Someone once told me I have life ADHD.
That person was right…. sort of.
I do change course often. I start and stop, then I start something new. It’s one of the most obvious, but surprisingly overlooked things about me.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m super ambitious, and when I REALLY want to do something, I don’t quit. I do it.
Willpower, drive and positive energy burst out of me like that alien chest burster in well, Alien…(UH OH, SPOILER ALERT FOR TIME TRAVELERS FROM THE ’80S!) …and I MAKE AWESOME THINGS HAPPEN.
I think that’s why I’ve always accepted the “life ADHD” diagnosis, and didn’t care to change it. I proceeded anyway, because I know “when it counts” or “when I want it”, I’ll do it.
But what I’ve realized now is that what I have isn’t life ADHD. What I have is “this isn’t working because it’s too hard/confusing/inconvenient/uninteresting so I better try something else that might be easier” syndrome.
What I have… is a serious case of the quits.
I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it, but I know what it was. I was tasked with resolving an inconvenient task for work and man… it was so tempting to quit. Not my job, just the project.
I thought about the other work I could do instead. I thought about calling my friend Vanessa. I thought about the delicious, olive oil soaked pasta I could be eating, the ways to survive a tornado I could be googling, or the episodes of House of Cards I could re-watching.
“Melissa,” Kevin Spacey seemed to call to me from the Netflix abyss. “Watch me….watch how great I make moving to D.C. look. Watch Robyn Wright and wonder if you could pull off her haircut. Watch how my eyes light up when my character devastates someone else entirely….watch.”
But then something kind of amazing happened. My boss asked to talk to me. We got on the phone, and he gave me a ridiculous amount of praise. It felt good, because I didn’t expect it. Actually, it felt great and it made me think hey – I really DON’T want to quit working on this right now. I want to finish it.
So I did.
That inspired another train of thought… that hit me dead on earlier today. What if I didn’t quit other things?
I thought about all the hobbies, trips, and people I’ve introduced into my life, my routine. I thought about all the things that eventually, fizzled out. Things I gave up on, passed on to someone else, changed so it became something else – you get the idea. All the things I quit.
So….what if I don’t quit?
I started thinking about the projects, ideas, people, and places I’m currently committed to.
Heck, I even made a list. Here’s everything I committed to in just the last week:
- Living in Raleigh, at my current residence
- Pursuing more responsibility at work
- Becoming a better, stronger and faster runner
- Taking out a small loan and buying a car
- Trying not to put so much pressure on myself
- Becoming neater and more organized
- Continuing the story I’m writing
- Changing the blog name and direction of my blog
That’s amongst other little things. Here’s even more:
- Going to watch my roommate play bike polo
- Making Mike dinner
- Trying not to spend as much money
- Washing my sheets
- Finding the cheapest (or a possibly free) dresser
- Calling my parents more, and not just when I need something
- Being involved/more influential in the marketing world
- Coordinating a visit with my cousin Erin
I’m very aware that we all make tons of commitments, every single day. But even listing these out makes me bonkers because well, if I had made a similar list two or three weeks ago…I would have quite possibly quit on most of those things by now.
So here’s the solution…. for the next few months, I’m not allowed to quit any of these things. Anything that I’m currently committed to. I’m not allowed to change my course, give up, or give into the temptation to quit. At all.
Don’t like how my story is progressing? Tough, have to finish it anyway. Don’t feel like running tomorrow? Tough, have to do it anyway.
You get the idea.
Despite my best intentions, promises to myself and the Universe, and love for trying new things, it’s resulted in the quits. That needs to change. I’ll find a way to stay accountable, but I’m going to do this. For these next few months, I’m going to be very predictable.
Oh hey, wait a minute…. that’s something I haven’t tried yet.