When I was a lad, there were many times when I was required to sit still.
Now I can tell you that, as a person with ADHD for whom the capital ‘H’ actually is applicable, that wasn’t easy.
But I’m not primarily hyperactive, nor am I primarily inattentive. I’m combined type.
And that has helped me … somewhat.
When required to sit still, I could always find myself actively looking for adventure, scaling great heights, inventing new activities, exploring uncharted territories.
And I do those things while doing what I was supposed to be doing, sitting still. I’d do them in my mind.
I’d be long gone …
It’s little wonder that now I am able to write spontaneously and without any preamble. I sit down and close myself to the outside world, and let my mind pour onto the page.
But back then, there was still a problem.
A big problem
Often when I was supposed to sit still, I was also expected to pay attention. A good example of that was school.
And worse still, I would usually listen in school just long enough to determine that I already knew some of what was being talked about, then check out mentally, for the entire day.
I would be paying attention to my surroundings enough to be aware of others picking up their pencils and so I’d pick up mine and, fueled by my imagination I’s start creating pictures.
The smell of the wind on warmer days wafting in through the window and out the other side would grab me and take me away to plan walks and projects too numerous to actually be accomplished.
What’s with the wool?
Ah yes, gathering wool, that’s what my grandma and mother called it when I would check out of the world. Apparently there was a time when people turned wool into yarn at home. and as it was spun it was collected on a wool winder.
To get it off the winder and into a skein someone would unwind the wool and check it as they went, while a second person would gather it in loops that went from one hand to another. Gathering wool was, I’m told, a mindless task and could be done while planning ones career or supper or contemplating the theory of relativity.
So apparently …
When I left the earth of reality and wandered down the virtual trails of my mind, I usually had the same expression on my face as someone who was gathering wool.
But see, it and my ADHD have stood me in good stead. I still check out of the world, and though I doodle now with words instead of less than flattering pictures, I get stuff done that is a valid contribution I’m told.
So if you need me to write something for you, just email me or shake me by the shoulder, I’ll just be hear drawing word pictures, far away look on my face, gathering wool …
Babcock, K. (2017). Gathering Wool. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/10/gathering-wool/