Did the local hoodlums waylay me at the corner? Have I fallen to the ravages of some dread physical disease? Did someone steal my coffee?
No, none of these things happened. I got busy with many things, I thought I was doing okay as far as all the things I could do in concert with each other.
I wrote things on my calendar with a pen and then I had to go , ’cause, pen, right?
I know, I’m always busy. I’m a busy guy. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. But being a busy person is not the same as having a busy schedule.
I can wake up in a hotel on a day off in a strange town, and from the moment my feet hit the floor, I’m busy.
I thought I’d take the time to write a post about a thing I do. It has to do with time and I hope you have the time to read it.
I am always feeling like I’m falling behind. I feel like, no matter what I accomplish, there is more left to do than when I started.
As a result, I often find myself looking for the quickest, most efficient way to accomplish things. I calculate routes around town based on how many traffic lights I’ll encounter, how many stop signs I’ll have to deal with, how much traffic there will be on my chosen roads.
I may have mentioned this before, I have ADHD. And though I’ve only known that for six years (I was diagnosed five years ago), I’ve had it most of my life.
I have an interesting view of my life, yet not a terribly unique one (there are many people my age just finding out about their ADHD). My view of my life is one where I have memories of life as a confused person thinking I was just like everyone else.
Now, as I look back, I see the effects of ADHD and the intricate ways in which I rationalized, ignored and denied those effects.
I’m getting very tired of this. If you would like to tell me that you do not have ADHD, feel free. If you would like to tell me that you can’t find your car keys six days out of seven, but you don’t have ADHD, that’s okay.
If you would like to tell me that you walk into rooms 50 times a day and wonder what you went in there for, AND you can’t find your car keys but you don’t have ADHD, that’s okay too.
If you want to tell me you cannot focus on a book long enough to read the synopsis, you walk into rooms and then can’t remember why and can’t find yo
ur keys but you don’t have ADHD … that’s fine.
Some title, eh? And I hear this in different ways. There’s the old dismissive standard: “ADHD is just an excuse for ! (fill in the blank)” And then there’s: “Every time you do that, you blame your ADHD!” And one of my all time favorites: “Instead of talking about your ADHD, why don’t you do something about it?”
It’s nice that there is so much help out there, isn’t it? And the great thing is that any one of these remarks immediately makes me retreat into myself, disengage from the person who says them, and re-establish my relationship with the cracks I’d thought I had patched in my shattered self esteem.
I seem to have a problem that would almost be the opposite of ADHD, except, it’s not. My ADHD mind is usually a whirl of thoughts and ideas. It’s a rare occasion when I am unable to come up with an idea for … well, for anything.
In fact, standard operating procedure for me is to have too many ideas and to little patience on the part of whoever is listening to my ideas. That’s life in the fast lane for this brain … most of the time.
I was called out on a job yesterday. A small metal shed had acquired a snow load that was beyond its ability to withstand. It had begun to collapse.
The things inside, yard maintenance tools, some of them expensive, were still safe from being crushed, but the walls had started to fold under the weight of the roof. Those things really aren’t meant for the climate in my area, they will survive most winters, but this one isn’t most winters.
True it isn’t beyond our norm, but it is on the heavy side of normal when it comes to snowfall. People who usually shovel out their driveways have been contacting me to take care of the job because it’s overwhelming them.
I talk about lists a lot, don’t I? And yet, I’ve almost completely given up on them. But not quite. I still have a note pad in my back pocket, and lists do show up on some of the pages.
I keep the note pad, ostensibly, to jot down ideas for blog posts, articles, plot twists and literary devices, but that actually sounds like a kind of list in itself, doesn’t it?
I have a friend who has a small white board on her fridge. Everything is written on it, well, everything she might forget. Items she needs from the grocery store, appointments, bills that need to be paid, library book due dates, a whole lot of stuff is there.
We all know about Distraction. I can’t even discuss ADHD without wandering off topic, thank you very much. It takes me away from so many tasks that I then discover I’ve left undone, only when I’m trying to concentrate on something else and am distracted back to them. Man, that’s disheartening.
We also know that we can be forgetful, or is it absentminded, or is it just another form of distraction. You know what I’m talking about. We’ll make an appointment, one we probably should have made weeks earlier, and then, satisfied with ourselves at this accomplishment, we’ll simply neglect to put it on the calendar. “How could we forget it?”, we’ll ask ourselves, “It’s such a big thing.”
But in our minds, the “big” thing is done, we made the appointment! We’re all like: “Who rocks? We do!”
And hyperactivity is also a big part of who many of us are. As I aged, I tended to climb trees less, and internalized my hyperactivity more. I bounce in my chair, drum my fingers, tap my pen, and flip from screen to screen on my phone. I don’t go at warp speed, well, not as much anymore. But my hyper never went away, it just went underground.
You say you want someone to do a job for you? Tell me about the job.
You say the work is such that you’ll need to explain it to them and then leave them to do the best they can? You need someone with ADHD.
You say you don’t care when they do it, so long as it gets done on time? You don’t care if they can work nights and sleep days, or sit and think about it for the first three quarters of the allotted time and then burst into action when it’s almost too late? You need someone with ADHD.