Mental Wellness Challenge – 2020, July 3
Utterly wild – my past week has not only screamed by – it was full of roller-coaster craziness!!!
My challenge to you for the last week was to:
- Have a look inside your “space”. Have a peek and poke around a little… Are there “potatoes” growing behind your ears??? Are there spots that could use a little cleaning? Are there things you’ve recognized that need some attention… Is the dust of your experience in the world building up – and is that having an effect on your experience
- Having had a look in your “space”, think about a way or ways that you can do some cleaning.
- Take 5 minutes every day to “wash off” the crud from world – from your mental space – each day.
How did you do with my challenge? I hope you were able to get some of the “ick” from the world off of yourself this past week.
I look inside a lot. I have spaces in my experience where I know some “Mr. Clean” is in order – and I get into those spots every now and then… I try to do a more consistent job of keeping the world off… like I challenged – the other spaces in my experience are parts of my history – pieces that aren’t just stuck to me, but make up a piece of the fabric of who I am.
I did work pretty hard at keeping the potatoes out from behind my ears this week. I had some pretty stressful external dirt hit me in the face and I think I did a pretty good job of washing it off. You see – Shaw lost my blog on Monday morning. Gone… They did an upgrade on a portion of my site and it corrupted the database that is my blog… I managed to keep my head level and not get out of control. Between a helpful technician in Vancouver and some typing – I was able to restore most – pretty much all I think – of my blog… whew – that was super close… and I learned that ever valuable lesson – backup – backup – backup… I requested that my site settings be modified so that it backs up with every change that gets made… that works for little sites like mine – but wouldn’t work for larger ones… I didn’t come out of the experience totally clean – I did lose my families site – szol.ca – poof – gone… but I can rebuild that.
I’m actually pretty proud of my work this week of keeping the world off… I wore mental coveralls when I knew things were going to be messy, I got busy with the soap and water when I got splashed and I even remembered to put on the rest of my mental PPE… (positive attitude, rational thought and reaction, realistic expectations)
A few weeks ago I challenged y’all to hand write a letter to someone in your experience that perhaps you haven’t connected with in a long time. I wrote a letter to a man that I have known since I was 2 or 3 – His name is Darrell and I lived across the street from him for three years or so and then we went to the same schools through our entire lives… right up to graduation really… We spent many, many summer days fishing in the Old Man River and trips to fish Pincher Creek, winter days tobogganing at the golf course hills, and camping together… there where usually three of us together. I haven’t reached out to my other friend yet – but I plan to.
Darrell and I shared a couple of hours together this week. He was in Cranbrook on business and we were able to connect. It was pretty darn cool to be able to see him again… its been decades since we last spoke. Something really strong exists between us – there are, of course, rivers of experience that have flown in our lives that we will have to share – but there is a connection that we have, as friends – brothers from other mothers – that picked up like it never ended. A thread – an “energy” that was comfortable, familiar, safe, calming and exciting at the same time… I really can’t explain it… other than to use the use words LOVE, TRUST, BROTHERHOOD and WONDERFUL.
This week I’d like to share a little bit more about some of my struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The piece that I’d like to share about is the procrastination bit, the parts of my struggle where I find it very difficult to get into the part of a task that matters – and instead find myself dealing with less important, “filler” tasks.
I sometimes experience a type of procrastination that I call “perfection paralysis”. I have been struggling with that for a couple of weeks now. I have a task that I need to accomplish. I’ve told myself that it doesn’t need to be perfect – and sincerely, it doesn’t. I am/have been working at building some frames to build some shelves in a storage container. I have been working on this goal for weeks… and I have been procrastinating (perfection paralysis) all along… I lay awake at night, knowing that the cuts I make in the materials (metal tubing) aren’t perfect, so the fit up isn’t going to be perfect… my welding needs all the help I can get so I know that the welds are likely to be perfect… and on and on and on… and I am stuck.
My goal today is to get out to my shop and weld them up. I am almost twisting inside – knowing that this is likely to be one of those things that turns out “good enough”… and I stttrrrruuuuugggggglllllleeeee with good enough… HARD.
My hesitation is exacerbated by the reality that my workspace looks like a bomb went off in it – (ya, that’s another ADHD thing) – and I’ll have to work around things…
The whole idea of the shelves is to be able to get stuff off my shop floor and onto the shelves so that I have some space to work… so – really – the shelf brackets are one of many keys that have to turn towards my efforts to ORGANIZE my space.
I need mental shelving units too… and there are pieces of my experience that are in the same condition – kinda all over the floor – needing to be sorted out and put into “perspective” and “order”. I 100% own that – get that… I think a light bulb just came on for me… I feel something bubbling up… on this… “perfection paralysis”…
I’ll check in with you next week on the shelve brackets… – I’ll let you know how they turned out… or – if I managed to find some other thing in my experience that I’ll attack… Perhaps the idea of setting a goal and being “externally” accountable to that goal will help me with some movement here???
The shelves are only an example of this ADHD demon that I have struggled with for as long I can recall. I know that most everyone experiences some sort of procrastination at some point or another. For me – this is a hurdle that I come up against pretty much every day. I think – and if I had to guess – I’d guess that this procrastination has different sides – causations. I am learning that my brain processes tasks differently than other folks brains – executive functioning (https://caddac.ca/adhd/understanding-adhd/in-general/executive-functioning/) – and life has given me some strategies to deal with that (some good, others not so good – but strategies just the same). Another facet of my procrastination shows up as having a fear of being judged. Adults often say “We are our own worst critics.”. I can say – unequivocally – that, that is a truth for me. Yes, yes – that’s where the name “perfection paralysis” is rooted. So very often – that unless I know I can do a perfect (perfection rarely exists) job, I don’t start… I very often have to remind myself to not let perfection be the enemy of production. This “self judgy” piece hits my self-esteem bucket too. I grew up being shown my faults and mistakes daily. My parents were pretty sharp at outlining mistakes in behavior, short-comings in school and what not… report card day was ALWAYS a rough day – even if there were subjects where I got “Atta boys”, there were also subjects that didn’t… and well – I never had the answers to the questions “why only a B, where was the rest of the effort”… I learned to have those same expectations of myself for lots of spaces in my life.
There are other facets of the procrastination puzzle too… I feel the edges – but I haven’t really figured them all out yet.
I hope that gives a bit of a glance into that part of my experience with the disorder.
This week, I’d like to challenge you to:
- Be intentionally kind. (I know that I have no idea what another person is going through… and I would suspect that others are in the same position of ignorance… so – I’m going to choose to be kind.)
- Be PRESENT! Be intentional in your life. Think about where you are having that conversation with friends and acquaintances… are you standing in the way of someone who is trying to get by you? Are you sitting at the traffic light with a green and daydreaming or (OH NO) on your phone? Be present – be intentional.
- HAVE A SUPER WEEK. Set out from the start to do the very best you can to have a super week. Choose it! Darrell reminded me this week that “Life is about the journey, not the destination. The destination isn’t really that great… no-one gets out alive…”
So, that’s it, I challenge you!