I have been struggling with myself for a few weeks. I have been struggling to try and figure out what to write about. I would like to write about my autism diagnosis or about the medication I take, or about trying to find a job, but nothing is really gelling into a coherent story.
2021 feels a lot like 2020 to me. There are still no tourists on the streets and at night we have a curfew. The only people out are those with letters from their employers and people who need to walk their dog. The shops are closed and restaurants are closed except for takeout. Only essential stores like grocery, package and liquor stores are open during the day.
Less people in the streets, social distancing, people wearing masks and people not shaking hands works well for me. However, I do miss going to the occasional café and having winter inspired hot chocolate with the people who are closest to me.
As this pandemic stretches on, one thing that worries me is that small business owners will not be able to recover from being shut for so long. I don’t want to lose the restaurants and the cafes that are creative places to sit and think. We have a lot of independent shops that I don’t necessarily shop in but I would hate to see them go out of business. Store closures would reshape the neighborhoods vibrancy into being bland and lifeless. It would take a long time for the energy to come back.
I am going to keep my faith that things will work out well for everyone, at some point, in this year.
I have a new idea that I want to try out 2021.
I have trouble with making and keeping to a routine. I am fortunate to have a coach to work with and she helps me with keeping a calendar and having realistic ideas of what I can accomplish but, with hour-by-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week routines, I have struggled much of my adult life. Sometimes, I have difficulty regulating myself, my energy fluctuates too drastically for me to function or I have a bad day, or two, or three. Too many difficult days leads to losing my routine. Most of the time after a depressive episode I feel like I have to start all over with my routine, this sometimes becomes a daunting task in and of itself.
I have been telling myself the for 2021 I want to try and find something I can build or follow that leads to me getting more of a consistent, more linear way of creating in my life— Even when I am navigating serious anxiety and depression. I also need something that does not overwhelm or extinguish my executive functioning skills and something that my coach could follow and help me stay on track with.
I approached my issue like this…
First, I focused myself on trying to find a digital system or an app I could use. I did find an app called Tiimo (built for the neuro divergent) and I liked the basic idea of it but the software on my phone was too old for the app to work properly. This was the case with most of the apps I looked at and I could not find a desktop solution that I liked. In the past, I had a big calendar on the wall and I used sticky notes to display tasks, meetings, exercise, walks, projects, doctors’ appointments, etc. This worked pretty well but then I moved to a new place and that system does not really work here. In my continued search for something new I turned to podcasts about routines and organizing your life and that is where I found James Clear, a really cool guy who wrote a book called Atomic Habits. The book is not about routines per se but it is about the habits that can make or break a routine. I did a deep dive into researching other books, but in the end “Atomic Habits” was the one I thought I could be the most successful with.
The Main idea…
Is to read the book, follow the exercises and write about it on my blog. I think having the book will help me focus and writing about it would help me to organize the new information into my life. Maybe this exercise will help other autistic people with their own lives.
So, my next blog post will be about beginning the journey to developing more appropriate habits. Habits that support where I am trying to get my life to go while being on the autistic spectrum.