Adulting is overrated. Well some days it is. Some days the energy of living Âûtistically in a neurotypical world is just too much, way too far out of the comfort zone and way too much of a strain on the sensory, social and reciprocity systems.
Today was a day like this for me today. I had to start with some adulting. I needed to ensure my daughter got to her holiday activity day she was very excited to be going to. Apart from that though, the energy stores were depleted. I just didn’t seem to have it in me to do it. I felt the waves of tiredness and energy loss hovering over me, descending with their ability to sap the motivation and drive right out of me.
I stopped at a local cafe on my way home from my completed adulating task. I ordered myself a nice coffee and sat. I enjoyed that coffee, at first, then, three ladies arrived and sat at the next table. And they were their for the social interaction. They were that type of lady that loves to talk about every minuscule detail of their lives regardless of who is interested. All three of them.
I awaited the food I ordered with regret. The regret that I had decided to order food. I just wanted to get out of there. I just wanted to escape the unfilterable, intolerable babble of noise emanating from a metre or so away. Snatches of words I deciphered, my husband, Skype with my grandson, my new haircut and the like were the few words I could decipher.
Of course as always happens I had neglected to have my headphones with me. I have a basic pair of noise cancelling headphones, which don’t do a perfect job but at worst they make these kind of situations tolerable.
If only time could freeze before they arrived or stand still leaving them in silence so I could just enjoy that small pleasure of enjoying a nice coffee and a breakfast cooked for me. Unfortunately and of course given we don’t live in a world where we have mastered the quantum leap I was out of luck on that front. I mention this as it was a catalyst for the further descent of the energy and drive sapping feeling and presence which was already threatening to engulf me.
Enduring this I ate my food and got my way out of there. There were many adult type of duties I should have completed today. But it was a day of recognising that some days the choice to look after yourself is a better choice. I retreated. Big time retreat to the little kid within that lay in the bed on a school holiday day with the music playing whilst floating in and out of sleep and wakefulness.
This all seems self indulgent, and to a point it is, but it is self indulgence that I do think is needed at times. It is needed not just from the selfishness perspective. Well perhaps it is selfish, but it is selfish in a sense of avoiding a more extreme response such as a shutdown or a meltdown or a burnout. I found this to be evidenced in the results of my evening.
Together as a family of five this evening we went out to the movies to see the film Inside Out. The cinema was at the local shopping centre and so we had a meal at the food court afterwards and a quick (well not so quick it turned out) stop in the supermarket, well too supermarkets. The culmination of this was a heightening of difficult sensory input which was difficult. I managed to get through the experience with just a few anxiety responses and feelings of just needing to get out of there.
I mark this as a success, yet, I am almost certain that if I had of adulted today and fulfilled all the responsibilities I should have I would have either not been able to go through with this good quality family time, or perhaps worse, it would have exploded in meltdown due to overload, or receded into my shutting down. Either way not a good experience for me or the other family members and certainly not a pleasurable holiday memory for my girls or my wife.
The point of all this I guess, is to say, sometimes it is okay to just not adult.
Some days it is all good to just say okay no adulting allowed today.