November

I feel like I might finally be settled in. I know and remember what (most) of the light switches do. We finally figured out why one of our remotes was causing other electronics to freak out. The kids just finished their first term of the academic year. We have a routine that works most of the time, which is to say no week has been exactly the same, but they are mostly the same enough that it counts as normalcy. It only took two and a half months.

It was Halloween last night and the townhouse complex/neighborhood where we now live was filled with children all dressed up for Trick or Treat. From 4:00pm until about 7:30pm, the streets were filled with laughter and chatter and calling out. It was a nice evening for the holiday, so I sat out on our front porch and handed out candy. My son went out with a friend, having missed his last elementary school Halloween last year because of COVID. By 8pm, all I had were a couple of either older middle-school kids or younger high school kids coming to the door. I gladly gave them candy.

There are deadlines staring me down, things I agreed to write when I thought the fall would be easier and I don’t know what I was thinking but that’s ADHD for you. I’m slowly making my way through the to-do list, squeezing out the words that are required of me while also writing the words that want to come out instead. Like this post. Some days I write almost nothing at all, which feels strange, but also necessary.

I am chairing meetings and organizing and responsible for other things and it is a weird feeling, but also what I wanted. It makes me tired, like exercising a muscle I haven’t in a while, the one that makes me sound professional, remembering all of the various players and perspectives, and managing it all internally. How to be a leader with ADHD. How to make it strength rather than a liability. How to be a leader like I’ve always wanted to have myself. I want everyone to feel like they belong, that they are contributing, that their contribution is necessary and valid.

All the things I’ve always sought.

Three weeks, and then it’s Thanksgiving, and then it’s the last week of classes, and then grades are due, and now it’s Christmas. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it being November already. That in little more than two months, I will have two teenagers in the house. Was it really already 13 years ago that we were in Tallahassee? Already six year ago that I moved to Virginia? Maybe I don’t know how time works because in my adult life I have never stayed anywhere long enough for the period to have any meaning. But then again, ADHD means that my brain only really understands “now” and “not-now”. All of that is not-now. Now is our first Halloween, then our first Thanksgiving, and then our first Christmas in our still-new place.

I still have to get the boots out of summer storage, an easier task now that they live in the basement and not the attic, but the futility of it weighs. I work from home most days, and what do I need nice boots for? But I also have them and like them and think about wearing them with outfits I have planning in my mind, so maybe I do get them out and actually put together an outfit instead of just one piece of clothing?

I think maybe I need a SAD light or something since I spend most of my time in the basement in my office or in the other basement watching TV. Maybe I just need to get out more, but inertia is a powerful force, and besides, all my stuff is down here.

So much of November is going to be spent waiting. Waiting for Nutcracker rehearsals to ramp up. Waiting for the play rehearsals to ramp up. Waiting for my CPAP machine to show up so maybe I can get a good night’s sleep. Waiting for Thanksgiving. Waiting for my mom to visit. Waiting for news. Waiting for results. Waiting, waiting, waiting. It’s the relative calm before the storm of events and other things to hit all at once. But it’s also waiting but not looking forward to anything, not really, more like steeling myself in preparation. Or not knowing when things will happen, so managing my own expectations.

I scheduled an evening by myself when my mom comes. She arrives on Thursday, and I bought tickets for her and my son and my husband to see The Nutcracker that evening without me. I’ll go with her on Saturday night. That night is five weeks away, and yet it is something to look forward to. I have a swim meet that weekend. I’ll be spent from all of the Nutcracker rehearsals, and the next week I’ll be running a major two-day event for our campus. I’ll need more than one night, but that’s all I have to spare, so that’s what I’ll take.

It’s November. I’ll blink and it’ll be December.

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