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Time Machines, Trains, And ADHD

Compost and machines ...
Compost and machines …

It’s the end of the morning and I haven’t started working yet. It’s the end of the afternoon and I haven’t started dinner. It’s the end of the day and I haven’t started cleaning up the kitchen. It’s the end of the week and I haven’t started the laundry.

It’s almost spring and I haven’t put the deck furniture away for the winter yet.

It’s middle age and I haven’t started saving for retirement.

Where does the time go?

I have a composter out back, it takes yard and kitchen waste and turns it into a rich black fertile soil additive. I have a coffee maker, it turns freshly ground coffee and distilled water into hot coffee and used grounds. I have a toaster, an oven, a barbeque. I have a blender and a mixer, a microwave, food slicer, they all take something in and transform it to something useful.

My ADHD is a time machine, but I think it must be broken. It takes my life … and then it’s gone. I should post that as my Facebook status. It’s like I’ve lost consciousness, but I’m still upright.

Brain/Train analogy coming up …

My brain is trundling along some random track in a huge railway yard where switches are clicking from one siding to another and back again. I’m sitting on top of the coal tender, or maybe in the observation car, looking at all the other engines and passenger and freight cars. And I’m only occasionally wondering where I’m going and who is in control.

And I swear, though sometimes it seems like I get out of the yard, I’m never far enough away that there isn’t another switch that sends me back.

And at the end of the day, when my train is put in the shed, I’ve been nowhere, moved no freight, shuttled no passengers.

And I wonder if I’ll get out of the yard tomorrow.

Back to the time machine analogy …

[…] the grounds of that day have been put into the coffee maker, and the bitter drink of regret is steaming in my hand again.

Another day has been put into the ADHD blender, the grounds of that day have been put into the coffee maker, and the bitter drink of regret is steaming in my hand again. The used grounds of the day are in the composter, but there is no garden for them to fertilize, they just sit there rotting in my view to remind me of another wasted day. They block the view of the few days that I would call successes.

And I again make plans to get up and start fresh tomorrow. I will write, I will work. I may not clean and sort and organize, but I may succeed in spite of that.

And how do I know that I will do this?

What makes me think I will get up and charge into my day again? How can I be so passionately assured that I will not let the last 54 years stop me from trying? That’s an easy question to answer. I know this because ADHD is a time machine, it takes my time and makes it disappear. So I get to start fresh every day. I get to start from scratch. And one of these days I’ll figure it out.

And even if the success of my life is nothing more than people saying “He never quit.” after I’ve been taken away from this ritual of repetitive attempts on living, that sounds like a win.

Besides, I might as well do my best at this. Until someone fixes this brain of mine, I haven’t anything better to do. Do you?

Time Machines, Trains, And ADHD

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). Time Machines, Trains, And ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 14 Mar 2013
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