Last Friday I did something I don’t think I’ve done since perhaps the spring of 1980 – I actually resigned from an organization. Oh I have been fired as a CEO/COO at least four times; and, many contracts have ended and not been renewed plus I’ve been divorced and/or dumped more times than one wants to remember. But, as far as I can recall, the last time I actually bowed out of an interesting and successful gig was when I stepped down from leading the Salmonid Enhancement Program’s Public Involvement Program (SEP/PIP). Friday morning I awoke, reflected on the loss the BC Lions suffered the previous evening and began to wonder why I was about to go to a Board Meeting for which I was insufficiently prepared. The group consisted of very bright people and the theme of energy poverty is one that I am quite interested in. But something was eating at me – I just wasn’t adequately fired up for some reason. Moreover, I realized that I had been setting aside a number of important tasks as of late to try to make time for this new adventure.
So, as I prepared to go to breakfast, I wrote out my resignation from the Board and as the weekly ZOOM moderator although I did indicate I would try to draft the ethics paper they had requested of me. I then e-mailed the message to the two people who I was closest to in the fledgling organization and went for breakfast at the hotel wherein I was ensconced. I did receive a phone call directing me to where I could park when I arrived, but I simply commented that my e-mail obviously hadn’t been delivered and I wouldn’t be attending.
After breakfast I returned to my room, gone on the bed and slept until noon. I then awoke refreshed, and even though it was raining and I had forgotten both a rain coat and a long-sleeve sweater, walked (under an umbrella) for many blocks (over three-quarters of an hour) to a most amazing show/presentation of the works of Van Gogh. Later I stopped in at a sports bar to watch the Canada/Finland game during the start of the women’s world hockey championship. Then I went to a delightful new (for me) restaurant and enjoyed an evening of fine dining, fine service, fine ambiance. Saturday morning, I drove home.
Why did I resign? Why, when I approve of the mission of the organization, enjoy the intellectual level of discourse of the key founding colleagues, and see some real promise in the intentions of the group, would I step down?
Sometimes a person with ADHD simply takes on too much. Every great idea that comes along can be so tempting, even invigorating. Every new moment can be very tantalizing because it is a unique source for expending energy. At the same time, due to some of the drawbacks of the condition, other earlier commitments can be set aside or covered over (especially if there are tasks to be completed and they are sitting on one’s desk). Even personal relationships become strained through the emergence of a more tired persona, a less energetic respondent. This all was certainly becoming true of me. People on different ZOOM conferences have commented on how tired I have looked. The work on Book III has fallen way behind the schedule I had originally set out for it – moreover I am not writing very well (creating an interesting conundrum: I want to meet with my editor, but what I have to show him may not be enough to make him want to meet with me!!). The follow-up to my spring/summer courses, which was to occur at CUE’s Homecoming Weekend, has been scrapped in part because I inadvertently allowed other events to crowd into the same space (furthermore, upon reflection, my initial preparation for those courses took much more time than it should have!). My biking has been intermittent this summer (and I can’t blame that totally on the smoke)! And my advance work for conferences I wish to attend this coming academic year needs much greater attention. Basically my calendar was over-full (if that is even a word) and for an ADHD person to have a calendar at all, suggests that things were moving beyond successful management.
So I resigned before I really began to let the group down!! Will I ever come back to the subject? Perhaps, but for now I am going to concentrate on getting my own study/library in order. I have ZOOM conferences to organize and schedule with my Grandkids. I have several boxes full of old papers, files and other stuff that need to be re-examined and much of the contents shredded. I have a CFL season to enjoy. I have conferences and related events to once again participate in person. And I have my mental wellness to get on the upward path once more (and likewise, doubtless my emotional balance).
And front and centre: I need to get back some consistency in my contributions to this Editorialog. You deserve a more nuanced, thoughtful conversation; less ranting, more informative – an opportunity to reflect, to respond, to share opinions and knowledge and visions! Today is a start. Thank you for bearing with me!!
By the way, the Imagine Van Gogh moment was amazing. We were ushered into a dark room with a series of panels — there was a constant line-up of people so the pace was measured but continuous. After reading the dozen panels which gave very valuable background information on both the presentation and Van Gogh himself (I did not know he had studied to be a reformed protestant theologian and actually did some lay ministry although it appears he was singularly unsuccessful at it), we then moved into this large gym-like structure, the walls of which became moving & still picture screens. For the next hour, with very well chosen music, I was in the midst of an incredible artistic experience — better than going to an art gallery because some of the scenes/pictures were so magnified that one could see the actually way the oil paints had been used to make an eye penetrate into your mind, or a bridge seem capable of collapse, or a building appear close enough to enter let alone touch. It was an experience that significantly fired up my imagination and my appreciation re Van Gogh’s talent, insight and ability to express himself. If you get the opportunity go see it…