I've tried really hard this week. (I sound like I'm writing myself a school certificate).
Amanda tried really hard this week - well done!
I'd walk out of school, gripping it tight - but not too tight, I don't want it to crease - and it would be stuck on the fridge at home so I would know I tried really hard, and had it recognised.
As adults, we don't often get certificates, and if we do they are usually for something much more concrete like Level 1 Diploma in Animal Husbandry or Certificate in Pond Digging (intermediate). Compliments take the place of the gold star or the school achievement papers. We try and sometimes people say we've done well, they're proud of us, they care.
Problem is, as adults we are expected to do well without trying. Actually, no, I'm getting ahead of myself : we're expected to cope with normal life without trying. The difference between these two is a chasm sometimes.
I did well today. I managed mostly everything, and also ate, slept and went for a walk. I also did extra stuff, fitted things in, remembered errands that would make my life easier. But then, I also...
...forgot to call for my parcel at my sister's, mixed up timings for lessons, had to go for my old cat's food at the end of the day when I was so tired I could hardly think straight because I wasn't organised enough during the day.
It took so much effort to do the ordinary stuff, the ABC portions of the day, there was only a tiny bit left over for the extras. This meant I remembered one of them and forgot the rest - and the one I remembered (of course!) was food for my old cat.
Effort. Amanda put in real effort today - fridge. Amanda remembered her socks today - fridge? Amanda deconstructed a never-read Seamus Heaney poem and explained Imtiaz Dharker - not fridge, everyone expects this of me as standard.
There's the problem! It's not my Aspergers making life difficult after all, it's my easy ability with the floating, weaving, essentially creative nature of life that makes all he raw, sock-remembering parts of the day so tricky.
Seamus, yes please, and I don't care how awkward the poem is. Seamus feels like a grumpy old friend who I could speak to in the middle of the night and we'd forget it was by moonlight. Imtiaz - I love you, Imtiaz! Her poems are all about the weaving parts of life, the ordinary objects floating past, shielding us from what lies behind and making it hard to place where we should be amongst them all.
Remembering my socks and the parcel from my sister's? Who has room for that? I want to have room for it: I notice much later whether my feet are warm and cold and only then know if I did remember the socks. And, much later, get a confused text from my sister, wondering if she missed my knock at the door.
Amanda forgot her priorities today: that might as well be painted on the fridge rather than stuck on it. Yet, I don't feel that bad about those missed priorities.
The essentially creative nature of life swirls about me like one of Imtiaz's harder poems, full of familiar words but written in such a way that you have to close your eyes to see them in the right order.
Let it swirl, let it become so much a part of my atmosphere that I live in it like I finally got the balance right and know I was meant to breathe in this shining, starstruck air.
Let me remember the petrol before the car starts flashing at me from the reserve tank next time.
Amanda remembered today - well done!