Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve. Forget the clock!

I've been a bit frustrated with myself this holiday season with completing all of my Christmas chores. As I previously wrote, I intended to have my cards out earlier. I also planned on getting my house decorated a couple of weeks ago. As I write this, packages of ornaments are strewn about my living room, with half of their contents hanging on the tree. A few gifts, which have sat on my couch for the past several days, also need to be wrapped. And because I just figured out which recipe I'm cooking for company tomorrow, I need to hit the supermarket.

I'm not too worried about any of this.

On Saturday, I received an email newsletter that I occasionally read. I decided to scroll through it, and one quote in it grabbed my attention:

"Forget the clock and take the compass. The direction you are headed is more important that the time it takes to get there."

Wow. I wrote the quote with a Sharpie on a bright blue Post-it and stuck it to my desk. The quote struck me because, when I finish something, I typically bemoan the fact that it took me so long to get it done. Take my cards, for example - they have arrived at their recipients, yet I still think I could have got them there earlier. But, hey, I finished them!

One of the notions I've worked on reframing this year is that life's not about crossing everything off from my to-do list. It takes me, and most folks with ADD, more time to do a lot of tasks. But bit by bit, I do feel like I'm accomplishing goals. This year, I feel that I've accomplished many great things, which I did on my own schedule. Doing things on your own terms is powerful!

The things that I want to get done for tomorrow will get done. I didn't finish them on December 20th or 12th, but it doesn't matter because Christmas is the 25th. Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas accomplishments!

I'm delighted to announce that I achieved my goal of getting my cards done. I spent about 15 minutes each morning before work writing, addressing, and stamping. The last batch went out on Wednesday, and will most likely reach their destinations before The Big Day. Sweet!

I had a change in plans with one card. Several weeks ago, I started addressing envelopes, including the one for M., a friend of mine. However, I learned recently that our friendship's not worth the 41 cents it'd take to mail the card. Fortunately, M's card went to a better recipient. I whited-out his address, wrote out the card to a wounded soldier, and sent it to the American Red Cross to be distributed at one of the nation's military hospitals. Fellow ADDers, if you have any extra cards left over (or if you never got yours in the mail!), here's a good use for them. Face it, come next year, you're not going to remember who you sent this year's card to, so you may as well mail 'em away and spread some holiday cheer to a soldier.

While I'm crowing about my cards, here's a few other things I'm proud of achieving this week:
  • Surviving the employer's holiday party, which lasted 3 hours in the office and several hours at a nearby watering hole.
  • I actually baked something for said party, and it came out fantastic.
  • I finally dug out my fake tree. It's not yet decorated, but it's standing tall in my living room.
  • I ordered my last few gifts and they've all arrived. This means that I don't have to risk getting the vapors by going in stores and standing in lines.

To me, how I feel in late December is what I imagine that mile 25 of a marathon feels like: I'm tired and want to get this thing (the year) over with. Add in all of the holiday hoo ha, and no wonder many of us feel like zombies going through the motions. Hang in there, everyone...we'll make it through!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Me vs. Christmas Cards

I just read on My ADD Blog that one ADDer's facing with the challenging task of the season that is getting out the holiday cards. With all of the steps required for dealing with the cards, it's no wonder that ADDers get overwhelmed by the task. This year, I've heard similar gripes about card management from a few non-ADDers. One of my most organized relatives wrote and addressed her cards, but realized that she forgot to buy stamps. And my friends R and C, who send out photo cards featuring their adorable daughter, can't decide what picture to choose.

I thought I had the card thing licked this year. I ordered my cards a month ago, and made my card list on my kickass Christmas card spreadsheet that I fashioned a couple of years ago. (On the list of things that I totally rock at doing, designing spreadsheets is definitely up there.) I bought my stamps on Thanksgiving Eve, and even started addressing the envelopes that night. This should be easy, eh?

Unfortunately, things didn't unfold the way I'd planned. I had a work trip right after Thanksgiving, then I had to finish a major project at work. I intended to work on the cards last Sunday, but that wasn't in the cards. Instead, I spent that day and the next coping with an icky but thankfully brief stomach flu. And since then, I've took it easy in order to have enough energy to make it to a birthday party and two Christmas parties.

When I got back tonight from one of the Christmas parties, I decided it's onward and upward for the cards. Equipped with the excellent Minute Timer, my spreadsheet, my Palm Pilot, and all of the card stuff, I set the timer for 15 minutes and plowed through a few of the cards. That's all I'm tackling tonight, though. Sunday's weather will likely keep me homebound tomorrow, so I'm aiming to do a couple more of these 15 minute spurts. I shall report back how it goes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Good grief!

Yay, I'm back! It's been a month since the last time I typed here. While I was away from blogging, I...
  • Flew a total of 6,777 miles and traveled to three cities
  • Quit therapy after 2.5 years
  • Bought my Christmas cards and actually started addressing them
  • Finished the heavy lifting for a major project at work that started 2 years ago
  • Baked a pumpkin pie for the first time (and there's a forthcoming post all about it!!)
  • Put together a really great Secret Santa gift box
  • Volunteered 8 hours of time to two worthy charities
  • Hosted out-of-town relatives
  • Attended a conference
  • Got to play supermodel in a photography shoot
  • Bought some sassy new glasses

And I'm sure there are other things I'm leaving out that I can't think of at the moment. Whew! No wonder I'm tired.

I wrote that list in order to inspire myself. Unfortunately, I've lately felt like Charlie Brown while my boss is Lucy holding the football. Just like the Peanuts TV special, November rolled around and I went to kick the hypothetical football. Sure enought, my boss pulled it away. As always, I think that it'll be different "next time". It never is. If only I had Snoopy and Woodstock cooking up some popcorn and toast for me!

I've started to make the scary step of looking for someone else to hold that football. Mentally, it's a tough step for me because, like like Charlie Brown did, I feel like I'm going to go to the slick Christmas tree farm and end up with the twig that can't hold up even one ornament.

I know why I feel so down about the job search. I've worked for my employer for a long time and have grown accustomed to not receiving praise and positive feedback. In what I partly attribute to an "ADD mindset", I think that that praise and positive feedback would come if I worked harder or beat deadlines by a bigger cushion of time or leaped tall buildings in a single bound. But intellectually, I know it ain't going to happen.

The cure for my situation is the same as the cure for Charlie Brown's tree. All I need is a little love. We ADDers thrive on praise, largely because we get accustomed to hearing what's wrong with us. And when I get used to hearing such criticism, I tend to feel like there's no way out of the situation that I'm in.

It's taken me a while to acknowledge that, indeed, there's some employer out there who will hold the football for me and let me kick it soaring clear through the goal posts. But first, I need to put on some eyeblack and cleats, then get myself onto the gridiron. I'm ready for some football!