timely fashion was when Dad would come up and break it down for me: Pick up all the Barbies, you have 30 seconds. Put all the dirty clothes in the laundry basket, 20 seconds. Etc.

This morning when I got to the office I went to the WorkFlowy website and signed up, just to see what it was all about.  And wow.  I mean WOW.  It seems so simple, and yet I can already tell it will completely change the way I do my work.  I was just about overflowing with giddiness about it all day long.  I reset my browser’s start page to WorkFlowy so it starts up first thing, and I can leave it up all day.  I can use it at home and at work.  I had to tell everyone else in the office about it.  I had to e-mail Mom about it. I had to post on Facebook about it.  I’m just that excited about it.

So we’ll see how it goes.  I’m just getting started with it, but I feel pretty confident it will, in fact, change my life.

Judgmental

I wonder how I can learn to be less judgmental.  What causes that tendency within me?  My first thought is that it’s self-protective.  Because I am isolated, it is easier on my feelings (which yearn for connection!) to set myself further apart with feelings of superiority.  Therefore it becomes not, “why can’t I connect with these people?” but “I don’t want to connect with these people, they’re immature, crude, noisy, smokers, meat-eaters, etc.”  If I’m right, there’s a constant conflict within me.  I don’t want to feel like I’m better than anyone.  I know intellectually that I am not.  At the same time, I don’t want to have to “be like them” to fit in, to connect.

Here’s an example.  I scheduled the atheist group’s quarterly street clean-up for today.  Then later on, another member posted a Halloween/birthday party for last night.  Talking with another member (NM, actually) at our guest speaker event on Friday, he asked if I was going to the party.  I said no and followed up with my reasoning that “any party with Jell-o shots is not the kind of party I want to attend.”  What came out of my mouth after that was purely uncensored judgment, something about not wanting to spend my Saturday night with a whole bunch of drunken, noisy, immature “adults.”  Which is exactly how I felt about it.  He called me on it immediately, and I kind of resented that.  But it was fair.  I was openly judging the other members of the group for being people who enjoyed getting a little wild and partying in the modern sense of the word.

I was also a little resentful because I feel that, because people attended the party last night, they will be hung over and not interested in attending my street clean-up today.  And it’s true, only 6 people have RSVP’d for the street clean-up.  The last 2 times it was 10 or 12 people and the first time it was over 20.  It’s hard for me to understand why more people wouldn’t want to spend a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon picking up trash in uptown Charlotte.  I say that with a touch of sarcasm — as I type it, I do kind of understand why people wouldn’t want to do that.  I have a hard time not judging them as “selfish.”  The group’s mission statement includes “put a positive face on atheism.”  What I don’t understand is why more of them aren’t interested in doing that.  I don’t know.  I guess in part my displeasure is personal.  As though somehow low turnout at my street clean-up is a reflection of my own popularity.

It all comes down to selfishness, I guess.  I’m selfish, they’re selfish.  We all are.  It’s part of what makes us human.  One of the things “The Untethered Soul” talks about it how ridiculous it is to try to make the world conform to what we want it to be.  The only thing we can control in this world is our own actions.  The world happens the way it happens whether we like it or not.  People act the way they act whether we like it or not.  I must act on my own convictions whether or not anyone else will join me.  But it’s hard.  Very hard for me.  Must keep trudging up that hill.

Movies

I caved.  Ultimately this will be better all around.  I changed my Netflix status from “cancelled” to “1 DVD at a time/unlimited DVDs monthly.”  It costs the same as I was paying for the “Instant Play” but my options are much, much broader, while only being allowed 1 DVD at a time will keep me from binging like I did a few weekend ago.

Friendships

There’s nothing like spending a couple hours with a dozen or so people to leave me feeling a little hollow inside.

We had our monthly planning meeting for the atheist group and it was so very loud and I was surrounded and not drinking.  I was so very eager to be gone from there.  The feeling that stands out from the moment I departed was one of “I want my night back.”

I often find these meetings discouraging.  It brings out what I imagine to be the less pleasant qualities in a group of people I have only a meagre personal connection with at best.  People are unable to intuit.  They aren’t able to discern what others mean even if they don’t quite say it the way they mean it.  I won’t deny that I don’t get it right all the time, but sometimes it just seems so obvious.  But then, maybe I need to remind myself that many of these people are rather singularly left-brain inclined…. intuiting not necessarily a forte.  Studying or gaining an understanding of each person’s manner of communicating not necessarily important to them.  Maybe if they realized how much faster these meetings would go if they would just pay attention for a moment.

It feels awful to be in that setting.  Nothing so isolating as to be surrounded by people all talking, feeling no keen desire to try to get into conversation with any of them.  Feeling no keen desire to yell to be heard or strain to hear.  How I crave a small group!  If I am to be in one at all.  Otherwise, I am left with this emptiness that I have to purge from myself somehow.  A bit of Jonsi, then brush my teeth and meditate for a few will hopefully help bring me back near centered.

o_O

Random e-mail from SMF thanking me for suggesting he try seitan way back when.  Wtf.

:: edit ::

Also, I failed miserably at not drinking last week.  Thursday was the RiffTrax LIVE event and I took myself out for Mediterranean food beforehand.  Sitting outside in pleasant weather (in the shade), I simply had to have a glass of white wine.  It’s one of my favorite things to do in that situation.  Then going out to dinner on Saturday with the veggie Meetup group, I had 2 Red Oaks (beer).  I think I ordered primarily because very few other people did.  This is one of the weird things about me that I haven’t quite gotten to the source of yet:  I see that most people are doing one thing and automatically go, “fuck you all, I’m doing this different thing just because.”  I have noticed, though, that sometimes when I do that, others decide to follow my lead.  Not in this case, but still.  It’s interesting.

Anyway, this week, starting over, no drinking, I promise.

On taking care of myself

Things haven’t really slowed down since my last post about feeling overwhelmed about how busy my life is getting.  This weekend flew past me like you wouldn’t believe.  The difference is in how I am approaching it.  In the first place, I remind myself that it is my choice whether I participate in so many things or not.  I do have a certain obligation to the atheist group for at least the next year, but apart from that all these peripheral activities are my choice and no one else’s.  So I can feel overwhelmed, I can learn to say “no,” or I can take a deep breath and ride the current for the time being.

This week will be pretty crazy.  Monday a few members from the atheist group are attending a lecture at the university.  Tuesday I have therapy and then plans to hang out with Old Friend.  Wednesday is the monthly planning meeting for the atheist group.  Thursday after work I head to the mountains for my oldest friend’s wedding.  I get back into town Sunday.  I may be driving up with V, but I haven’t heard from her what her plans are or if she’s even coming.  If she has decided to fly in on Thursday so we can drive up together, we’ll probably get dinner someplace beforehand.  This morning I asked NG if he’d like to join us for dinner.  I thought about inviting him to the wedding but 1) I had already sent in my rsvp and 2) I had already made my reservation at the hostel and 3) I didn’t really feel like trying to alter either of those and 4) it will be much easier to spend time with some old friends up there if I’m on my own.

sidenote: NG has tentatively invited me to join him for a long weekend in NYC at the end of May.  sounds like fun to me!!

Anyway, so while I am a bit bummed that I’m sitting at the tail end of this weekend with a daunting schedule ahead of me, I am attempting to use this time in a more constructive manner.  In the first place, I’m journaling, which tends to help me organize the chaos in my brain.  Next, I am dressed all warm and cozy.  It’s been a dreary, chilly, rainy day and wearing warm comfy is like insta-relax.  I have a hot cuppa ginger pu-erh (my current go-to warm beverage).  I have a load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer (getting things done! yay!) and I have every intention of washing all those dishes in the sink.  I’m a little achy in my back and left shoulder (stayed over at NG’s and I think I slept funny) — after I get through with this I’m pulling out the mat and doing some yoga.

My point is that ok, sure it’s been busy and will stay busy for a while, but I do still have these times for gentle recharging.  And oh, how I appreciate them!

more on limerence

I recognize that I’m developing a limerent obsession with NG. It’s not really surprising, since that’s been my MO for, well, basically my whole life. I do want to try (somehow!) to steer myself in a slightly healthier direction for this one. The way to start is by recognizing those feelings when they arise and trying to determine whether my fretting is actually constructive or if it is just frazzling and making me sick with anxiety. I suspect that it will turn out to be the latter more often than not.

Case in point: I invited NG to join me in hanging out at my place last night with a couple I am friends with. NG doesn’t drink (I hate to think what excessive carb intake would do to his drool-worthy physique) but he tolerated the three of us tossing back Blue Moons with orange slices. (as an aside: note that he showed up, having no apparent reservations following my suicide confession which I stressed about incessantly all Wednesday) I had a good time, and I think he enjoyed himself pretty well. So this afternoon I texted him just saying “Thanks for coming over, it was fun,” you know. And the first line of his reply was something like “I definitely saw a different side of you.” Now, because I obsess about these things, my first thought is, naturally, “different side? what does that mean? Was it a good side or a bad side?” Actually I do feel that this is a perfectly natural reaction to that kind of vaguery and I can only think that either he’s teasing or he is unaware that a statement like that would drive any normal person crazy. Given what I know of him so far, it really could be either.

So. Rather than wasting my time worrying that somehow the me that I project when hanging out with friends has turned him off completely (which is, really, quite an irrational thought) I am telling myself, you know what? maybe he does see me a little differently now. If he did somehow decide that that was just too much for him, okay, then we’re not as compatible as it initially appeared and we move on, no harm done. (do I really believe I won’t be super bummed about it were that scenario to play out? no, but it’s making my day easier, ok?)

And then of course there’s the fact that the rest of the text from him was a reference to one of our more explicit encounters so from that I think I can safely assume he’s still interested.

The power of logic! Wild stuff.

Limerence

My new favorite word.  Well, favorite might be a stretch.  But until now I had only the words “crush, obsess, infatuate” to describe my condition.  “Limerence” has much more of a ring to it.  And describes me to a tee.  I can look back on all the crushes I’ve ever had and see it.  Definitely a bit discomfiting to think that it could go on for years though.  It did take me an absurdly long time to get over Scuffin Guy.  And he was about the boringest guy I’d ever met!

On the same subject, I’m slowly dealing with my lingering SMF issues.  I’m not over it, but I’m going to some lengths to set the dial back.  I’m not going to pretend we didn’t have those two months of weird, undefined FWB-ness.  But I am making a point to set boundaries.  For myself and for my relations with him.  Apparently he’s started dating someone (I know, wtf right?), a friend of his.  Which is fine.  A little bit of a jab, a twinge of, “so when you said you didn’t want a relationship, you just meant with ME,” but you know, he’s gotta do what’s right for him.  And I will eventually be at peace with all this.  So nothing really to worry about.

It is nearly 2am.  I fully intended to be a bit more thoughtful and go on a bit more, but this will have to do.

Evolution

I exchanged a few e-mails with V about the situation with SMF.  His whole history (as best I know it), my experience at the beginning and where we stand now.  Just looking for some perspective, words of wisdom, strength, something.  Her responses were so helpful to me.  Pragmatic but sensitive, she helped me step back from deep within the situation to examine the facts.  Ever since then I have felt so much less burdened by the whole thing.  I still think about him a great deal, but it is much more casual, not as weighted down by the unease and uncertainty, the desire for stability that I have felt previously (see the post before this one!).

I feel much more comfortably that we are friends. We are new friends, who really only became acquainted about 6 weeks ago.  It is not rational to expect that he will come to me with all his problems, lean on me the way I somehow hoped he would.  Would I do that with a friend whom I only met 6 weeks ago? Certainly not.  I would go to my oldest, closest and most trusted friends, which is what he is doing when it comes to the problems he is facing.  That is as it should be.

We are also physically attracted to each other.  We like to cuddle, make out and have sex when time allows.  It’s fun!

He’s now ramping up to start a child custody lawsuit against his ex — he requested equal custody, she counter-proposed 1.5 days per week for him.  I can only imagine the time and energy (not to mention $$) this process will demand from him.

It’s kind of good, now that I think about it, that things are the way they are.  It’s forcing us to take things slow, where I was so excited, so eager to jump headfirst into total commitment.  This way we can actually get to know each other, truly become good friends (if that’s what happens) before deciding to date or cohabitate or any of that mess.  It’s protecting us from my impulsive ass is what it’s doing.

So yay.  It feels so good to not feel shitty!

 

Another minor epiphany

Had a lovely night with SMF.  Things are still very informal but I am really just enjoying it.

I was pondering things on my lunch break a few days ago, something I often do if it is too cold/rainy to go out to my car and listen to the radio.  I take out my little notebook and just freeform journal for a few small pages.  This particular day I was picking apart a depressed-ish feeling I had experienced the day before, reminding myself to pay attention and be aware in those moments. I then moved on to examining the possible source(s) of said feeling.  The feeling is one I have fairly frequent encounters with.  I want some company or attention or something, but what I want is for someone to contact me.  Since that rarely happens when I’m in these moods, that feeling then intensifies.

What I realized is that this has been my MO probably since before I was cognizant.  At least from a very very early age.  And what did I use to do when I was a child? To get attention? Tantrums.

So here’s my hypothesis about that sad/lonely/listless feeling I’ve been getting for so long.  Since childhood, I have been passive-aggressive about getting attention.  (due in part to my being an introvert sandwiched between two vocal extroverts in the family)  When I didn’t get the attention I wanted (but no one else knew I wanted because I didn’t tell anyone, or know how to tell anyone), I expressed my frustration through temper tantrums that became rather famous in the family.  Now that I’m an adult and have outgrown the tantrums, I still have to contend with the feelings of frustration and neglect I’ve been experiencing all along due to this passive-aggressive behavior pattern.  So THERE is the source of that feeling.  I am pretty close to certain that I am right about this.  It just makes sense.  What I’m not sure of is what tack to take in order to change the cycle.  My tentative proposal is 1) be more proactive about socializing when I want to be social. Rather than waiting to be called, call someone. 2) Reach out even if it’s not to hang out. Send a text, write a nice e-mail to someone I care about. 3) occupy myself with active, creative and/or productive tasks/hobbies — less downtime may result in less need for someone else to amuse me.