I return home for the holidays to learn that life did not pause in my absence. Friends have moved on and moved up. Will this year's resolutions help me do the same?
by Jane D.
In the four months since I was last home, the trees have lost their leaves and the chill has returned. Yet in many ways it's as if I never left thanks to my unhealthy Facebook-status-update addiction.
Since I landed on the East Coast Christmas Eve, I've been enjoying my time away from the human crush of Hong Kong, where I'm starved for both space and real bagels. Freed from the crowds and the cultural confusions, I'm finding life rather peaceful. Oddly, I don't have much to complain about – other than the fact that it seems my life's daily ADHD drama and anxiety in Hong Kong are either self-generated or imagined. Or both.
In vacation mode, my brain is firing many more happy neurotransmitters, though there are moments of sadness and regret as well.
Before coming, I made a list of the people I'd love to see in New York, only to discover that many of them have moved on. They have continued their lives without me, despite my idealistic and totally unrealistic hope that they would pause their own lives until I returned – or at least figured mine out. The narcissist in me has awakened again, and there is no way to put it to bed. It is dancing with my ADHD.
The father, the step mom, and the sister waited to celebrate Christmas with me. We did all the festive things -- drank egg nog, ate steak with cranberry sauce (an unconventional but delicious holiday dinner), and opened an Everest of gifts.
And then I thought about the impending New Year and its resolutions. I once wrote that everyday is New Year's for those of us with ADHD, and I continue to believe that. But for the sake of the actual holiday I got the pen and notepad out and redid the resolution list.
1. Keep swimming
2. Shed selfishness and narcissism and start thinking of others more
3. Check Facebook twice a day rather than 20 times
4. Eat less chocolate and sugar
5. Write everyday
6. Start dating again or at least go on a date or two
7. Save complaining for twice a week rather than once a day
8. Write down something I am grateful for once a day
9. Volunteer at a hospital
10. Find a good therapist and get better
And then I said a little prayer that things would be different this year.
What are your resolutions?