You know those maps of the mall? The ones with the arrow that says, “You are here!” printed just beneath it?
You know how useless they can be if you can’t recognize any of the features on the map in your immediate surroundings?
Life with ADHD can be like that. We feel like we’re told where we should be in life for the age we’re at, but we don’t recognize any of the landmarks from the descriptions.
Part of it is the problem we have with time recognition, I think.
What time is it?
Hours can slip by easily while I zone in on things. That’s part of the ADHD time mismanagement thing, but only part.
Another part is that we are unable to estimate the time required to accomplish specific things.
And we don’t consistently underestimate or overestimate. Some things look to us like they should be easy to just do in a moment, others that might actually be quickly done look complicated and time intensive.
And then there’s that third time issue
Whenever I am asked for my age, I have to stop and think a moment. And whenever I give my age, I’m astounded.
I figure there must be some mistake. I can’t be in my sixtieth year. I don’t remember more than ten of them.
And yet, here I am
The aches and pains of a body that’s seen sixty summers are evident.
My heart and soul tell me I’m still a child, still the adventurer, still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but my right knee often pops when I try to bend it, and the noise of my hip realigning itself can frighten birds and sometimes small children.
Part of this whole time problem is that unlike the clock on a diesel engine, when my mind is idling the clock shuts off.
This morning I went into the laundry room and was loading up the washer with last week’s clothes, and I came across some clips I’d ordered for making cargo holders on our kayaks. I wandered off to the front hall because last night I had discovered the shock cord I’d bought for that same project in the pocket of a coat I hadn’t worn in five weeks.
I then started threading the shock cord through one of the spring toggle clips and was contemplating methods of attaching the cord to the kayaks. I’d ordered pad eyes and J-hooks for that. I fiddled with the shock cord and the cord lock and got looking at the way the shock cord was made and the quality of the weaving and how it was fraying on the end and I started to ponder where I’d left my lighter that I use to stop nylon from fraying and …
I realized I was standing in the laundry room, feeling pleased with myself for starting the laundry and being efficient and all, but that I’d been doing nothing productive for … let’s see, yep, more than 25 minutes.
I had no idea what I’d been doing for those 25 minutes other than fiddling with shock cord. But I did know I was supposed to start the laundry and then get to work on my writing.
There are days when I am fine at being self-supervised. And there are days when I’m not that great at it, but I manage.
I’m hoping that today is one of those days when I manage, it’s obviously not one of the days when I’m fine.
And then there are days when I really am a ten-year-old, and a mall map won’t help, and all I can hope is that when I come back around to finding myself, I won’t actually find that another decade has gone by.
Today, I’m just lost in the laundry room. I hope that for the majority of my coming days I’m not completely lost.