I spent a lot of time this summer doing nothing much at all. I went to my day job, and spent time enjoying my daughter and just..well…just being. We watched an insane amount of Netflix, read some books, created some art (okay, my daughter mostly created the art…) and took an amazing trip together. I spent much time with my mother, as she has not been well, and while the days flew by because of all the extra running I was doing for Mom, and all the checking on her, it was still good to take that break from everything else in the world. I got to totally unplug for a week, but the rest of the summer I was able to greatly reduce my time in front of a computer screen. It was nice. I’m kind of glad it’s over though.
I like the routine the school year provides. While I am always ALWAYS sad to see my daughter return to school and know I am going to miss hanging out with her every day, being in a routine is somehow soothing. I had high hopes of still carrying on with a revised summer routine, but things being what they were, I didn’t get very far with that idea. Summer was great (minus all the worry over my mom), but now it’s kind of time to get down to business once again.
First, I want to take some time to just be grateful. I am so thankful to have the life that I do, and to be surrounded by the people I am. I have been very lucky (yes, lucky is sometimes the only word I can use to describe it). I have been able to work a day job where I am not only surrounded by people I love and respect, but a job that allowed me to be home during times when my daughter needed me the most. I was able to care for her emotional special needs, as well as her physical needs when those things were more important than having the material items we could have acquired if I’d had a “career” and more money. Sometimes it has been extremely difficult – but it is hard for everyone sometimes. There were times when I feared I was spending more on counseling costs and medications than I would make in a month. Sometimes I did. But we always managed. We always got through it. Sometimes with help from people who loved us, and I was grateful.
I wouldn’t trade a day. I would never trade being able to be present when it was necessary for any career in the world. I am at a place where I am happier with myself than I have ever been. I am blessed to be writing again and I am enjoying the journey I am on as an adult; the adventure of discovering who I am and who I want to be. It has been an interesting road from overprotected child, to awkward and bullied middle schooler, to more awkward and socially anxious teen, to a young married woman (not much more than girl), to severe social anxiety disorder, to miserable wife, to mother, to a diagnosis of ADD to go along with my anxiety disorder, to finally having something worth fighting for, to being divorced and terrified at 35, to learning and growing over the next eight years, changing, evolving, and finding my inspiration, my light, my worth and my value. Being a mother was the best job I ever had, and it was more rewarding than anything I could imagine, but I also knew there was more to me to be discovered. I’ve loved the changes, the freedom, chance to evolve and grow. My daughter and I have a close relationship and I love our life together. Sure, I wish with all my heart that she didn’t have to contend with the things she has had to fight, but together we will always overcome.
I love chasing dreams. I love writing because I CAN. I love sitting up all night reading a book if I want. I love being able to do what I want when I want. I love chasing whims, deciding I want to learn about something and then spending all the time I want learning. I love the conversations I get to have with my daughter about life, spirituality, the future, history, ethics, politics, morals, and the arts. I love my daughter’s curiosity and sometimes we spend entire evenings lost in debate, or doing research on some interesting topic. And sometimes we spend hours watching mindless television shows and eating ice cream. I guess my point is that through all our ADHD chaos, through our clutter and forgetfulness, being an adult isn’t half bad. I fought for the life I wanted, and while it may not look like much to an outsider, it’s mine, and I am so thankful to have it. I like my day job while most of my peers have “careers.” Most of all I love being a writer. I love the fact that I’m moving into the copywriting field and I am so excited to begin that freelance phase, getting to do what I love. I guess all I am really saying, is that life is good. There are things I still want to do, and I believe I will do them. There is something to be said for being satisfied; to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and be content, knowing you have become a person you like.
There will always be ups and downs. There will always be tough days. I’m okay with that. I am okay with who I am, and that is, perhaps, the most vital thing I have learned after all these years. I do not have to please everyone. I do not have to seek approval from others to feel good about myself. I can let go of the toxic people in my life without guilt. My circle may be small, but the people that are part of it are people that love me, flaws and all, people I value and trust, and that is no small thing. I am truly grateful for each day I get to spend on this earth, learning, growing and striving to be better than I was the day before. I am blessed beyond measure.
And what does getting back into routine mean? It means I finally get back to work on the short story compilation. I’m hoping to have the rough draft of the entire thing finished in about four months. Then it will be on to the rewrites, editing and getting a release date hammered down. I also have another contemporary novel in the works, but I am trying very hard to give my attention to the story compilation first. THEN I have another, much bigger project in mind, that I will need lots of research for. Right now it is a lofty idea, one that keeps floating in and out of my consciousness, teasing me with all the ways it COULD go, but knowing that it will be there when I get ready to tackle something entirely ambitious.
I should be back to more regularly scheduled blog posts – both here and on ADHD Kristi & Co. Summer may be over, but fall is fast approaching, and it’s my favorite time of the year. People say spring is a time for rebirth and a fresh start, but I always seem to find myself blossoming in the fall.
Don’t take this life for granted. Never stop living and never settle. Keep learning, keep looking for things that inspire you to be better. Don’t be afraid of change – sometimes it’s painful, yes, but growth is always worthwhile. I hope I never stop striving to become a better version of myself.