A couple of years ago, I decided to join in on the idea of One Little Word. If you haven't heard of One Little Word, it's the idea of choosing one word for the year to become your mantra for a better life.
At the end of each year, I look back at all of the things I did throughout the last twelve months. I remember and enjoy the "good stuff", but I really examine the "bad stuff". It's the "bad stuff" that helps me learn what I want to change about myself in the upcoming year.
So after doing a lot of reflecting, I finally decided on my one little word for 2013:
Focus is something that is really difficult for me. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. The doctor's diagnosis was just confirmation of what I knew. I have no attention span, I rarely finish what I start, and it is hard for me to concentrate on even the most simple tasks. Something that comes easy to other people, like cleaning a room,
takes me about three times longer because I can't get my mind to
cooperate. Working on a scrapbook page can sometimes be maddening: I
love it and want to do it, but I get so distracted by a thousand other
things that it takes forever just to finish it. The slightest things -- a
noise that most people don't even hear, the thought of what I'm doing
next, checking my email, an uncomfortable shirt -- derail me.
I began taking medication for this condition and I couldn't believe the difference. I was able to finish a conversation with my husband without wandering off track. I was able to concentrate long enough to organize my house. I could finally shut my brain off when I lay down at night. It was fantastic and I accomplished so much.
However, I began to worry. I read more and more articles about ADHD medications and potential side effects such as an increased risk in heart and liver problems. I have already experienced blood clots and a "mini-stroke" (called a TIA, or trans-ischemic attack) so the idea that this medication could cause heart issues scared me. So I stopped taking it.
And the downward spiral of ADHD began again.
The complete lack of direction, the inability to be in the moment, the complete chaos that I euphemistically think of as "multi-tasking" -- it all returned with a vengeance.
But that's OK. It's just one more thing about myself that I have to deal with... and this is the year to deal with it.
I know that to be a better person, a better wife, a better business partner, and a better crafter, I have to embrace the idea of focus.
So here I go. 2013 is my year to focus on becoming a better me.
P.S. If you are interested in working on your own "one little word" for 2013, Ali Edwards leads an awesome workshop over at Big Picture Classes. This workshop helps you to creatively and tangibly explore and embrace your OLW.