ADHD Zen And The Art Of Deck Repair
(with apologies to Robert M. Pirsig)
I was at work yesterday, repairing a deck … it turned into a complete rebuild. We took the decking off and started assessing what it would take to stabilize the framework.
We discovered that the posts it was built on had sunk to varying depths because they had been set on patio stones that had simply been dropped onto the ground.
We began to dig out and reset the stones properly with gravel. Then one of the joists snapped under my weight, and I’m not that heavy.
The easy answer to the situation was also the best answer. Tear down and start fresh.
What does this have to do with ADHD?
It’s been over two years now since I came to the realization that I have ADHD. But it’s been a life time of repair. Much of that was spent trying, unsuccessfully, to find out why things don’t work out for me. Especially since things seem to work out so well for many others. People do things seemingly without effort. When I do these things they require constant vigilance to maintain focus. And still I often fail.
Not as often as I used to, but often enough …
Why is that?
Well, I’m not sure. But I’m willing to tell you what I think. When have I not been willing to talk, hmm?
At one time I thought it was just a matter of perception, a matter of spin, if you please. I assumed that behind the scenes other peoples lives were just as much of a mess as mine.
Seeing is believing
The Jasper/Goldberg Adult ADHD Questionnaire was a real eye opener for me. I was shocked to learn that there were a great many people who answered “never” or “not very often” to many of the questions contained there in.
Now I know better
These days I’m seeing a different picture of my life. I’m coming to the conclusion that a good deal of structure is needed. A good framework is required if you want to build a solid platform on which to go through life.
I’m not saying that this approach would benefit everyone. But if you’re like I was, you’re doing the same things over and over and still expecting a different result. It may be time for some maintenance or even a total rebuild.
What have I done to rebuild my life’s framework?
Here’s a sample of the things I’ve been working on:
I’ve become aware of my shortcomings, this has helped me not get stuck in confusion when things go wrong
I’ve made solid efforts to improve my time perception and my time management
I’ve made abundant use of my phones calendar to remind me of everything from appointments to remembering to shave.
My phone also tells me to take my meds at eight in the morning, an hour after I’m supposed to remember them. This gives me the chance to have a little success each day, but if I forget and my phone catches me, it’s not that big a deal … sometimes I forget and when my phone reminds me I say “oh yeah …” and then forget again (I wonder when that addiction thing kicks in … ).
I consciously place things in conspicuous places so as to remember them. If I need to put laundry on before I head out for groceries I place it on the floor in front of the door. This is both in the way when I go to leave, and on the way to the laundry room.
The deck will be finished today. My own personal framework is still being worked on. I’m okay with that. Who couldn’t use some improvement? I’ll be satisfied with progress, content to know that I’m getting nearer to completion.
Babcock, K. (2012). ADHD Zen And The Art Of Deck Repair. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/07/adhd-zen-and-the-art-of-deck-repair/