Happy April Fools Day! I wish I had a great joke to tell, but the joke is how long it has taken to start writing again. I’ve spent so much time writing research papers for school that it uses up my creativity for recording/blogging for myself. The benefit of being “middle-aged” is that I have learned how much I love writing and its joy in my life. It is shocking how fast memories slip from my ears and blow away in the wind. Experiences that I would never think I could forget are recorded on web pages that I wrote ten years ago on my blog. I read them now, and I’m blown away. How could I forget that Halle always wore her pants backward, Ella smeared peanut butter on over the piano and I was stuck on my back, pregnant, as I cleaned (and ate it) for hours, or Brighton broke her wrist playing soccer? All of these things were such a big deal at the time, but time has a way of marching on whether we are paying attention or not.

I recently started reading the book “The Artists Way,” and I love her concept of “morning pages.” The words we write don’t need to change the world; we need to get our words out. If we don’t express our thoughts, they can block us. I believe I’m so full of words at this point that I can barely move. Letters are all stuck in my veins, and phrases, quotes, and sentences are swirling like a tornado through my brain. I used to think I was helping other people blog, but now I realize I was the one who was helped the most.

For the most part, I’ve been off social media for three months now. I chose this path because I knew I needed to focus on what I needed to find myself and my health. I have learned things that would have lain dormant otherwise in that small time frame. At my sister’s suggestion, I took an online test and was diagnosed with ADHD. I feel like I should put an exclamation point there, but I can’t bring myself to do it because nobody was surprised as I’ve discussed this label with several people. Are you telling me that everyone knew I had ADHD but myself?

“Kids, (insert husband, parents, friends) I was diagnosed with ADHD, can you believe it?!”

“Um, yeah? And?” (with ranging levels of snickers or laughter)

Apparently! (haha) I don’t really believe in living according to labels, but I would agree that my mind is always moving and creating bubbles inside, and I’m constantly infusing life with it. It is causing a lot of reflection as I look back on my life through this new lens. I often chuckle inside, thinking how obvious it should have been, even as a young child. After all, I was the only one in my home ec class that jumped out the window while my poor elderly woman teacher turned her head. I was the only girl spitting spit wads at the ceiling in fifth grade with the hyper boys. And I can remember more times I was four-wheeling in the mountain in high school than in class.

When I sat down with my counselor as a senior before I graduated, he pulled out my permanent record. He put on his glasses and looked at the now permanently burning words in my brain. “I am seriously concerned about Janae’s ability to function in real life. ” He read it slowly, and I laughed at his hilarious sense of humor until he said, “I’m not joking.” I laughed again, but something in my belly burned. It stung. How would my fifth-grade teacher condemn the rest of my potential success when I was ten years old? And so, I laughed again. ‘whatever’, I thought’ and most assuredly ran out the front doors of my school and went to do something productive, like laying out in my underwear on the school bleachers. I wish I were kidding.

Somehow, I’ve made it into mid-life and even mothered seven children. I am not perfect, and I am still distracted, but I’ve been a contributing member of society. I’ve worked hard. I’ve been distracted (and so has my husband), but we figure stuff out together. We have had so many fun creative adventures! We all have labels put on us, and in the case of ADHD, the brain does work a bit differently, but that is not a life sentence. It is just part of the view and how we experience our chosen story. Our story is golden, and I’m looking forward to sharing it again. Who knows how long I’ll remember what is happening in my life right now?! But, it is worth recording it, if even for my five accidental readers sent here from google for some random reason.

Oh, and one of my recent highlights was going on a snow hike by my new cabin in Timberlakes with my friend, Nancy and her dog Nico. Getting outside and moving always brightens my day!