Sunday, January 6, 2013

Altered Calendar and Gratitude

I have a confession. You know how medical students sometimes go through a phase of hypochondria when they are learning about all the things they may die from someday? Okay, I don't know if that is true, but I have heard rumors. I think psychology types go through the same thing. We diagnose our friends and ourselves. Mental illness is everywhere. As for me, I would give myself ADHD and I am kinda in a constant mild state of mania; not like spending all my money or running naked through the streets mania, but trying new things and feeling giddy on the regular mania. It's a gift really. Hallelujah. Blessed be.

The ADHD tendencies on the other hand, can be troublesome. I would like to be more organized and less distracted, so I was excited to start a new project with my calendar this year. I am making an "altered calendar" and I also came up with a plan that I have been using on work and personal goals. First, I underline one thing (maybe more for work depending on deadlines, but I try to keep it as minimal as possible) that I must do. I make one priority in my schedule and do not allow myself to move on to what I would rather be doing. In my personal life, this has made me study everyday this week rather than do a hundred other things to avoid it. At work, it has made me turn in large reports on time or early. It's been a productive week and I feel good about my self-diagnosed ADHD management. I tell you this, in case you also struggle with time management and doing what you are supposed to be doing rather than everything else possible in the whole wide world.

I have two agendas that I use. One at home for my personal beeswax and one at work for my professional self. As for the one at home, I have spent the end of each day drawing over the day with something about the day, so it becomes a visual art journal at the end of the year. This also means I am forced to create everyday.

My Personal Agenda, Week One
I love fresh beginnings, so I spent some time thinking about structure I can add to my group when the kids got back from vacation. I decided that for the month of January, and maybe beyond, we will spend the first five-ish minutes writing or drawing in a gratitude journal. I have a lot of guys who hate everything, so the rule is they must think of one good thing at the beginning of group twice per week and document it in their journals. Afterward, they may voice all of their complaints, if they like. To decorate their journals, I brought stamps. The guys were all over that. They loved stamps so much, I think I will continue bringing them for each day. We don't always have a lot to work with, so these are just a few pieces of legal sized photocopier paper, folded in half with staples. It was so simple and the guys were very pleased to make them. I started one, because I feel with my kids, it's important to set an example, because they often feel they have rules and demands others don't have, so when I make them work, I work. When they have to play and I am around, I play as an equal participant. These are a success so far.

The Journal I Started Working on During A Group
A Photo from Today, Just Because