Well my latest experiment in self-organization is using a calendar. Bear with me…because the payoff for this tale of the dangers of changing your methods is totally worthwhile. You need to know…I have avoided them like the plague for years because when I have that little box to fill in, I will make it too full in no time. Years ago I decided that I would only commit to what I could keep in my head, in my memory…haha. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but I assure you, it’s helped me maintain a nice sort-of healthy line between my soul and my workaholism. It’s meant a few extra post-its on the steering wheel at times to remind me of things, but hey, they work…assistants have laughed…but it’s better than them crying when I mix things up and they have to help me fix it 🙂
Well recently I decided I wanted to free myself of the post-its on the steering wheel…so I set up a Google Calendar. I’m on a computer somewhere all the time, whether at the law office, the kitchen store, the studio, the house. I put all my appointments on the calendar, and set an informal limit of no more than two obligations per day. So far, so good, sounds like a PERFECT PLAN.
Until this morning when I am sitting at the law office at about 11AM and decide to check my calendar, only to discover that OH SHIT, I missed an 8AM appointment. The post-its on the steering wheel was way better because I could SEE them when I got in the car (and for me and my brain seriously lacking in RAM, if I don’t see it…it does not exist) ! SHITSHITSHIT! This was an important meeting…with the Exec Director of the local indie cinema, a rep for the huge local theater house, and their Marketing Director. We were supposed to be meeting to discuss a project we’re all interested in developing in town, and I’ve been seriously looking forward to this meeting ALL MONTH.
ALL FREAKING MONTH.
I wrote an email to the group explaining how embarrassed I was that I had missed the meeting, that I wasn’t usually like this, that I was so sorry to have disrespected their also busy schedules…etcetcetc, five Hail Mary’s…you get the idea.
I get a response from the theater rep about a minute later saying “ummm…we changed the meeting to next week”.
I wrote the group back with a “Wow…now I’m even more embarrassed…please just know I’ve had a really hard week…see you next week…”.
I am today’s winner of the asshat crown. I know my therapist would say “you need to work on forgiving yourself” but instead, I’m going to kick my own ass for about 15 more minutes…then I’ll think about this thing called forgiving myself…
It’s a funny thing, these moments (and the fact that I spend an enormous amount of energy trying to ensure that they don’t happen). I am actually quite open about my ADHD (and anxiety, if you must know) diagnosis in many situations. It simply isn’t appropriate or beneficial in a situation like this though, to bring it up, to be open, so you have this quiet experience–of solitary acknowledgement of your chemical imperfections. There’s nothing really to be done but apologize and move on. It’s just that when you have ADHD it’s easy to fall into worrying that it might happen again…because you know it will at some point, no matter how hard you work, or how good your intentions…which for me, then ignites the overcompensation of workaholism all over again.
On top of it I just switched meds this week…that’s REALLY something you don’t just mention to people in a professional situation “I’m sorry I thought I missed our meeting that I didn’t actually miss, I’m taking new psychotropic drugs this week so I’ve got black holes in my brain the size of Jupiter for about the next two weeks!”.
(flogflogflog self one more time…)
Bwahaha…okay, going back and reading this…the humor is making itself more apparent. I’m going to channel my therapist and remind myself…and you…that nobody is perfect.