1) Mothering. Lucy is a real sweetheart, constantly busy and learning these days. My favorite things that she says: beh chew (bless you), thinck youuu (thank you), fapa (waffle), poodie (pillow). Wanna see some cute pics?
Lucy setting up a meal and a slide for her Duplo pets
We've all had a cold that lasted for two weeks, so we've been watching a few extra episodes of Kipper the Dog on Netflix. Love that show. Lucy's been partial to puppies since her first word was Pup pup, so she LOOVES Kipper. I was relieved in my effort to minimize screen time when we found a few of the Kipper books at the library. So far, we read Kipper's A to Z about three times a sitting, several times a day.
Also, I can hardly believe Lu turns two this week! She's so tall for her age and quite mature, sitting through long story books, developing great motor skills and playing well on her own. I'm so glad for her.
I love being at home with Lucy, but it's something that I struggle with. I find it boring. The work is meaningful, but repetitive. I only have so much patience for play and noise and chores. I've had a hard time admitting this to myself or realizing that this is what's going on. Part of it is that Lucy and I are entering a new stage of learning and play and I need to do some research and be a bit more intentional about things, so I can keep challenging her at her own level and helping her learn. Another part of it is that:
2) I am about 99.9% sure that I have been living with undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. This discovery really, really surprised me! I always associated ADD or ADHD with hyperactive little boys who couldn't sit still in school. But that is far from the whole truth. In fact, ADD affects about 5% of the adult population, too, both men and women. Women and girls are often able to cope better with the symptoms of Attention Deficit (distractability, trouble focusing, daydreaming, trouble finishing tasks, procrastination, etc.) so they are more likely to miss being diagnosed until later in life when high school, college, grad school, or, as in my case motherhood, presents a challenge to the coping mechanisms previously in place.
Living with untreated ADD means never feeling like you've quite lived up to your potential, because you have way more good intentions and plans than you're ever able to accomplish. It can mean embarrassing failures or near-failures, trouble connecting with people (usually related to impulsiveness or missed social cues: interrupting and going off on tangents, or saying tactless things without meaning to), and perfectionism (because you feel like you can't measure up).
I'm learning a lot about ADD and how I can cope. I cried when I found out that this was what was going on because I've been so stressed out, maybe even depressed, and I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out what. It was such a relief to have a name for it, to know I wasn't alone, and to know there were some things I could do that would help. The best resource I've found is one my friend Katie recommended: Delivered from Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. I've also been enjoying one on organization called Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD.
I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, so I hope that I can explain what I've been going through clearly and find out what resources might be available.
3) I've also been busy youth pastoring through the last month of school. I think this may be the area of my life that I have most struggled with the ADD. I'm an ADDer who needs structure and understanding (that's why I did okay in school and teaching) or I die. Pastoring can be a very unstructured job, subject to constant change according to the needs of the youth. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of it and have some fun. I still can't believe I'm a pastor of anything. It blows my mind. I just never thought...
4) Despite all odds and in the midst of all this motherhood and ADD and youth work, I've finally finished the first draft of my book! A few things that finally got me writing were:
- Taking a one-day online class run by Preston Yancey and Elora Ramirez called The Story101 Crash Course. The resources and discussions that they provided in just a few hour session were priceless in re-igniting my passion to write and reminding me I had a voice worthy to be heard (because we ALL do!) They continue to run different types of classes through their company The Story Unfolding. Check it out!
- Downloading the writing program Scrivener, which helped me to put together all the pieces of writing I had, to manage them more efficiently (Turns out I don't want that story here? Just drag and drop it somewhere else!), and to keep up with daily writing goals in order to meet a deadline. It was a lifesaver!
- Setting aside two mornings a week for writing. I chose Friday and Saturday because they were: convenient for Clint (so he could watch Lucy), close together in time (so I could get in the writing "zone"), and not too close to the beginning or end of our workweek (working on Sundays, we take Tuesdays as our weekly Sabbath Day).
- Finding a great spot to work: Matchstick Coffee Roasters! We have a tiny apartment with no suitable office space set up right now. But I love this coffee shop and I could work there every day if I needed to. It's busy enough for a general background buzz, they have the worlds most amazing (and corn-free) decaf coffee, herbal teas, and almond croissants. Love it!