Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast - Or The Impossible List.


I recently came across the idea of the Impossible List. I like the idea and I want to expand on it a bit here, what I believe it to be about. I linked to College Info Geek's post about it because I like his video, but he has a link to the official page too.

I think it's about writing down ALL of your goals, from those which are easy to those which seem impossible. It's about seeing how your perspective shifts. It's adaptable, which I love. I like the way goals can be broken down into smaller, manageable steps and when they're achieved, they can be expanded to add newer, bigger ones. It's almost a gamification of life, which is quite nice.

Anyway, here's mine.

My Impossible List


Professional Goals

  • Go to and graduate from university 
  • Run a How To Talk workshop online
    • Pick small, private audience (July 2017)
    • Look through the book to establish topics
    • Start discussion thread
    • Finish chapter 1
    • Evaluate helpfulness
  • Run a How To Talk workshop in person
  • Have 20 posts on my parenting blog
  • Teach a parenting course
  • Publish a book
  • Attend an ELT workshop or conference
  • Do a TYLEC
  • Do a DELTA
  • Get one week ahead in lesson planning
  • Have all my folders organised with sections
  • Have a collection of tried and tested lessons which work well
  • Get my transcription ratio down to 1:3

Skills Goals

  • Get my driving licence
    • Take driving lessons (Summer 2016)
    • Try a new driving school
  • Become fluent in German
    • I can communicate and hold basic, stilted conversation (2017)
    • Complete Duolingo tree
    • Complete online German course
    • Take a German course in person
  • Become fluent in a third language
  • Learn to read another script
  • Learn to swim underwater

Financial Goals

  • Make at least €1000 a month
    • €520ish (Jan 2017)
  • Finish paying off driving lessons
  • Get a month ahead in budgeting
  • Save €5000

Family Goals

  • Raise a family pet
  • Train a dog using positive methods
  • Have my husband adopt my son
    • Contact a solicitor
  • Complete a Love Languages for Kids challenge
  • Have two children close together
  • Read all the Harry Potter books with my son
    • Philosopher's Stone
  • Teach son to swim
  • Hold a family Achievement Goal Weekend

Creative Goals

  • Display my own photography
  • Play guitar at a party with friends
  • Be able to play 5 songs from memory
  • Learn to fingerpick
  • Learn how to play Spanish guitar
  • Make more than 10 blog posts in 2017

Lifestyle Goals

  • Complete The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Develop my wardrobe/sense of style
  • Have a harmoniously decorated home
  • Live somewhere with outdoor space
  • Live in a house
  • Own a house
  • Overcome fear of injections
  • Get my ears pierced
  • Donate blood
  • Travel to a country which requires extra vaccinations
  • Get to a point where I feel my ADHD is manageable
  • Help reduce male violence/domestic violence
  • Help reduce financial inequality
  • Visit America
  • See the Harry Potter Studio Tour
  • Meet J. K. Rowling

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

How to get up in the morning and not hate life

I am not a morning person. I don't think I will ever be. But I've recently changed my story about what getting up is or should mean and I think it's made it easier.

I used to think that most people (or morning people, if you like) just got up easily and sprung out of bed feeling refreshed and not wanting to sleep any more, and I spent a long time trying and waiting for that to happen to me. It never did, so I concluded that perhaps I was just shit at getting up or I wasn't a morning person or whatever that meant, and that was okay, but it did mean that for a long time my story about getting up was "Nobody has as hard a time as me and/or enjoys falling back to sleep as much as me, therefore I have it harder than everyone else and I should get a free pass."

It wasn't really a conscious thing, I don't think I was genuinely assuming that I was unique and special in hating mornings or loving to snooze, but by believing that it was particularly hard for me allowed me to keep making excuses and keep letting it be hard while also being annoyed at myself for finding such a simple and common task hard. I don't remember where I first came across the idea that getting up just actually is an awful sensation for most people, it could have been reddit, or it could have been College Info Geek, but anyway, I read somewhere that snoozing is counterproductive specifically because waking up from sleep is the hard part. Now, I'd read lots of times, as I'm sure you have, that snoozing is bad, but it never really seemed to make sense before until I read this. When you wake up from sleep you've done the hard part. Why would you then repeat that by snoozing and forcing yourself to go through that again? I do know why - it's because falling back to sleep is just so absolutely delicious and doesn't feel the same when you're meant to be doing it e.g. at night. So I now have the following morning routine:

Alarm goes off exactly 18 minutes before I need to be up. It starts very quietly, almost imperceptibly, and slowly gets louder. There's nothing alarming about it, no vibration, no sudden sound.

I'm allowed ONE free pass, one glorious moment where I can hit the default snooze (10 minutes) and slide back into that creamy, soft, warm sleep. I stand by that. It works for me. Snoozing isn't the enemy as long as you're in control.

Next alarm, snooze, more conscious, 5 minutes. This is where the hard part starts but I'm allowed a little fail on this one - I try to keep my eyes open and look at my phone. Sometimes something interesting enough will be happening in the world to engage me, but mostly sleep wins.

Lastly my final alarm goes off and - this is crucial - I cannot turn this one off without getting out of bed and carrying my phone to the bathroom (it's barcode deactivated - lots of free apps do this), and from there I do all that morning stuff - toilet and teeth and face and hands. I hate this. I cannot describe to you how horrible and arduous it seems. But by the time I've finished brushing my teeth something miraculous has happened, it turns out that I've done the hardest part and I don't have to do it again until the next day - as long as I don't let myself go back to bed. But it's done - almost without thinking, without really being awake enough to be aware. And so I can also pat myself on the back for getting through the hard part because I genuinely know that it is hard and that's not some kind of moral failing of mine. I'm managing self-reward now - are you reading this, me from 5, 10 years ago?  There was a time when I really felt that I was incapable of that, but now I realise that I just wasn't admitting to myself that it's okay to find things hard and that hard things really are worth rewarding.

I find these days that snoozing too many times on days I don't need to get up early is less fulfilling or enjoyable than it used to be, perhaps because that one controlled snooze just...works. I'm still not a morning person but it is manageable, and all it took was that changing of the story - from "It's too hard, I can't do it, I'm not the right kind of person" to "Yes, it's hard and it's okay that it's hard because I'm going to get over it like this."

I wonder how many other things in my life I need to change the story on.

Monday, 10 July 2017

July

It's been hot here this week. Husband has injured both feet by taking an ill advised jump and is grumpy about it. I don't know if I posted about cutting my finger? Anyway, I cut my little finger back in March badly enough to require surgery to fix it. I've sort of given up on the recovery because it always seems too hard and like I don't have enough time.

That is somewhat of a theme in my life at the moment.

I've just come back from teaching at the little village school in the hills. Only two more times, and I won't need to go there ever again. It's beautiful, but the kids are exhausting and I've given up even having a plan. I just try not to let them injure each other and if I can engage one or two of them in some learning then it's a win.

I worked out this week that we've successfully timed intercourse in five cycles since the last miscarriage which have not resulted in pregnancy, but I'm okay with that, I think. We have lowish odds anyway, say 10-15% rather than 20-25 so it is just likely that the dice haven't fallen in our favour.

Starting driving lessons again. If the husband can't drive the car, I might as well. Tomorrow he starts physio so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

This was a short update but I'm hoping to get them happening once a week or so.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Patience

As I mentioned in the last post, we've been trying for a baby for a while now. Over a year, actually, which means that since we are young and healthy it's advised that we seek medical assistance with this now. We've actually had two miscarriages in the last year, which I meant to write about, but didn't. I'm okay about that. It's the length of time which is frustrating and disappointing.

Recently we decided since the baby thing isn't going anywhere fast, let's look into getting a dog! We found a lovely mixed breed at the local animal shelter who was lovely and perfect for our family, but she has knee problems, and so wasn't allowed to live with us as we have stairs.

So a couple of weekends ago, we decided to look at some gerbils. We looked at two different tank sizes we'd be happy with, but when the sales assistant went to show us where they were kept, they found that they only had the smaller one, or much more expensive ones in stock. They wouldn't sell us the gerbils with the smaller tank, so we didn't get those either. Today I thought my husband had gone totally mad as he said we could look at cats instead. So off we went to the animal home again, but no, they won't let cats come to us because we're in an apartment. Which is fair, I suppose, but it's disappointing again.

I'm sure our time will come but it's hard being patient and waiting to see when it will be.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Overdue

This becomes a theme, when you have ADHD.

As well as being long overdue to update (whistle stop tour: still haven't passed driving, marriage seems... Better? Pretty good but I hope I'm not missing anything, managed to seriously injure finger, also still not pregnant)

My library fines prevent me from using the service.

This morning I'm sitting in my living room missing the tram I need, again - yesterday, I fell asleep and missed every plan I had - today I'll be a few minutes late, no worse.

The plaque on my teeth is building up again because I am not regularly flossing.

It's been over a year and I'm not pregnant.

I keep pushing back my plans to send email to people listing houses - email! This would take zero effort - because I'm too tired.

It's 8.02 and I am only half dressed.

When I shower, sometimes I'm too dirty to get fully clean with one soaping.

The taxes are due.

I haven't chased up whether a friend's borrowed item was returned.

My son's dentist appointment today is the first in 2 years.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Things are still not going great?

I am having a hard time. My driving instructor says he doesn't know what to do with me. My husband said last week he "can't live like this" (we made up, but it was about cleaning - something that I don't believe will ever flow naturally for me no matter how much I understand it's important to him, I've improved for now but long term...) and today my boss has come straight out and said she "can't work with this" about me. Because of my organisation and time management.

I feel like... I'm always making promises that I don't know if I'll be able to keep because of my ADHD. Because I know what they want me to say, I know how I'm supposed to act following these things, it's not acceptable for me to be honest about my expectations, but I literally don't know how I could have pre-empted any of these problems, which means it's likely that they will happen again.

Also finding it hard - the contrast with when I was a teenager and struggling at school and the people who were cross with me were also trying to help me find out why it was so difficult for me. They don't do that now... because an adult who can't do those things is just obviously a lost cause. I feel so sad because I really want to fix these problems, I just can't see them in advance like other people can. But it comes back to the same thing - it doesn't matter how much effort you put into something or how much of it is in your control, the only thing that others see is whether you hit or missed the mark.

I know I have so much to give, but I can't get a handle on these basics. It is so enraging and senseless. But I'm too tired even to be angry about it so I just feel defeated today.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Optimism

The situation in the last post sort of resolved itself. Or got worse. Or didn't? I don't really know. Is it important?

Yeah, probably.

I should probably explain a bit more. I took on some extra classes back in the late spring. I was just covering another teacher but it meant I had a late morning through to evening schedule, and it was amazing. It just worked for me. Far better than the early morning + late evening with mass gap in the middle I had been dealing with.

So I asked my husband if he minded me doing more of this. He said it was a great idea, so I went to my employer, who also thought it was great.

EVERYTHING IS GREAT. YAY.

So, the problem here, was that they set me an impossible task, and I agreed to it, because I'm endlessly optimistic and don't seem to notice that this often goes quite badly for me. The impossible task was learning to drive in two months. They basically told me that it was difficult. I knew that I didn't have enough time. What I also knew but didn't tell them was that I have ADHD and, um, there are actual trends that show driving is harder for people with ADHD, so that two months which was difficult for a normal person is basically extra hard for me. But I was optimistic, so I said okay, sure!

The other problem. I somehow assumed that during the conversation about my working more late morning through to evening days, that my husband got the memo that he was agreeing (in my head) to then cover the gap after school when our son comes home. This was completely clear to me because late morning through to evening also includes the early afternoon, and also because as part of this deal I promised to deal with the mornings, and also, why the F was I asking his permission to work, if I wasn't asking him if he was OK with going to work early and doing the extra childcare?

But yeah, OK, to be fair, I probably didn't spell it out exactly that this was what I wanted.

So - now it is much longer than two months later. I have failed two tests. I did pass theory the first time - memory, yay! But I am not doing well at the practical tests. Husband is straining to cover the childcare. I am paying aaaall the money to the tram system. Hoping optimistically that the driving school just let me keep driving until I pass and pay them later. Hoping optimistically that my employer doesn't just get fed up and give my job to someone else. Basically just smiling manically and hoping for the best in all scenarios while totally failing to plan.

You know when you plan? Can you see the plan in your head? Can you hold it there while you work out what happens on the next step? Because I can't do that. I have to write it down and even that in itself is hard. I start writing. I get several steps in. And it feels like the cogs in my brain are jammed, like they are buffering, or turning so slowly. I can't focus on anything and it all just swims and it's hard. I can plan... but it takes me a huge amount of effort and several sessions because one session producing the first step is exhausting.