Warning: navel gazing ahead.
This post has been rolling around in my head for a while now, but there’s been too much going on for me to sit down and write about it. And now that it’s quiet, and the rest of the family has gone to bed, and I finally have a moment to think and write…I’m not sure what to say.
I’ve felt like this before. I’ve written about it before. Maybe it’s that I had a birthday not long ago, and just bumped into the next age bracket (I can no longer check the “25 to 35” age category on forms). Maybe I’m just bound to feel this way every once in a while. I feel like something of a “late bloomer”; that is, someone whose major accomplishments come later in life than generally expected. Late by what standard? According to whose schedule? I don’t know. I just feel like I’m still waiting to “bloom.”
Lately I’ve been revisited by that feeling of having “lost time,” namely the time I spent living with untreated ADD. It’ something that stole upon me gradually in the last couple of weeks; this feeling, once again, that I should have done more and accomplished more in my life by now. Then I remind myself that for most of my life I’d been operating with a handicap I didn’t know I had; and for that matter, neither did anyone else. At times, I can’t help feeling that I’d like to have about 10 years back, as a sort of “do over,” but only with the treatment I’ve gotten and the techniques I’ve learned could come along for the ride.
There’s one thing that’s different now than, say, a year ago when I was having these feelings more intensely. I’ve found that when I’m feeling this way, my family is the most effective balm. Watching my son play, or getting down on the floor and joining him is 99.9% sure to make me smile, and feel like an incredibly lucky guy. Lying in my husband’s arms and talking to him about it helps too, because he reminds me of how hard I’ve worked to build the life I have now, and just what an accomplishment that is.
I guess when you start out with a handicap, just achieving “average” status is something of an accomplishment, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. When that occurs to me, I find myself asking “What if what I am right now is all I’m ever going to be?” It’s a question I can’t really answer yet.
Tonight, an other thought is creeping in. Rather than ruminating over the “lost 10” What if I focus on the “next 10” instead? What if I focus on who, what, and where I want to be 10 years from now? The problem is, I don’t know. To even choose one goal and focus on it until it’s accomplished is still a challenge. My own record of not following through on goals and plans, or trying and failing, is enough make me afraid to plan too much or too far. After all, I’ve crashed and burned enough to know just what the ground feels like when you finally hit it. Do I really need to do it again?