June 26, 2012

Swim Little Fishy

I'm floundering here....and I don't mean fishing for the weird, flat fish with both eyes on the same side of its head.  I'm talking about being adrift in life, at loose ends, lost.....well, you get the idea.  I'm chalking it up to ADD (attention deficit disorder without the hyper-activity).  I'm not diagnosed (the doctors I've had have pooh-poohed the idea, but we're getting another one soon so...), but after raising two kids who were diagnosed I feel like I can say with a good bit of confidence that ADD is my problem and has been most of my life.

Unlike my daughter and husband (also undiagnosed because he refuses to entertain the idea he could have ADD) who tend to have a more evident form, I am what people call a "dreamer."  When I'm not interested in something (and sometimes even when I am) my mind wanders far away.  Because people like me don't "act up" like traditional ADHD people, we're often not diagnosed.

It doesn't help our cause that we are usually very intelligent and are able to "fake" it, so to speak.  For me, that has meant (even as a journalism major with a heavy concentration of English courses) that I never wrote a rough draft of anything unless I was required to turn one in.  Virtually ever paper or report I've ever written has been typed the night or even hours before it was due.  Because they've been good (I got mostly A's) no one ever saw a problem.  I shouldn't admit it, but for the most part when I had to write a report on a required book (not of my choosing), I rarely read the whole thing.  I've never studied for a test.  Either I learn something on the first reading or lecture or I'm not going to get it.  Yet, I still managed to graduate from high school with honors.

Boredom is another issue.  I am bored.  A lot.  There can be a million things to do, but some days I am unable to get interested in anything.  I really hate those days because as a cruel joke those days also come with an overwhelming urge to be doing something.  Something important.  Something creative.  Something big.  And yet, I can't put my finger on what it is.  I'm usually antsy and grouchy on those days and prone to melancholy.  And now, just to make it more interesting, peri-menopause has set in with its hormone-driven forgetfulness, lack of focus, and bouts of sadness.  Sigh.

What I love are the days when (as I call it) the brain fog lifts or parts or evaporates or whatever it does....and my brain works differently.  Like it's supposed to.  I feel like I can do anything on those days.

What I hate is the lack of purpose.  I've been struggling with the whole kids-are-grown-(semi)empty-nest thing for nearly two years and trying to figure out who and what I am now that my job as a full-time mom is over.  What do I want to do?  More importantly, what does God want me to do?  Short answer...I have no idea.

The sermon this past Saturday was about spiritual gifts.  1 Corinthians 12:7-11 says, Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

...and he gives them to each one...  Every one of us receives a gift.  I've done an in-depth spiritual gifts inventory before to determine what my gifts were.  The thing is, I don't believe we are given one gift and that's it for life.  Rather, I believe the gifts change according to the need in our lives and God's purpose for us.  Now you may have one gift that overshadows everything you do in life, like hospitality or administration, but a gift like those will work along with any other gift.

We might show signs of several gifts in our life, but at any given time there should be one clear "leader."  Do you know what your gift is?  It's not unusual for us not to know or to look at a specific gift and think "That's not me!"  That's part of why it's important to hang out with other believers.  They can look at your life and see what your gift is.  My pastor said to ask her if we weren't sure.  I think I'm going to have to ask.  Thank goodness, I can keep asking God, too.  Just because I'm not getting the message doesn't mean he's not sending it.  I am grateful that he is patient and will wait on me.


Wendy S. said...

I SO identify with your whole ADD challenge and being peri-menopausal. I'm on an ADD med and I still flounder. Let's face it having ADD usually sucks but at times like you were able to do turned your having ADD into a positive. Good for you, Stacy! And I wish I knew what my life's purpose was too because my melancholy always grabs me strongest on those days I question what I'm supposed to be doing.

Janice's footsteps said...

I just a few weeks past taught our adult Bible study on the spiritual gifts and I agree with you we are given gifts to use at different times in life. I am praying for you to recieve a gift so you can not flounder as much! I think to never flounder at all is just to much to ask because then we stop appreciating the calm seas :)) Got you in my prayers Stacy hang in there :))

Stacy said...

Wendy....It is a frustration and there are days when I really can't plow through it, but we do find ways to cope and work with it. Summers are just hard for me because of the lack of a schedule and routine. I do much better through the school year. Lists help some.

Janice....Thank you for the prayers. I'm sure I have a gift, it just seems the ADD isn't letting me focus in on it right now and identify it right now. By the way, do you have a blog? When I click on your name it just says you haven't chosen to click the new feature to share your profile or something like that... :/

mare ball said...

You're in a transition period. I believe our gifts are linked to what we love. Do you LOVE to write? Maybe you don't. Think about what you really love to do. My guess is, you are good at it. Then pray about how to use that to help others, or serve a greater good. Also, during your bored times, try praying. Just find a quiet place and ask God to clarify what he wants to you do. I'll say a prayer that you will get some direction. :-)

Stacy said...

Mare....Thank you. :)


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