Updated: Oct 23
Yes, you read that right. I, Merle Kaplan, am, right now, doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. I'll say it again, louder this time: "I'M DOING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME IN THE RIGHT WAY."
Don't argue with me on this; I can sense you out there trying to challenge me. It's like you're in my head saying "Yeah, but what about that thing over there that's really starting to bother you?" "Didn't you tell someone you'd get to that today?" "And, come to think of it, what about that other thing?" "And what about, you know, that thing you were going to do last week?" "Is that EVER going to get done??"
Funny, I used to be a waitress before I was diagnosed with ADHD. I served for decades but rarely felt I was good at it. I had trouble knowing which tasks to prioritize when they all seemed important. I couldn't simultaneously fulfill all the customers' needs at one time. There was no way around it--some customers simply had to wait while I attended to others. I couldn't just shout to all my tables at once, "Listen up, everyone, I'm on my way to the bar; if you want something to drink, it's now or never!" Or if someone gave me a dirty look because they needed their bill, I couldn't just toss my armload of plates in the air so I could run to process their credit card. I always felt if I just tried harder I could make everyone happy. And believe me, I did try hard.
The best servers managed their customers with charm and grace, moving purposefully and systematically through the restaurant at their own pace, never breaking their internal rhythm. They rarely got "weeded" or thrown off kilter by demanding, implacable guests. I marveled at them.
Though it's been years since my last serving job, I still feel like I'm juggling orders in my head, trying to find some elusive, systematic and rhythmic way of getting things done. Except now I work for myself. Come to think of it, I'm harder to please than all the customers I've ever waited on. Those ill-tempered restaurant patrons are really, in a sense, just internalized character types in my thoughts, always bearing down on me, insisting I stop whatever I'm doing and focus on something more important. I mean, I still kind-of believe I can (and should) be able to do everything at once if I just tried harder. Ahh, if I could just do things in the correct order in the correct way at the correct time.
It's not gonna happen. Ever. It's a lie that ANYONE can do life that smoothly.
Still, I want to live with grace and rhythm. And conviction. So whether it's true or not, I'll say my new mantra again and again and again until I believe it wholeheartedly: "I'M DOING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME IN THE RIGHT WAY!"