Friday, March 25, 2016

The hook

Been thinking about the manner of speech "letting myself off the hook." I've used it a bunch recently as I dedicated the past two days to doing just that. I had a sudden realization on Wednesday (when kids had snow day, Scott was home too, I went for a short nap and emerged 4 HOURS LATER) that I was pretty darn depleted. My inner voice was saying mean things to me. And I know when she is disturbed, I better reel her back in or else I risk a hostage-seize-of-my-real-voice situation. The action plan is pretty darn simple: no action. I dedicated from that moment on Wednesday until I felt some restoration (or my family kills me, one or the other) to actively being inactive - except for the basics. I call it "My Responsibility Cleanse."

Here's why: I have spent a few years getting comfortable with the fact that I have ADHD. For awhile I didn't believe the professional who tested me, therefore doubted the actual diagnosis. Then for awhile I kept sorta quiet about it out of shame and embarrassment.  And now that I am somewhat comfortable with it, I intermittently completely ignore its effects upon me (not out of pride or ignorance... Just lack of self-knowledge and forgetfulness). Until my brain lashes out at my failure to take care of it and give it rest.

We all have an achelies tendon. This is mine.

And while some people need to cleanse their guts after the digestive track becomes exhausted, I need to cleanse my mind from remembering, planning, prioritizing, time managing, and generally thinking much at all. Basically, I need to take a break from responsibility. So hence the name "Responsibility Cleanse."

Depleted is a yucky place to be. Whether it be he result of an over-worked ADHD brain or an over-worked set of muscles or an over-stressed lifestyle or whatever. Depleted is where - at least for me - the inner disturbances start taking root.

Back to "letting myself off the hook." We use this phrase to communicate that, in effect, we really know and believe we ought to be ON the hook. And by being off of it, we are somehow abandoning responsibilty


And yet, I have to say that, although joking that my family was going to throw me out if I kept this up much longer, nobody has truly suffered from my failure to be on the hook. The kids have to find their underwear out of a crumpled pile of clean clothes instead of getting it out of their drawers. The crumbs and undone dishes and scattered toys are just fine where they are. I'd say that the only downside here is that we might be more vulnerable for a mice infestation. But wait - we already have mice. So no harm done there. The kids are buying their lunch instead of me managing their self-packing job (read: more work than doing it myself). So I'll just splurge less on a specialty Starbucks drinks and dedicate to school lunch money. OK by me (at least for now). I have lots of emails in the "requires further action" folder, but I know they're there. And if the the deadline for doing-whatever-I-need-to-do-with-them strikes before I put myself back on the hook, then - well - someone will either remind me, give me an extension, or I just plain wasn't meant to do that x, Y, or z.

So i guess what I'm saying here is that "the hook" is really just my own expectations of myself. Everybody else doesn't really care whether I'm on it or not. I would argue... Duh duh duh... That even God could care less about how I define my hook. His Hook (notice I capitalized the H in God's hook for  effect) is something else. And although I'm in an never-ceasing quest to learn more about what God's desires are for me, I'm guessing it includes less edges and sharpness and rigidity as the hook I seem to subconsciously be aiming for.

So, let's be more willing to be "off the hook (lower case)." Slang seems to think that unbridled, untethered feeling of liberty is cool. And I think God would, too.

P.S. I'm in a robe in a hotel. By myself. Drinking wine out of a styrofoam coffee cup. How off the hook is that?

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