May 1: Low Key

I want a lot out of this month but I am trying to teach myself to add things slowly instead of trying to do everything all at once.

After all, I know that successful changes, new practices, come from starting small and building up.


I also know that jumping right into a bunch of new practices all at once feels good. I feel engaged and energetic and accomplished…until I run out of steam.

And despite the fact that I run out of steam EVERY SINGLE TIME, my brain still wants to chase that excited feeling of doing ALL OF THE THINGS.

Without the benefits of medication and experience, I would be planning to do more art, more writing, more exercise, more Taekwon-do, more house organizing, more everything all at once, starting right now, maybe half an hour of each, on top of what I already do each day.

It would be fun today but by the end of the week, I would be out of steam.

So, instead, I am layering all of those things into my life during May.

I will ‘touch’ each habit each day but only really focus on one at a time.

Let’s see how it goes.

?a view of a backyard patio with bare trees in the background
My patio and trees are on the same plan that I am – the basics in place but we’ll add new things a little at a time and let them grow. Image description: The view from one corner of my patio. A lawn chair is directly across from me and beyond that there are trees that don’t have any leaves on them next to my red shed.

Sunflowers…to be

Sunflowers and daffodils are two of my favourites and I have always wanted to grow some of my own.

And while that seems like a straightforward thing to do, deciding to start planting flowers actually involves a fair number of steps and a bit of planning.

Thanks to ADHD, multiple step projects and long-term planning are two of my nemeses.

I’ve bought daffodil bulbs and then found myself in December with the bulbs still hanging in the bag in my shed.

And I’ve planted sunflowers two years in a row…too late for them to bloom.

But this year, thanks to a better level of meds and the resultant capacity to plan, I have planted sunflowers early enough.

Today, the seedlings peeked out of the soil!

(I’m doing container gardening, obviously!)

A tiny green seedling emerges from the dirt in a terracotta coloured pot.
Image description: An terracotta coloured oblong flowerpot with dark soil inside, and a green seedling just starting to curl upwards.

Now to buy some daffodil bulbs!

120 days

I mean to get more things done.

But I don’t.

And I accept full responsibility for that.

It’s not that I don’t have enough time, nor that I have too much to do, nor that I don’t know what my priorities are.

I have lots of time, and while I have lots of things I *could* do, I know the things I HAVE to do, and I know what my priorities are.

Yet, I fritter. And not in the good way.

I want to write more (blog posts, fiction. articles, essays) but I just don’t – the weigh of things unwritten prevents me from writing anything new.

I want to exercise more, but the weight of choices of activity, and the possibility that I am not making the BEST choice, prevents me from sticking with my plan.

I want to establish more routines in our lives, but the weight of the choice of what to fix is so tiresome that I fix nothing.

I want to be active and pro-active, but the effort of figuring out where to start makes me go the reactive route almost every time.

I want, I want, I want.

But I can’t honestly say I am putting in the effort to give myself what I want.

Now, before you decide that a) I’m a whiner or 2) that I’m being too hard on myself, you should know that I actually do fairly well with my reactive, figure it out as we go along, system. And I can’t be that much of a whiner if I’m admitting that it’s my fault AND if I’m making a plan to make it better.

There are 120 days left in this year, and I turn 40 a little over halfway through those 120 days. I think it’s high time I start channelling my creative power and my energy into a laser beam instead of throwing it out in fits and starts like twinkly Christmas lights.

I’m not creating impossible goals for myself in this 120 days, I’m not committing to be perfectly fit, with a huge body of work, and a perfect family to show for my efforts.

I’m committing to dedicating this time, 120 days at the end of 2012, to finding my way. To finding systems that work for me. To learning how to keep myself consistent, and on track, at least most of the time.

I’m going to read, I’m going to write, I’m going to exercise, I’m going to practice, and I’m going to keep track. Not perfectly, maybe not every day, but I’m going to keep the trend toward consistency and progress, instead of wheel spinning.

To use a misquote of Aristotle (it’s more of a paraphrase by an author than anything Artistole said directly) that keeps popping up everywhere – ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.’

And I am going to learn some excellent habits.

Starting today.