Monday, July 23, 2012

What if less is more?

Do you ever go to bed at night and just wonder where your day went?  I hate that.  It seems like it happens way too often to me.  As a matter of fact, that is pretty much the conversation I had with my doc a few years ago that led to my AD/HD diagnosis.  She said it is normal to have days like this from time to time but, if you find your days are "lost" more often than not you might have a problem.  Well, I have a problem!

For a long time I had thought, "Well if I just try harder..", "discipline myself more...", etc.  After I discovered that I have AD/HD it sort of made me realize that I might have to look at things from a different angle...take a different approach than my "normal" friends and coworkers.  At first it was a big relief to know that there really was something wrong with that weird?  I thought that if I know the "what" than I could also know the "how to" in regards to my problem.  But, the more I read and the more I learned (and tried) the more discouraged I became.  I started to realize....this thing isn't going away!  And no matter how many tips and tricks I learned I would have to always stay on top of and work hard to just live some semblance of a normal life.  It's frustrating when it seems like a lot of people with this live with relative success in one area of their lives if they are lucky.  So, maybe they found a great niche at work but, other relationships are failing.  Or they've managed to maintain a long-term marriage but, never found the meaning they had hoped for in a job or career outside of the home.  I usually feel like I'm failing to some degree in almost every important area of my life.  That's hard.  That's discouraging and for a lot of people that is their life with AD/HD.

I don't know why but, I just can't accept this.  I want to live a full life.  Ok, so it's not all about me but, it would be nice to be able to feel like I can accomplish my goals and not always feel 10 steps behind. I dream of making it on time (or even early) to my appointments.  I dream of not letting my husband down (again) by forgetting to wash his white coat, pay a bill, etc.  I dream of having a routine that keeps my home clean and beautiful just the way I like it (but, rarely get to enjoy it this way). I dream of being able to do these things and still be able to spend time with the girls and not find myself wasting my Monday away while Ogglet #1 watches tv much of the day.  I also, though this is a bigger goal, dream of also finding a purpose outside the home.  Maybe returning to work or finishing my degree?
Adding to that never-ending stack of to-do's.

Writing it all down on paper now it does seem like a lot but, how can one fit it all in?  I'm not here to tell you how.  If I had the answers I suppose I would be off living this dream. :-)  But, something has started to grow in my mind.  It's an idea that I hadn't considered before:  minimalism.  I've tried so many times to manage my time to fit more things in or organize our stuff so our home would not feel messy or cluttered.  Yet, somehow I never seriously examined whether there was too much to fit.  I didn't examine it because it seems like the status quo or maybe even less than what I see others successfully juggling. It never crossed my mind that maybe I can't juggle as much as "them"....ouch!  That hurts.  So now the question that keeps echoing across my thoughts is, how much is too much.  I suppose only I will know the answer to that question.  Suppose the answer for me right now is not about more management techniques but, truly examining the pieces and parts of my life.  Are these things tangible and intangible truly adding value to the lives of myself and my family?  So, it's kind of a quest I'm on I guess:  to find out if less really can be more.  For now, I also would like to let my AD/HD off the hook regarding my disorganization and lack of focus.  Though I'm sure it plays a part I would like to just see what paring down can do.  So, I've started whittling away little by little.  Next I will tell you about how I'm starting to get rid of some of our stuff.  Not as much as in the blog that inspired me but, a helpful step just the same.  Ironically a lot of what is fueling me is the hope that by getting down to the basics I can successfully add in some of these things I've dreamed of for so long...maybe even work, work that I'm good at.  That would be much more!

Please tell me if you've struggled with prioritizing and what changes you've made for the better.  I would love to hear what you think about motherhood and work.  I know we all say, "whatever works for you, dear."  But, deep down I suspect you have more opinions than that and I'm open to them.  I must admit that I still struggle with whether my desire to go back to work (if even part time) is  misdirected somehow. But, I can't seem to shirk it and I also can't quite imagine leaving my baby Ogglet #2 quite yet.  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences!


  1. Thank you for sharing! I, too, feel like I get caught up in trying to compare, trying to get everything done. I think it's a normal feeling, but a frustrating one nonetheless. Be kind to yourself and start small. :) Sounds like you're on the right track with finding out what truly is important to you.

    Nice to "meet" you. :)

    1. Whit, thanks so much for stopping by I really enjoyed perusing your blog the other day and was really surprised (and glad) to see you stopped by here. And thanks for the encouragement. I'm really glad to "meet" you too and it is always nice to know another med school tagalong. Come back soon! :-)

  2. This post is so well written... I think every single person (whether they admit it or not) struggles with prioritizing. I know that it one of the reasons my blog has so many little posts after my job change. I used to sit for hours in front of the computer getting paid to do not much of anything and now I am on my feet, working for 9-12 hr days, and being mentally challenged daily. It's exhausting at the end of the day but it's super stimulating. So it is a trade off worth having. I delegate what tasks I can, prioritize time for myself & time with my husband. With the pregnancy now I am sleeping whenever I can and realize I can't be everyone for anyone. I honestly don't know how to juggle things with Rob's fellowship, a new baby, and a desire to go back to work part time. We'll see how that goes....but I feel like returning to work for 2 or 3 days a week will be best for me.

    1. @Sara, thanks so much for sharing! We went to the Outer Banks for a much needed vacation and I never checked my email or facebook... it was nice! So, that's why the reply is so late. Anywho, I am so excited for you to be a new mommy! It is wonderful and challenging. Prioritizing is like 10x harder when little lives depend on you for everything. They also change so quickly so you have to change quickly too. I know you and Rob will figure it out and be wonderful parents. I worked 10 hours a week after having my first daughter and before moving here over a year ago. It was great! I loved my part-time gig and she was great at adjusting to other caretakers. I'm hoping to get back to this eventually but, just wanted to say that most ladies I know seem to say part-time work is really ideal if you can swing it. I hope you post when you can and let us know how things are going! :-)