2021 is not going away quietly—it wants to give 2020 a run for the money. In need of some optimism, Moira talks about things big and small we can be proud of, ways to regain trust in our own judgment and use that to help make sense of our lives. She found some sneaky patterns that she plans to leave in 2021 and shares what support she is relying on too.Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle Podcast, for those of us with ADHD, who have had enough of trying harder and want to live a more comfortable, healthy, and happy life with less frustration and overwhelm. It’s time to get rid of guilt and shame–around having ADHD, our needs, and challenges through stories, knowledge, and humor to speak up about the experience of women, moms, and being late diagnosed with ADHD.
- one of the hardest years on record for many of us
- reflecting on the last 12 months is really helping now and creating optimism for 2022
- by slowing down and taking stock
- been a year of healing, growing, tremendous efforts and giant leaps forward in living her life with compassion, understanding and authenticity
- Moira is sharing this awareness to determine a tone for 2022 that works for us
- There was an incredible amount of learning, growth, and change, beyond her comfort zone
- Persevering was important
- when things didn’t work consider options but differently than in the past.
- Why? practice finding solutions that don’t involve taking us off the list which means also trying to figure how to live by our values and boundaries.
- how to live by her values and boundaries
- A lot of both physical and emotional healing and work this year
- Moira set out to and completed a TON of things this year
- No wonder she’s tired now
- She doesn’t have much left in the tank right now to go from healing to strong
- She has conflicting feelings because she loves all the things, but does NOT want to be tired anymore
- Moira shares that she struggles when what she does becomes more important than how she is
- Slowing down the time and effort in some areas of her life are needed to build a stronger foundation of who and how she is first
- Striving in the form of learning, acceptance, and healing, and making a more ADHD friendly life—and NOW
- this was essentially a continuation of Moira’s most familiar pattern of trying harder
- Trying harder to not try as hard, figure out a new more sustainable course
- Trying harder and striving contributed to her fatigue
- Past Moira reached out with a note from December 2020—saying that December was not working to do year-end planning—try it in November for 2021
- Moira procrastinated on it in November and by December 2021 once again felt the disconnect between her energy and the intention of annual planning.
- the reflection process is working, but that long-term planning and setting big goals, not so much!
- It’s a big A-ha for many in our coaching groups who realize and then embrace that Consistent and regular planning really is a part of an ADHD Friendly Lifestyle.
- Moira’s A-ha is that we can be flexible and creative in figuring out how and when it happens, to work within the variety of our many lifestyles.
- reflective Moira KNOWS more easily will be contrary to her own best interests to pursue at least for now
- How to make this time worthwhile? Something to stop right now that would help?
- Moira is going to listen to herself, trust her judgment and pause on making commitments or long-term goals during times that don’t work–based on her daily and weekly energy, her monthly cycle and the annual seasonal cycle
- Continue reflections especially about areas to pay more attention to in 2022, how to maintain what is already working well
- What loops are there to be closed, things to finish?
- Dream about how she wants to be next year.
- reminders in her calendar, and accountability team to check-in for that feeling that winter is ending.
- continue with regular monthly and weekly planning
- making this decision based on her own previous lived experiences
- by giving ourselves what we need then we can begin to fill that void, and once it’s been replenished, and only then, it doesn’t take as much or as long to refill again when we use our capacity
- If we stop before we are fully restored—for whatever reason, someone tells us “we shouldn’t be tired anymore” or we are impatient to get going, or we feel uncomfortable with giving ourselves what we need, then we stop too soon and we are likely to find ourselves in the same place as before
- Same with batteries, and Executive Function–The more we drain it, the longer and harder it is to have capacity
- Bottom line: it requires paying attention and listening to ourselves
- Moira is going to return next week to share how she hopes to be next year and how she plans to make 2022 what she wants (at least the parts she can impact!)
- Living in a time that remains challenging for all of us, I’ve found taking good chunks of time to slow down and take stock of how I was and what I did in the last 12 months a way to create optimism and consider ideas for my path forward
- Consistent and regular planning is a part of an ADHD Friendly Lifestyle but how and when it happens needs to work for each of us an individual
- This process is helping me gain trust in myself, to pay attention to and listen to my own needs and wisdom, based on my energy, cycles and the season we are in.
- by giving ourselves what we need then we can begin to fill that void, and once it’s been replenished, and only then, it doesn’t take as much or as long to refill again when we use our capacity
Moira Maybin 00:06
If we think back to a year ago, I’m guessing that many of us were hoping that 2021 would be nicer than 2020. But it turns out it was probably still one of the hardest years on record for many of us. I’ve taken some time to reflect on the last 12 months, and I’m realizing many things I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t slowed down and taken stock recently. Overall, it has been a year of healing, growing, tremendous efforts, and giant leaps forward in living my life with compassion, understanding and authenticity. At the start of every episode, I say that I want to share with you what I am learning about an ADHD friendly lifestyle, so we can help each other. And sometimes that involves sharing the missteps and struggles too. In today’s episode, we’re talking about highlights and lowlights of 2021. And how I’m using that awareness to move towards more of what I want in my life during 2022.
Welcome to the ADHD Friendly Lifestyle. I’m your host, Moira Maybin, a woman, mom, educator, and I have late diagnosed ADHD. This is the place to practice getting rid of guilt or shame and spending more time with our strengths and passions. There are things that I wish I had known about my ADHD sooner that are allowing me to make different decisions to make my life more ADHD friendly, and I want to share them with you. For show notes, including next steps, resources, and articles on this topic, visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com.
Okay, let’s get started.
Moira Maybin 02:18
I am proud of a lot from this year. The amount of learning I had to do blew my mind the countless questions to answer and problems to solve required me to grow, change and pivot far more than I was comfortable with. Or to be honest, even wanted to when I was tired down, overwhelmed, you know the drill, I got back up again and again. I persevered. There has been a lot of effort in learning how to slow the bus down. Even when I had conflicting feelings or thoughts about doing that, what to let go of increasing acceptance of who people are and what I can expect from them and myself. There were so many critically important but less noticeable changes to spending less time beating myself up. Continuing to learn how to express myself what my limits are, and asking for the help I need. Every facet of my life this year involved challenge growth, and most critically healing. And while I was working hard on so much emotional work, I also had a whole lot of physical healing to do to I had to rebuild my whole ability to move after my back surgery. I spent time and energy relearning how to have a healthy relationship with food and developing my body acceptance. I’m also proud of getting back up on a paddleboard getting on a plane going to California, going away by myself starting a podcast, including having to learn the entire process from the ground up, putting teaching on hold, getting more involved in ADHD coaching, including getting up at 5am to be ready for 6am, three times a week for 44 weeks of this year. And I even track my finances every month this year. All of this included accepting that when things didn’t work, I had to dig deeper to consider options that were different from the past. Why? So I could practice finding solutions that didn’t involve taking me off the list, which also meant trying to figure out how to live by my values and boundaries. Being able to do any of this was also dependent on having a support team. This currently includes ongoing therapy, and my accountability team. There are a small personal group of ADHD women who I have regular meetings and check ins with daily we listen nonjudgmentally ask questions, cry, laugh a lot, and even compassionately ask cake when needed. I also rely on having extra help with tasks at home, being part of an accepting community of people with ADHD and my loved ones. Regular massages, they’re a vital piece too.
Moira Maybin 05:07
Seriously though, as I think about that list, I can see what some people have been trying to get me to realize, that is a ton of stuff. No wonder I am tired. No wonder I am spent. No wonder when my body stopped hurting most of the time, I put my attention elsewhere. And I have an exercise most of the fall, I am sitting here in my workout gear, because I know I want more physical activity. And yet, with many wins and positives, I am still exhausted. I find myself so easily saddened and worn out; I am almost completely pain free. And that’s a big one. And I know that being completely pain free as possible, except that after working hard to heal my body, I don’t have much left in the tank to make it strong. I also know that I’m trying to set myself up so that 2022 is not a repeat of 2021. Because when I turned my mind to think about what I wanted to 2022 to be and read some possible prompts to consider. They made me feel slightly nauseous, growing, changing, learning, doing seriously, the level of anxiousness of things continuing the way I feel now does not work for me. So I stopped and put on some of my favorite calming music, and it soothe me. This past year was intended to be one of healing and acceptance. And it was that seeing those two words on my calendar everyday help. Planning my weeks and days around my cycle helped. Except when I forgot to do that, I start to remember that there’s more than enough evidence that I achieved many things this year to be proud of. But I don’t want to ignore these conflicting feelings.
Moira Maybin 06:54
This new awareness coincides with knowing that there are areas of my life that I am good with. They’re incomplete pieces that I need. And that lack has left me feeling dissatisfied, frustrated, and challenge. Granted, it’s easier with ADHD to feel that way, the challenges and regulating the dopamine in our brain will do that. But it’s more than that. Despite the important work I did do this year, I didn’t understand the time and energy involved in all of the things going on. And because of that, in part, I got sidetracked from staying true to what is best for me. In a nutshell, when what I do becomes more important than how I am, then I get off course it’s a real struggle, both big and small moment to moment to truly know how we can best serve ourselves, and then others. There have been some amazing things that happen this year, mostly involving my passion and work and ADHD, and that growing, and learning will continue. But at a slower pace. So, I can build the foundation of who and how I am first.
Moira Maybin 08:08
I know a lot of this in my gut. Here’s the surprise that came up when writing about all of this, that this was another year of striving. Striving is something I am very familiar with. It’s close friends with another familiar friend of mine, discontentment. I have learned how to shift out of discontent, as it didn’t help me. But striving seems to have been a bit sneakier. This year, striving took the form of learning, acceptance, healing, and making my life more ADHD friendly. The time is now. And yet. This was essentially a continuation of my most familiar pattern of trying harder, trying harder to not try as hard. trying harder to figure out a new sustainable course trying harder to get my ADHD friendly lifestyle to be consistent right now, actually yesterday. I want to be able to spring out of a chair, be happy and enjoy time with my friends and family be cheerful and joyful. At least some of the time. It feels to transient these days. I know I’m not depressed; I am tired. I am worn out. I need a rest. A while back when I started my 2021 reflection. I expected it would lead to me figuring out how to keep the wheels on the bus, how to move forward with all the things already in motion, how to restart the things I miss and want to do and what to add to make 2022. Then I found a note in my calendar from Moira of December 2020 advising me to start this process earlier that it was too hard trying to plan a year in December. That was enough of a breadcrumb for me to read. Remember that it had felt like there was too much going on? Well, I procrastinated on in November. And by December once again, I felt the disconnect between my time energy and the intention of annual planning. The reflection process is working for me. But that long term planning and setting big goals, not so much. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe how I feel at this time of year is why this is so hard. Maybe the energy of this time isn’t my best for making an annual plan. It’s a big aha for many in our coaching groups, when they realize and then embrace that consistent and regular planning truly is part of an ADHD friendly lifestyle. My aha is that we can be flexible and creative in figuring out how and when it happens to work within the variety of our many lifestyles. Maybe now is the time for reflection, this part has been really helpful, taking some time to review what went well, what didn’t think about those go a bit deeper, it is helping me to have time to think these thoughts through when I’m not bursting with energy to do all the things to consider my intentions and ideas. I’m guessing that this version of me is probably a little bit more realistic than exuberant Moira, she can still get caught up in the moment when someone has a good idea and sign on for things that reflective Moira knows, will be contrary to our own best interest to pursue, at least for now. With all this awareness on the page, but no fire under my butt, what do I do? How to make this time worthwhile?
Moira Maybin 11:50
What is something that I could stop right now, that would help me? Turns out there is something I didn’t expect initially but makes a whole lot of sense. What if I listen to myself, trust my judgment, and pause on making new commitments, any commitments, or long-term goals during times that don’t work based on my daily and weekly energy, my monthly cycle, or the annual seasonal cycle, maybe even all of them. I’ve learned a lot about my cycle, and how it impacts my ADHD, how and what I expected myself each week of the month, each one as a corresponding season of the year. So it makes a whole lot of sense to think about big planning and goal setting through that lens to following that logic, now wouldn’t be the time to annually plan. March or April could be if these ideas are new to you, check out my episodes on winter, and any of the ones related to hormones and cycles with ADHD. Having ways to remember to stay the course will help to it will help to share this part with my accountability team. And together, they will help me consider ideas to try so I don’t get hijacked by exuberant Moira. I need some help having some checks and balances sometimes. And they’ll call me out on it. If they see me making plans that are contrary to this. You know, when you’ve been sick or tired, and you start to feel better and think, yeah, now’s the time I can that you later realize that was way beyond your capacity. Yeah, that’s what I want to avoid.
Moira Maybin 13:32
Here’s how I’m going to experiment with this. I’m going to finish up my reflections, including more time being reflective about the areas I want to pay more attention to maybe what needs to happen and other parts of my life so I can at least maintain things there. I’ll note what loops from 2021 I want or need to close. And the exciting part will be time to dream about how I want to be this time next year. After completing that, I will put reminders in my calendar, tell my accountability team and continue on with my regular monthly and weekly planning. I’ll also include reminders every so often to check in for that feeling that winter is ending. I bet a lot of you are worried that what I’ve described is a recipe for never getting back to it. Well, here’s another way I’m going to trust myself because I have learned first with sleep and rest and then with healing my eating disorder is that when I allow myself to be myself, and give myself what I need, things get easier. I’m making this decision based on my own lived experiences. If you can think of our time and energy like a pendulum, here’s how it’s worked. When we are exhausted or unable to let ourselves get enough rest. It makes sense that we would want to sleep all day. Never get up have zero interest or motivation. Everything just feels like too much It’s only by giving ourselves what we need, that we can begin to fill that void. And once it’s been replenished, and only then it doesn’t take as much or as long to refill it again, when we use our capacity. If we stopped before we are fully restored, for whatever reason, someone tells us, we shouldn’t be tired anymore, or we’re impatient to get going. Or we feel uncomfortable with giving ourselves what we need, then we stop too soon. And we are likely to find ourselves in the same place as before. It’s the same analogy as a battery. It’s the same with our executive function. The more we drain it, the longer and harder it is to have capacity. I know if I allow myself this time to do less rest and be very conscious about what I am and am not doing there will come a time when I want to do more.
Moira Maybin 15:59
I recently asked someone for the ability to show up how and when I can for the next while. If I can do that, then there will be a point I’m ready to take on more. I’ve had that experience after each of my health situations. And unfortunately, each time I jumped back into things, thinking I’d made enough changes to avoid it again. This time I felt the pattern and saw it way before the next health complication. Healing my binge eating disorder required the same process. And now I don’t binge and can have any food in the house that I will get into on a future episode. Bottom line I’ve learned to pay attention to and listen to myself. Here’s one more analogy that will work for those of you who love the outdoors or gardening. You know that feeling when you’re just itching for the weather to be good enough to get going outside. That’s the time to plan my next four quarters. I’ve outlined my steps. Next week, you’ll get to hear how I hope to be this time next year and how I’m going to go about trying to make 2020 to the year I want at least the parts I might have any say over.
Moira Maybin 17:24
Okay, you’ve done the hard work by staying to the end your reward. Here are the main takeaways from today’s episode. First, living in a time that remains challenging for all of us, I found taking good chunks of time to slow down and take stock of how I was and what I did in the last 12 months a way to create optimism and consider ideas for my path forward. Number two, consistent and regular planning is part of an ADHD friendly lifestyle. But how and when it happens needs to work for each of us as an individual. Number three, this process is helping me gain trust in myself to pay attention to and listen to my own needs and wisdom based on my energy cycles, and the season we are in. Number four by giving ourselves what we need, then we can begin to fill any void. And once it’s been replenished, and only then, it doesn’t take as much or as long to refill again when we use our capacity.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s show and would love to hear your thoughts. To get in touch, you can write me an email at ask@ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. Connect with me on my website, Instagram and Facebook at ADHD friendly lifestyle or Twitter at ADHDFL. Every episode has a website page with show notes, transcripts, next steps, resources and articles related to the topic. To get these visit ADHDfriendlylifestyle.com. If you’d like to support the podcast, the best way is to subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. And by taking the time to rate and review it. they’re other podcasts for your listening pleasure. On Hacking your ADHD Will Curb gives Tips Tools and insights. Brendan Mahan hosts ADHD Essentials focusing on parenting and education. Thanks for listening. See you later.