Becoming an adult, especially in an independent living situation requires the execution and management of tasks that need to be completed on a routine basis in order to keep the habitat a well-oiled machine. Things need to be done, but keeping balance with everything else can be quite tough for one’s executive functioning.
For many of us in the autistic mind, we know that we need to do the things that can seem so simple to the neurotypical. However, we as autistics become fascinated with our interest or make several attempts to divert from the needed tasks because we are not a fan of what it involves. Maybe it involves completing cleaning or laundry that doesn’t require a lot of skill and is quite mundane or one has issues with motor skills that can become challenging for them. It is one of those essential things that must be done but how?
Well, for me, I find it helpful to break down tasks so they do not become too overwhelming. I focus on one thing at a time usually and do my best to avoid distraction as I have ADHD tendencies. This may require playing music from YouTube on TV to some music that can have me moving so I don’t get lax in what I am doing. At the juncture of finishing that task in a room or section, it can mean taking a break to catch your thoughts for a few minutes. Then, do the same for the next few tasks and eventually you will have an amazing habitat.
One of the daily tasks I have to break down is dishwashing and dish drying. In order for me to complete these tasks correctly, it is necessary for me to wash the dishes, let any soak if necessary, take a break, then return and finish the task. I have found that by having a break in between the two makes me emphasize on being focused on the task, making sure that all sanitary procedures are followed and the surrounding areas are kept up to par.
While I can function well in the day to day function of living, there are some routine upkeep of tasks I do struggle with such as upkeep of the tub/shower and other things that require the assistance of family members. Sometimes the dynamic of my parents can become very challenging for me and drain my internal energy severely. They are great supporters and do many things for me, it is just that we do not see eye to eye on cleaning standards. Through this, I have learned that everyone has a different level of cleaning and that my parents have a higher threshold than most. Therefore, inviting family to my home can be a challenge for me because I am in constant fear that they are going to find something that is wrong in their mind and call me out for it, then it will create negative energy for me, completely draining me.
I know that part of living on my own comes with a host of responsibilities, including maintaining my home to a livable standard so that I do not acquire any issues as I did partly with my last home. I have learned greatly from that experience and to be honest it traumatizes me a bit sometimes. I never want to have the experience of having to share a habitat with my parents again as that is not an option in my books. Therefore. I do my best to ensure that my home is clean and while it may be a struggle sometimes, I know that I can’t let it get the best of me.As they say “A clean home is a happy home” and even though there may be little flaws here and there it is my home and I know that I have to keep it to a livable standard.