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What Is Important?

all the receipts
Of course I save my receipts …

Having ADHD means I spend my life trying to figure out what is important.

No, I know the mortgage has to be paid. I know an education is a great help. I know that I do not want to lose my job.

Those things are important, I’m fully aware of that.

Nope, I’m talking about receipts.


Well, receipts are a great example. I’ll go out to run errands and I’ll come home with a pocketful of receipts from the groceries and from picking up that widget to fix the doodad in the kitchen and from grabbing a can of stain for the patio furniture and also a cup of coffee on the go and maybe a new pen … oh, and a computer.

And all these receipts will be in my hand when I empty my pockets at night. (Yeah, I somehow have that habit.)

And I’ll look at them and think, I know some of these are important, and some are not … but I don’t really have the energy or the time to sit and stare at them until they tell me which category they belong in.

And …

… They go into the pile with the other non-communicative receipts on my dresser.

Damned things, they should speak up! You’d think that places would color code them or something, right?


There are times when I know intuitively that a receipt is important. That’s a special moment. I feel good about myself for recognizing that and I have a special way of dealing with those receipts.

I put them in my wallet … where I keep them for five or more years until they have faded beyond legibility, and then I throw them out because, obviously they weren’t that important because if they were my life would have ended in a shambles by now, right?

Receipts are funny

These receipts seem to be some sort of formal acknowledgement that I spent money on something, as if having the thing wasn’t proof enough.

And money, like time, once spent is irrelevant to an ADHDer.

I mean, sure, I had some money. But now it’s gone. I held on to it for a long time, but then there was a thing I could buy and when I looked at the thing I couldn’t be sure that I wouldn’t really, really, REALLY need it at some point and what if I did and I had passed up this opportunity to buy it so I’d better just do that, right?

So, receipts?

They’re funny things, confusing things, extra things that you get when you buy something, and they keep the top of my dresser warm.

And they’re even spelled funny, don’t even get me started on silent “P” jokes.

And they’re not like T-shirts, not useful like that at all.

Though in truth … I have way too many of those too.

What Is Important?

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). What Is Important?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Jun 2019
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