“May you live in interesting times” is said to be a Chinese curse. However, the origins of this saying are according to my Googling, debatable. But let’s go with the message, shall we, despite it’s possible impure origin.

I’m no shrinking violet but I am not a big risk taker or as we say in the biz, a “sensation seeker”.  I like an interesting life but for the most part, I live within the box. I use vibrant colors but I draw within the lines.

By nature, I do not get bored easily. I mean I get bored sometimes, but typically I don’t get bored a lot. Until stupid cancer. The stress, the upside-down sleep habits, the weeks away from work for surgery recovery, and the drug side effects. I can’t believe the fatigue and I didn’t even have chemo.

I had horrible boredom for months. Painful boredom. The kind of boredom that my patients with ADHD grapple with. And if you were to know only one thing about ADHD, know that to a person with it, boredom is extremely painful. That’s where I found myself. BORED. OUT. OF. MY. GOURD.

Yes, having a health crisis bored me out of my gourd. Well, some parts were actually exciting and truthfully, I found them to be times of creativity as well.

But I’ll let you in on a secret. ADHD is not about not being able to pay attention. It’s about not being able to pay attention or to persist on tasks that aren’t interesting. The flip side to this is that interesting tasks can be extremely rewarding. And that’s how I found myself for many months. It was not that I couldn’t pay attention or persist at all, it was that I could not regulate my attention or persistence as I once could. That’s why I’ve written frequently about feeling as though I had functional ADHD during a good part of my cancer treatment.

I am happy to report that my sleep has improved, I continue to heal from the acute stress of cancer as well as the nonstop surgical train. I still need a lot more sleep than I used to need. But when I am alert, I am very alert, very energetic, and my concentration is excellent. I am happy to be able to be more productive in my work. I have taken on my work and my life is, by and large, a lot more interesting.

But there are costs to my workload. I am getting cranky with my family. I find it more challenging to find times to do my daily walks. I am currently walking 5-6 times a week instead of 7 times a week. Five times a week is still really good. Of greater concern, I find that it is harder for me to eat a good diet when I am stressed. I gained weight over the holidays and have not been able to get it off. I am still in the healthy range of weight for my height but just barely. I know this is the way that my weight can creep up on me. You may think this is overreaction on my part but I have lost and gained weight so many times in my life that I know I have to really really be mindful of my dietary and exercise habits.

I am very happy to not feel bored and numb during a good part of my day, as I once did. I am happy to live in interesting times. But interesting times, like boring times, bring their own set of challenges.