“Not right now” is what we say when the time is not right; when we have other things to focus on, or if we just don’t want to do what’s being offered. There are a million reasons to say no to anything and they are all valid reasons. If your plate is full, don’t keep eating; push the plate away.
I’ve been watching you, BGLK fans. These past few weeks as we have all been adjusting to our new lives and finding where we fit in. I’ve watched some of you deal with the new challenge of working from home. Some of you are sewing masks to help your fellow man. Others are spreading wonderful information. Some of you are making it a point to share words to uplift us all every day. You’re putting marvelous work out there.
On top of all of that, some of you have channeled your concerns and made it a point to turn your uncertainty into positivity. I love that. You’re learning new languages, trying new foods, going to more online social events than anyone thought was possible. You’re connecting in new ways and it is beautiful to see.
“Not right now” buys you time to adjust
So I’m always looking. I like to see what everyone is struggling with and hop in with a word that can help if I’m able. And during that observation, I’ve seen a consistent theme: the people who are adjusting quickly and doing a ton of new things, and the people who feel guilty because they are working hard at adjusting.
Folks have begun new businesses and magically made homeschool classrooms. Then there are people who aren’t learning a new language and crafting the perfect business offer. The person who is trying to figure out their place in this circumstance. The folks who are just trying to get Zoom to work so their kid can get to class. This post is for those people.
You’re allowed to need some time
You aren’t alone; I know how tempting it can be to join in with the next internet trend. You’re watching people learn how to bake bread. They’re holding concerts in their living rooms. They’re having an online f***ing brunch, for god’s sake. You don’t even know how to start a Netflix party to watch a movie with your friends yet. You feel behind the curve. Are you getting there? Sure. Just not right now.
I want you to know, it’s ok to say not right now. To “guard your yes” against committing to new projects. To adjust to this new normal of ours at your own pace. It is ok to resent having to adjust your life at the drop of a dime. It is ok to be scared. You’re not wrong to not pile your life full of new activities on top of all the changes you are already making.
I promise you that you are doing really important things, too. You may not be able to see them because our need to compare ourselves to those who adjust quickly can blind us to what we are doing.
Not right now because you’re maintaining your normal schedule
Some of you are saying not right now to something new because you’re working on maintaining your regular schedule. Maybe you’re adjusting to new travel time for work. Maybe your favorite coffee shop isn’t open right now. The restaurant you love to treat yourself to on a Friday may be closed indefinitely. These touchpoints in our days changing or going away can really throw us off. Right now, you’re working on figuring out what your schedule is and trying to keep it balanced.
Adjusting your work routine
I’ve been working from home since 2017. I love it; I also chose it.
The idea of being told that I would need to grab the things I need from my office and get established working in my home with little to no warning would likely be jarring. It could be that you’re saying not right now because you still don’t know what area of your home you can work in without the people who live there distracting you so much you lost productivity. Or not having a comfortable place to sit that is also quiet. Maybe you’re learning how to stop your dogs from barking during your zoom meeting. All of that is normal for now.
Making time to reach out to friends and family
Perhaps you find yourself separated from your loved ones. If all you can do right now is look for ways to establish the bond and spend time with them in a new way, that’s ok. Play online video games with them. If you’ve figured out Zoom by now, you can sit down and have long talks over a cup of coffee just like normal. If your not right now is because you’re busy connecting with and checking on your loved ones, that’s TOTALLY ok.
Caring for the people and pets you live with
It isn’t just you adjusting, there are the people in your life who are doing the same. You have partners, children, pets, and roommates who share your living space with you. All of those creatures great and small working on a new normal can make for a lot of people with a lot of different emotions, fears, and concerns in a small space. Maybe your not right now is because you just need to hold your baby. To pet your dog and reassure him. Maybe you need your partner to hold you tight and reassure you. Take all the time you need.
Self-care is the reason for your not right now
It’s an important part of self-care to be aware of your limits. Many people with ADHD struggle with transitions. Some of us are prone to depression or anxiety about the future. If you’re one of those people, not taking anything else on other than what is already on your plate can be a form of self-care. Maybe what you need right now isn’t a new life skill, but to utilize the ones you already have. Perhaps it is time to pull them out and draw on those strengths to support yourself as we all journey through the uncertainty that we are facing. It is ok to push the idea of taking on something new. Not right now; I don’t need anything new, I am using what I already have.
Caring for you right now is enough
There’s nothing wrong with you; you aren’t failing yourself if you are respecting your own boundaries. Listen to your body. Choose carefully what you’re going to incorporate into your new normal. And if you decide you want to take on a million new things, that’s ok too. The whole point is to do whatever nurtures and nourishes you right now. Follow your intuition, it will lead you on the path you need right now.
Until next time,
PS – if you INSIST on taking something new on, consider getting yourself a copy of BGLK’s book bundle. It is 40% off for now with coupon code STAY HOME