A common complaint or worry people with ADHD is that they feel ‘behind’ in life. Their peers seem to be racing ahead and they don’t feel they are where they should be as they pass age milestones. The truth is everyone feels they are ‘behind’ in life to some degree, but people with ADHD seem to feel it more keenly. Perhaps because some things do take them longer (e.g. graduating from University because they take fewer classes each semester) or because their self esteem and confidence is lower.
In a world where the media portrayal of what normal is has us all graduating from University at 21 years old, advancing up the corporate ladder in our mid 20’s and happily married with children at 30. It’s good to know to that the world is changing and there is a new type of normal.
People no longer work Monday to Friday, 9-5 in the same job until they retire at 65 years old. Today we have more career changes than past generations. There is flex time, satellite offices and stay-at-home-dads. You can be a self made multi-millionaire in your early 20’s (for example Facebook’s Mark Zucherberg) and keep working because you love it into your 90’s.
Traditionally, parents were of the opposite sex and had children in the ‘peak birth rate years’ of 20- 24. Now there is an increasing number of first time parents in their 40’s and it is no longer taboo to be a single parent. Elton John is the perfect example that you can be a new parent whatever our age or sexuality.
The average age for first marriages is getting higher and higher. At the moment, it is 28 years old for men and 26 years for women.
What does this have to do with ADHD? I wanted to illustrate that the old linear way of living isn’t the norm any more. We have more freedom to make choices based on what suits us than ever before. You are never behind; there is no rule that you are a certain age when you should get married, or buy a house, or have a particular position at work.
When you free yourself from these norms you give yourself permission to live your life at a pace that works for you will thrive. When you have ADHD it’s important to do what makes you tick, to listen to your internal messages rather than any external messages. If you do this, you will experience more happiness and success than ever before.