michelle nicole photography

I live my life in increments. Twenty minutes here, thirty minutes there. Flitting about from one activity to another with all the frenetic energy of a room full of children surrounding a single chair waiting for the music to stop, only to pop up again with a squeal at the sound of a new melody.

I do not have ADD, or ADHD; although at times, I’m sure it appears as such. I have chronic pain stemming from nerve damage and many, many surgeries to stabilize my spine from birth defects that affect my ability to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time. There are however, days, where one would never know my constant struggle to maintain some semblance of normalcy. On the surface, I appear to be your average middle aged wife, mother, grandmother, and stay at home cat mom. A deeper look though, would reveal a string of incomplete projects.

Journals filled with unfinished blog posts and a book manuscript, waiting for brain fog to lift. Boxes of patterns and fabric in need of hours at the cutting table and sewing machine, anticipating the day they are transformed into fashion statements or beautiful costumes. Flower petals cut from paper awaiting for permission to “bloom” and be placed into unique bouquets. Tasks abandoned as a matter of priority, like chairs pulled aside with each new round of music. Every day, a new melody, every day the need to assess my level of pain and energy to prioritize what I need to do verses what I want to do.

Recently, I apologized to my husband for a nap, something becoming more of a routine than a thing of spontaneity. He was very kind and understanding stating that he knows I’m “not normal”. I bristled at his sweet statement, but deep inside, I know he is right. That day, I chose my “chair” carefully; I attend a fitness class to stretch and strengthen muscles. It took every bit of energy I had and once the music stopped, I found the nearest BarcaLounger, plopping into it, welcoming as many cats as would fit to join me!

It has become quite a process; but through patient practice I am achieving balance, allowing myself the freedom to choose which chair I want and learning the cues that my music is about to stop.