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The Lights Are On, But …

Light on
But who’s at home?

Last night I left the house to pick up my partner from her work for a dinner date.

As I walked out the door, I suddenly thought, “I’m just going to turn on the outdoor light. It’s going to be dark when we get home and this way we’ll be able to see to unlock the door.”

Pleased. That’s the word. I was pleased with myself. I don’t think that far ahead very often.

I drove out of the drive thinking that the evening was going to be capped off with praise for my foresight.

The evening …

Our evening went well.

Because I have ADHD we had to swing by the pharmacy as soon as I picked up my date. No, not for meds, I get my eggs every Tuesday from the pharmaceutical assistant there who has her own chickens. And since yesterday was Thursday, I was only two days late. Pretty normal for me, sadly, but there you have it.

Then we drove down town to Oregano Bistro, one of our favorite restaurants, a quiet little place where I can be the biggest and loudest thing in the room without disturbing too many people, the place has only six tables.

Dinner went well

I long ago mastered the art of enunciating with my mouth full. When you talk as much as I do you get good at these things. I can even sing while I brush my teeth. I have miraculous and untapped talents, I tell you.

We did not do dessert. Jimmy, the chef, always feeds us well and there’s always leftovers. The other thing I did before I left home was to pack up a couple of clean, reusable take out containers and when we were done eating but clearly hadn’t eaten all our food we packed our own leftovers in them.

I was pretty pleased with myself about that, and at that time I remembered that I’d also left the outdoor lights on at home. This was shaping up to be a great date.

We sat and talked …

Despite my need to tell people everything that is in my head, I have mastered the art of letting others talk. The cool thing is that half of what they tell me I can repeat later when it cycles back through my mind’s racetrack of thoughts.

Also, it gives me a chance to breathe.

And, it doesn’t take people long to tell me what they’re thinking and soon it will be my turn again … so conversation with me has become something that some people can endure.

My date is one of those people

I should point out that it is my partner who I’m constantly trying to impress with remembering lights and takeout containers and things like that. In truth, when I forget things she’s pretty understanding, but it feels pretty good when I get things right.

But last night, as we were driving home, I realized the mistake I’d made.

What went wrong?

“I left the front door lights on …” I confessed as we drove down the street carefully to avoid hitting trick-or-treaters.

“Oh no.” she said, “Those poor kids, walking up our drive, ringing our bell, no one coming to the door.”

Sad man

The whole mood of the evening changed for me in that one moment of realization.

I hung my head down as best I could while still trying to drive and not hit costumed children and chaperones. “I thought I was being responsible, thought we’d have light to see to get in by. I seriously thought I had done good.”

She looked at me, understandingly. I have the best partner. I knew she was feeling proud of me despite the screw up.

And then we arrived home, only to discover that, although I had thought to turn on the front light … I’d actually forgotten.

The lights aren’t on … and no one’s at home.

The Lights Are On, But …

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). The Lights Are On, But …. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Nov 2019
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