Today I am tired. It is what I call a bad brain day…sometimes, especially when it is cloudy, dark, and cold, my ADHD symptoms get worse and I fight with myself all day. It doesn’t happen often, especially after my sabbatical (I actually feel really good most days). But every once in a while, I end up battling my brain…I argue it, I berate it, I guilt-trip it, I lament it. Truthfully, this isn’t a very productive strategy to take with one’s self…because arguing with my neuro-diverse brain doesn’t lead to a restful mind or a productive day. Sometimes I just have to concede defeat, go home and do something creative. Sometimes I go for a walk and come back feeling better. Sometimes it helps to tell someone…Rev. Michele is often my go-to. I have found the absolute worst thing to do is just sit captive in my office, hoping that it will pass and suddenly I will have the energy and focus to do all the things I need to do. But when I do this the energy never comes and I end the day of feeling restless and frustrated. Guess what I chose today? Bah!
Rev. Michele is a wonderful colleague and a dear friend. When I can find the willpower to surrender and tell her (usually in just a text message), she reminds me that it is okay, that we all have less productive days. She reminds me to be kind to myself, to remember what strategies I have used in the past that helped. And sometimes she tells me to just go home and rest. She knows me well enough to know that often the struggle comes when I am overtired or stressed out. Another friend reminded me this summer that nobody really sits for eight straight hours and works without distraction or fatigue, or if they do, they are often burnt out and unhappy in their work. This is really hard for me to remember on bad brain days. Much of my work happens in my brain and when my brain doesn’t corporate, I get truly agitated. My work is almost 100% self-directed, and when my brain doesn’t help me out, I get super frustrated at myself. Bah, again!
I confess that I am a bit uncomfortable writing this in an Advent meditation. It feels a bit too vulnerable for me, but this little Advent practice has prompted me to speak to some of my flaws, my humanity. Maybe it makes you uncomfortable hearing your pastor acknowledge her neuro-diversity. Maybe it strikes you a bit too close to home. If so, I promise that you won’t hear another 19 days of me lamenting my struggles! But in some ways, this practice of daily writing is making me more reflective and pensive. It is making me trust you more, or at least in a different way. It is helping me open my heart. I am gently meandering in my thoughts, thinking about this sacred season and how powerful it is to be a part of a community. I thought that the act of daily writing would be tedious, but I really feel a sense of relief and at peace each day that I do it.
I didn’t get much done today, but I did this. And friends, I feel better, so much better. I didn’t share many lofty ideas about Advent…maybe tomorrow…but I did sit down and write, and I leave my office not feeling agitated but grateful. I am so glad that God has called this little community together. It is good to be God’s people in this place.
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