Life is the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure book. (Remember those?!) We are always making decisions about what path to follow. Sometimes letting go of the path we are on is the right decision. Personally, I have quitting and giving up on anything. I think it is an overcompensation for my inherent lack of follow through. Like the typical ADHD person, I used to have trouble finishing what I started and would often jump from one thing to another when I got bored or something got challenging in certain ways. In an effort to overcome this part of my ADHD personality I went really far in the other direction. I’m pretty militant about following through on what I start.
Problem is that sometimes I start stuff that I should give up on and stick it out way to long. This applies to big things and small things. I certainly stayed with my first career as a chef for way to long. I was afraid to change and didn’t want to admit that I hated my job and my life because of it. Somehow that felt like a failure, a defeat. What I recognize now, looking back (many years later) was that my almost maniacal desire to keep on the track I had chosen, robbed me of (potentially) years of happiness. Being a Chef was great for me when I was 25 and hyper. It was not great for me at 30 with a family. And that’s okay! Things change. Leaving that profession doesn’t mean I screwed up, made a bad decision or failed. (And, even if it had been correcting a bad decision, we don’t really need to follow through on a bad decision to prove a point, right?)
My career is a larger issue, obviously. But, learning to let go some of the little things has been just as hard for me. When my son started kindergarten last year it was the first time he had the option to buy a lunch in the cafeteria. I’m super serious about food and what we put in out bodies. So, I insisted on making Elliot’s lunch every day. I was driving myself crazy with it. Eventually, I learned to compromise with myself. I make him a lunch on nacho day because nachos are not a meal. I make him lunch on caesar salad day because he won’t eat it. And I make him lunch on waffle day… because it’s waffle day! It’s not a perfect solution, but it saves me lots of time and energy and he still eats better than 99% of kids his age. Win, win! Too bad it took me six months to let it go.