Happy New Year!

Credit:
https://www.washingtonian.com/2021/12/13/your-comprehensive-list-of-2021-new-years-eve-parties-in-washington-d-c/

It’s going to be another “pajama-themed” new year celebration, but honestly that’s ok. Even if there was no pandemic, going out on the busiest night of the year can be overrated. In years past, I remember mostly getting drunk and/or stoned, singing off-key and waiting a long, long time for a taxi cab. January 1 was then spent nursing a horrific hangover for the entire day. The only exceptions were the years-2004 and 2005. Those were some crazy, awesome New Years, mostly because those were the years I met my husband and we became serious. Yes, I’m a romantic sap, so sue me!

But when you get older and hopefully wiser, or at least more weary of hangovers, you realize that it’s better to just stay home. No need to squeeze into tights and a dress, no freezing your ass off, no fighting with a cab company that just hangs up on you when you’ve been waiting an hour. (True story) Plus, parties can be crazy awkward, especially ones where you don’t know anyone. I’ve been to a couple where I am literally an outlier, fake smile on my face, drink in hand while I desperately try and pierce one of the small enclosed groups that dot someone’s house or apartment. I’m very lucky though, I have a partner and family, so I don’t need to find someone-anyone-to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. At home or somewhere else, I’m good.

To anyone reading this, I hope you also have someone-partner, child, friend, family member-in which to ring in the new year and I wish you all the best for 2022!

They Say It’s Your Birthday!

Credit: https://www.amazon.ca/Getting-Too-Old-Birthday-Envelope/dp/B07SKCC7F6

Today I am 41. Officially over or under the hill, depending on who you ask. Most days, especially since having a kid, I feel practically ancient. All that crazy young ADHD energy that made me dance and go running in my youth, has been replaced by old ADD energy where I can’t be arsed to do anything but stare at my phone. But that’s ok, because you can’t dance or go on joint crushing runs forever, eventually you have to be content curling up in your house and watching it rain in December. (Still not used to that, global warming is weird)

My husband got my son ready this morning along with some coffee, and set off for work. I’m still in my pjs, still heating and reheating my one cup of joe. In other words, it’s basically like any other day. Can’t have any friends over and going to a restaurant is definitely out of the question. A few months ago, I hatched a birthday plan of putting my kid in daycare for the day so I could drive to Kingston and check out an archery range, but crazy high omicron numbers put the kibosh on that. Darn. However, people have been sending me really nice messages and of course posting on my Facebook wall, so I can’t complain too much! (I’ll save that for the middle of January when I’m losing my mind from boredom and winter blues, lol) Hubby got me a dash cam, because I mentioned it might be a good idea months ago. It’s funny he remembered. It was an idea I had after probably spending too much time on a Facebook Belleville community group. The topic of discord that day was a-hole drivers and I thought: ‘Hmm, maybe I should get a dashcam just in case’, and then promptly forgot about it. Well he can install it, because it’s my birthday and I’ll be lazy if I want to!

That’s about it for the day, but I will probably do some yoga or other exercise today. My “old energy” is sick of my phone and wants to get back in shape. No matter how old I get or how much covid rages outside, I still have a lot of life to live and plan on living it!

The Holidays Actually Went Well!

Christmas came and went in a whirlwind of overeating and overgifting, just like it always does, but since it is 2021, it’s a miracle it happened at all! It was just last year that a lockdown forced us to try and celebrate over Zoom. No one was happy, and the connection kept crashing, but it was the best we could do! Of course things are still bad, bla, bla, and I asked my family to get tested prior to visiting, but I’m grateful that it happened at all!

Another thing that I’m grateful for is the fact that there was no drama or fighting, which let’s be honest, tends to be more likely when a family gets together-In-laws, outlaws, siblings, partners-whatever! Pettiness or decades long grudges can resurface once people have overindulged, but I’m pretty lucky in that most people in my immediate circle get along most of the time. (Not all the time, I mean, we’re not robots!) There was some debating going on, and one minor misunderstanding, but I kept out of it, because I wanted to save my energy for cooking a 12 pound turkey for the second time in my life!

So now, we get to think about how to spend January, which can be difficult. It’s cold, you can’t see anyone because of covid numbers and the days can be short and grey. But I’m feeling renewed from the holidays and plan on grabbing it by the short hairs. Everyday counts, even in the dead of winter during a pandemic. Besides, I got all these great holiday leftovers to keep me happy!

Is Christmas Cancelled?

Credit: https://www.psychologicalhealthcare.com.au/blog/coping-at-christmas

This morning, I loaded my kid in the car and waited in line for both of us to get tested for COVID. Everything seemed to be ok, I was dreading having a stranger stick an extra long Q-Tip into the back of my nasal cavity, so I put on some relaxing video game music and remembered the good ‘ol days building Sim dream homes or slaying dragons. Then I heard a faint cry coming from the back seat, I turned around and watched my son regurgitate his entire breakfast all over himself! Over and over. Fuck. Like a complete idiot, I forgot to pack a change of clothes and only had Kleenex to steady the tide of spew. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work, but I was stuck and spent the next hour with the windows partly done to clear out the smell. Once I got home, I chatted with a friend who sent me the following message: “I think Christmas at my brother’s is fucked.”

It certainly seems to be going that way. Last year’s holidays were spent huddling around my husband’s laptop over Zoom. The overloaded system crashed a few times and frankly, it was a piss poor way to spend what used to be the biggest holiday of the year for gathering with friends and family.

Given how much the current variant Omicron is spreading, it’s looking very likely then that this Christmas 2021 will probably go down the same way. After hosing my kid off and giving him a bit of food, I messaged my visiting family asking them if they could also get tested before arriving. They haven’t replied yet. Maybe they’re too busy, I’m not sure. I do hope they consider at least registering online soon though; It took two days for me to get an appointment, and I’m not sure when our results will be available, and seeing how sick my son is right now, I’m frankly worried that it might be COVID or worse.

Our house is decorated, the tree and stockings are up, along with some outdoor lights and a wreath. Most of the presents have been purchased, and are all ready to be unwrapped. I was going to tackle the giant turkey, while my husband was going to make his traditional Tofurkey, and other people promised to help by bringing foods, snacks and desserts. Things are bad in the world right now and have been since last year, but I wanted Christmas to be a day where we try to remember how lucky we are to have each other in this pandemic. It’s hard to get that same feeling frankly over Zoom.

“Mom” Shows and Movies are Awful!

Credit: https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80198991

There’s this show in Canada called Workin’ Moms currently on its fourth season and I *tried* watching it, but it was a struggle! The characters live in multi million dollar homes in downtown Toronto, all have perfect jobs and hunky husbands (or hunky young boy toys that they quickly discard), but still complain, bitch and moan. Granted their lives aren’t without some challenges, but holy fuck, can anyone actually relate to these women? In the real world, the housing market is beyond insane, there’s a devastating virus that’s been circling the globe for the past two years, decent jobs are few and far between, and we’re all just kind of trying to hang on until winter is finally over. The “jokes” on this show are also really, really bad and there isn’t one sympathetic, likeable character in the whole lot!

It’s the same problem I had watching another show targeted at women my age called Motherland. Most of the ladies on that show are rich, their kids don’t struggle with any serious issues, like disabilities or illnesses and again, and with the exception of one or two, they are all really terrible people. Yes, there is one “mean mommy” who is kind of a caricature of the popular bitch in high school who never really grew up, but the rest aren’t much better! The protagonist is a selfish woman who uses people and barely coughs out a “thank you” in return. There was even an episode with another mom body shaming and relentlessly criticizing another. And this was after she expected her friends to rescue her after getting drunk and putting herself in danger for an entire evening! Seriously?? With friends like that, who needs enemies? It’s not much better with movies, where again, mansions and hunky suitors or husbands. Perfect kids, and ridiculous problems.

Now, I get it, people are tired of hearing about the pandemic and many want an escape, but is it really so much to ask to see more middle class or even remotely realistic people on TV? When it comes to families, shows and movies seem to either paint an idyllic fantasy or dystopian nightmare that takes place in a crack den. Let’s see more shades of grey. Lets see more depictions of single moms who don’t have 20-something Ken dolls lining up to date them. What about parents of children’s with disabilities or medical issues? And can women have jobs that aren’t either A)Ridiculously overpaid journalism jobs that require them to re-vist their “quaint home town” or B) Playgrounds for hipsters? Where are all the teachers, nurses, admininistrative assistants, vet techs, retail employees or anything else that’s not glamorous, but pays the bills? I love relatable humour, and life with kids can be crazy, so there really is endless source material. Some shows that have handled parenthood better are The Let Down (Which deals with postpartum issues, but still manages to be funny) and Breeders. (An unusual show that talks about how difficult it can be to be a father, which is refreshing) These shows aren’t perfect, but are definitely less cringe-inducing in terms of story and dialogue. It’s nice to see more representation of motherhood beyond extremes like June Cleaver, Marge Simpson, or Roseanne, but there is still a lot of unexplored territory here that could be great!

Workplace Anxiety

https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2017/10/how-anxiety-hurts-workplace-productivity.html

I had two job interviews recently, the first was an introductory meeting and the second was with the Director. Initially, I wasn’t sure how the first one went, but was pretty thrilled when they asked me for another interview, and I tried to prepare even more for it. It seemed to go fairly well, and a few hours later, they informed me that they would be contacting my references. Then I sweated a bit. See my references are a bit dated; I had my son three years ago and after rotating lockdowns last year, haven’t been able to secure a job. But all I can do is give them the most recent ones I could find, because my older ones have all retired. Le sigh.

If I do get hired, though, I have other worries; This role is one I haven’t really done before and is in a field that is fairly new to me. What if I can’t hack it? What if everyone hates me? What if I don’t receive adequate training? It’s happened before and sucks everytime. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had positive experiences and made some pretty great friends from work too, but it has been very difficult for me to feel confident in my working abilities. Probably the worst thing about having ADHD as an adult is working; Crucial skills like listening, organization, multitasking and memory are constantly being tested at work, and tend to be weak points for those of us with this condition. Many of us also deal with crippling anxiety, insecurity and sensitivity to criticism. I am naturally very organized, but struggle with every other symptom and have felt “too stupid” to work in the past, which is a pretty devastating opinion to have of oneself. I could feel the disappointment radiating from my boss or fellow coworkers, or was just yelled at, and internalized it all.

However, after my son was born, I soon realized the importance of taking care of yourself, not just in terms of eating and sleeping well, but also in helping yourself if you are neurodivergent and struggling. My ADHD was something I hadn’t thought about in a long time, and unfortunately you don’t grow out of it, so I contacted my doctor and she had me re-diagnosed. Then I was put on new medication and it seems to help. It was crazy that I waited so long and struggled in so many jobs before finally taking control of my disability. But better late than never, I suppose.

My point in this post and in creating this blog is basically you aren’t alone. If you’re reading this-adult or not-and you think you may have ADD or ADHD-talk to your doctor. You’re not lazy, or stupid, or a hyperchondriac, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! It’s a genetic condition, but there are things you can do, work will be extra difficult for you, but you can do it!

Doing Everything at Once!

One crazy thing about having ADHD as an adult is the overwhelming pressure you can feel to do a million different things at once. Take today for example; After finishing this post, I have to wrap presents, exercise, get dinner started, finish painting some cards I’m selling, start another leather project, buy a couch, do yoga, clean the basement…bla, bla, bla until it’s 3:50pm and I realize in a panic that I have to pick up my son from daycare in ten minutes! Frankly, it’s exhausting! And even if you subtracted all the obligations and chores out of the equation, my crazy brain will bounce from painting to drawing to sewing to leather working to frickin’ basket weaving! The shiny objects really are everywhere, or maybe they’re more like a laser pointer and I’m the cat chasing after it. (Weird analogy but I think it holds up)
Mindfulness and meditation is something that is suggested A LOT, and not just to me, but people in general for taking a moment to relax and be present. I have no problem being in the moment, but sitting in a room listening to myself breathe is tough! Mostly, I just start thinking about the annoying whistling sound my nose makes and then start to worry that I’m getting a cold, which makes me start getting all paranoid about COVID and well it’s downhill from there! (Did I mention I also suffer from GAD?) Meditation is good, but I’ll try doing it for short periods and work from there! In today’s crazy world, I think it’s probably the best plan for many people.

Today’s weather is cold, rainy and dreary, typical crap November weather, but in December. These days aren’t great for doing much, but they are good for curling up with a nice cup of joe and book, or even just indulging in a memory. Everyone needs some peace, and break from the rush, not just me, and days like today really reinforce that lesson.