Thursday, May 19, 2011

On Grace, On ADHD, On Dross

I've been reading about ADHD recently, specifically about adult ADHD. I am the daughter of a man alternately known as Rapid Regan or Gotta Go (Read all about him here). ADHD is clearly in the gene pool, and I have no doubt I've inherited my fair share. You know how I freely share about my great love affair with coffee --  Kelly's brand of Ritalin in a steaming mug.

One article I read suggested occupational choices for people with ADHD. Interestingly enough, being a stay-at-home mother didn't make the list. The lack of structure, the article shared, can make being at home a challenge for the ADHD individual. How true that can be!

The demands around here swing from over-the-top busy (that would be two weeks ago) to fairly quiet (that would now). For the moment, we're enjoying the calm before the storm that is the last week of school. I have a window of opportunity to finish a lingering paint job, to complete a decluttering plan in progress.

Instead I accomplish ... precisely nothing. Nothing!

I keep taking care of the basics, of course. Everyone still needs uniforms and meals. The dishes get done; the trash goes out. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Many of the projects I want to do, but don't absolutely have to do, don't apparently squeak.

When I am barely surviving those mad, mad, mad days I too often write about -- when I am moving minute to minute with one nostril barely above water -- oh, how I want a quiet day to just get it all together! On the first quiet day that comes my way, I am a woman on a mission. But by day two or three, I morph into fairly slovenly patterns and simply don't get done what I could (and should) get done.

When I have extra time on my hands (Did I really type that phrase? Clearly, I'm delusional. Someone pinch me, please!), I find myself with undisciplined thought patterns to go along with my undisciplined work habits.

I fritter away both time and mental energy. What a waste, I think to myself.

And then I read this:
She wills herself to breathe so that she can mother her five dear children with all her heart and all her might. She breathes gentleness and joy into their every minute, knowing that every minute matters. She worries about how to allocate breath so that she can accomplish the most important things ... We hold our breath, waiting to know what comes next. What will I do with my every breath today?

And then I pop by school to talk with Tim's principal and see an incredibly fit and active father of five in agony because of compressed disks, a condition that will not change easily or soon.

And then I think of my mother whose bone degeneration makes walking across the room a Herculean effort.

And then I sit in the bleachers at a baseball game making small talk with a fairly young man with advanced Alzheimer's.

And suddenly I am so much more aware of this gift of time, this gift of good health, this gift of a sound mind. And I know there's a source of grace, grace that will help me use and appreciate these gifts, grace that works better than coffee or Ritalin because it alters not just my body chemistry, but my heart and my soul.

And I pray:

Jesus, bring me to my knees, and give me the words to ask for your grace. Shed light on the dark places of my soul, and burn away the dross. Infuse me with your goodness; help me to grow in virtue.                                                         (excerpted from Small Steps for Catholic Moms)

Dross - waste or impure matter.

I take another small step to grow in virtue, to grow in goodness, to put aside the dross.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it's very hard for anyone (ADHD or not) to feel at the time that the work of raising children is an accomplishment. Maybe asking ourselves the question "What did I accomplish today?" is the wrong thing. I'm not sure what other question it should be, though!