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Am I A Space Cadet?

Kelly B. ADHD cadet 1st class
Reporting for duty … in a minute or two

Sometimes we refer to ourselves as space cadets.

It’s a reference to the foolish things that can occur in our lives because of our intermittent inability to focus.

We’ve all experienced things like that, and those of us with ADHD have it happen more often than others.

And we’re used to it.

To spell it out

Sometimes we are supposed to be down to earth and accomplishing some particular thing, and our minds go into orbit and start admiring the passing surface of the planet, the entire landscape of the planet, not just the tiny bit we’re supposed to be focused on.

Is that spacey enough for you?

Earth to Kelly

The problem is that the task we’re suppose to be working on isn’t likely to call our attention back. “Earth to Kelly, come in Kelly, put down the screw gun, take off the the swim goggles and go back to folding laundry.”

The laundry is on the couch, but I’m in the garage sorting through a box of empty CD cases and scraps of steel wool. (Don’t ask!)

There’s the timer

If I set the timer for five or ten minutes, clip it to my shirt and then check to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing every time it goes off, that can work.

Yes, there is the timer, but it doesn’t work for small jobs like laundry. When I’m doing laundry I might be in the garage with the box of stuff when it goes off, and I may finish the laundry after going back, but I may then be in the office the next time it goes off. And the laundry might be done.

So I might be in the upstairs office when it goes off again. I’ll start it over and go check on the laundry to see if I actually finished it. I’ll find that I have and I’ll wander off to do something else. Next thing I know I’m sitting at the piano and the timer is going off again. Did I finish the laundry?

“Major Kelly to ground control …”

Listen, I’m on an adventure. I’ve mentioned this before. I may discover the cure for single socks, or I might just bring a little joy to a few good friends lives. I’m okay with that. I’ve done some stuff I’m already proud of, and I’ve realized that those accomplishments should not be diminished by their being done.

Yes they’re in the past, but I did them, dammit!

And when I’m out of the loop, I am still on that adventure. And I’ve often returned to the atmosphere with some amazing revelations, and sometimes I remember what they were.

The deal is

Being a space cadet is hard work if you take on the task of beating yourself up over it.

And it’s harder still if you allow others to judge and punish you.

And worse still if they judge and then you punish yourself based on their judgement.

You’re giving them way too much power over your life if you do that.

And it’s your life

Be proud of it, cadet.

Am I A Space Cadet?

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 on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of 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 am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with 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. (2019). Am I A Space Cadet?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Jan 2019
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