Wouldn’t it be cool if you could get back all the time you’ve wasted in your life? Imagine what you’d do with the days, months, even years!
It feels like time speeds up as you get older. Having lived more life, you become acutely aware of how each moment of life can be (has been) savored or squandered.
The older you get, the less time you have ahead of you. This creates an urgency to use it devoutly. While you can afford to waste time in your youth, doing so only causes a delayed side-effect of mid-life regret.
That kind of time-grief isn’t limited to middle age. In fact, existential crises can happen at any time in your life.
Who am I?
What do I stand for?
What do I want to do with my life?
These are the “crises” of youth. At some point, though, we get a pretty firm grip on the..
It’s been a busy summer. Like every summer, the days have slipped past me faster than the plummeting price of oil.
I love having the kids off from school. No lunches to pack, no early morning alarm bells (for them, anyway). No arguing over what to wear or when to go to bed. Just pure, blissful, organic, moment-to-moment living.
I treasure these stolen moments with the kids, to laze around and (yes, I’ll admit) watch Vat19.com videos on Youtube. It’s guilt-inducing that I allow them to pollute their minds with pointless tripe, but redeeming to find communion over a shared sense of humour.
Admittedly, there have not been enough “stolen moments” like these. (I count stolen moments as extra moments to do out-of-the-ordinary things that can’t be done within the confines of your normal..
Have you ever really seen yourself? I don’t mean checking yourself out in the mirror as you shave in the morning or try on a new outfit. I mean:
Have you ever really looked at yourself? Like – watched yourself, as you go about your business in a normal day?
I suspect not. Most ADDers are not keen observers. Sure, we’re great at noticing new and unusual things. We pick up on seemingly irrelevant details or quickly draw lines between dots, to find connections that other people don’t see. In some situations, our ability to observe these kinds of obscurities is an asset. It can certainly lend to creativity and divergent problem-solving.
In general, though, we are not great observers of the mundane and ordinary. Unfortunately, most days tend to fit this description. It’s why we repeatedly..
I recently finished reading 10 Things I Hate about ADHD (Plus 10 more) by Bryan Hutchinson. In case you haven’t heard, I recently made Bryan’s list of top ADD blogs, which I am (super) proud of. Check it out here at ADDer World.
Now before you assume this post is merely a gratuity for the honour he bestowed me, let me snuff out your suspicion. I have read several of Bryan’s previous books and enjoyed them immensely. Quite simply, Bryan is a funny writer. Plus, he is a very generous person who has his given a lot of his time to the online ADHD community. He has a way of making people feel like they have found a friend in him, and that shines through in his writing.
If there was an adjunctive reason for me to review his book (apart from the fact that I enjoyed it), it would be this:
Most of us have spent our entire lives feeling broken.
We grew up knowing something was wrong with us, even if it at the time we didn’t know it by its four-letter acronym. We’ve spent years, even lifetimes, trying to get normal. We’d have been better off to escape Wonderland on the tail of a tardy rabbit. That would have been just as realistic.
What I’m saying is this:
If you are still trying to become normal, you need to wake up. There is no Wonderland. There is no normal.
Yes, 8 out of 10 kids may be able t0 sit still in class. Not all of those 8 will pass those classes with flying colours though. 8 out of 10 people don’t lose their keys every single day. But not all 8 of those will have tidy homes. 8 out of 10 people don’t interrupt in conversations...
The more I talk about ADHD, the more I come to realize I’m not all that interested in ADHD at all. At least, not in the disorder-definition we associate with that four-letter acronym. I know it’s considered a disorder, but like I’ve argued many times – “disorder” is contextual.
I am, however, fascinated by ADHD as a brain-wiring, sovereign from malfunction when we consider that it can have many utilities. Hacking is one of them. Not computer hacking per se, but life hacking. Work hacking. School hacking. Just-about-anything-hacking.
What do I mean by hacking? In case you weren’t already aware, a hack is “any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life” (thanks to Wikipedia for that succinct explanation).
I used to believe that anything was possible if you really set your mind to it.
Now that I’ve hit 40, I have realized this: I probably won’t achieve even half of what I am capable of in this lifetime. It’s a sad realization, but equally freeing.
While I still concur with the basic tenet of my youthful belief, experience has shown me a hidden clause – that it would be virtually impossible to set my mind to one thing. If I really wanted to be an astrophysicist, and it was my sole priority in life, then nothing could stop me. But I am not built to be singularly focussed on one pursuit. I’m guessing you aren’t either.
So what does that mean for me, or for you?
I know you have many lingering regrets about what could have been if only you had learned to manage your ADHD better at an earlier..
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”
I write today from the happiest place on earth. My daughter likes to tell me that phrase rather annoys her. She says:
“How do they know for sure it’s the happiest place on earth? I mean, maybe our home is actually the happiest place on earth. They can’t tell us where the happiest place on earth is, that’s up to us to decide!”
I love my daughter.
But she does accept Disney Land is a pretty darn happy place, even if it’s not the happiest by everyone’s standards.
I was frankly a little worried about coming here. I get bombarded pretty easily, especially in big, noisy crowds.
To my surprise, I’ve coped pretty well. In fact, I’ve had a blast! Which led me to think about the man and the..
Lately, my 7-year-old has been asking me about ADHD. I’m glad, of course. It means she’s interested in my work and what I spend my free time writing about. It’s quite an honour actually, that my daughter would want to know more about something that is so important to me.
No one has suggested that either of my kids have ADHD. That doesn’t mean I don’t see traits in them. But those traits do not seem to be impairing them in a major way… so far. I count that as a blessing, and in turn, parent them to the best of my ability, aspiring to be someone who teaches them how to get the best out of themselves.
But if my kids were to be diagnosed, there are a few things I would want them to know about life with ADHD. I am certain that knowing these things could change their lives forever, and maybe..
You remember (last post) when we talked about curiosity being one of your biggest assets? I have more to say about that.
I forgot to mention that you have another big asset at your disposal: creativity. Before you shush me with a modest “But I’m not creative!”, let me pre-empt you. You most certainly ARE creative (infinity, no return!).
We all have the capacity for creativity. It’s not an innate skill blessed on an auspicious few. It’s a seed implanted at birth, but one you must cultivate in order to experience its rewards.
Our Best Assets are Already at Our Disposal
ADDers tend to be a highly creative bunch. As we already know, we are also incredibly curious. Lucky for us, creativity and curiosity go really well together, like fried fish and tartar sauce. When you use them together..
It may have killed the cat, but for your ADD – curiosity might just be your biggest asset.
ADDers are highly distractible and we consider this a bad thing. It’s not. Not totally, anyway. Ned Hallowell illuminates the positive side of distractibility: it’s just a manifestation of “turbocharged curiosity”.
“Turbocharged curiosity” is the thing that makes us creative. It fuels innovation. It’s a pre-cursor to effective problem-solving. Improvements in products, services or systems only come about because somebody got curious about how things could be better. Curiosity, in many ways, makes the world a better place.
At the same time, it lends to distractions. We get distracted because we are curious – about more things than we can possibly pay attention to at one time. So we vacillate from..
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I talk a lot about acceptance, especially the importance of accepting your ADD/ADHD. But what does acceptance look like? More importantly, why is it even important?
Acceptance is a vague word. Dictionary.com offers a couple of definitions of this word, but for the purpose of this post, the first definition is important.
“The act of taking or receiving something offered”.
The act of taking or receiving something offered? Taking or receiving ADD? How exactly does a person go about taking or receiving ADD?
Let’s face it, you don’t exactly have a choice. You have to take AND receive ADD because you can’t give it back. As much as you would like to…
Perhaps it is easier to explain what acceptance is not. It’s not self-deprecation. It’s not..
This is the last post in the transformation series. As a recap, this series is intended to help you change nothing in your life but your perspective of it. We are speculating that: by starting to see your life, yourself, or your ADHD differently – without doing anything at all to change it – you will find yourself in a more powerful position to effect positive change down the line.
In Transform Your Life: ADHD to Zen, we talked about embracing the chaos of your life and getting out of your own way, to see the beauty of what you already have. In ADHD to Zen: Non-Doing, we discussed how the practice of non-doing or, of doing things effortlessly, without attachment to the results, can actually help you do things better. And in ADHD to Zen: Living Fully, we explored the notion that living..
It’s like someone gave us a pair of soccer cleats and said:
“Now go out there and put the puck in the net”.
It’s understandable that we cry out and demand “Give me some skates!” But nobody listens. Our cries fall on air-horn-deafened ears. After a while, some of us change our tune. We abandon the hockey rink, decide that if life won’t give us skates, we’ll find a soccer pitch and learn a new game.
But not all of us find a soccer pitch or figure out how to play the beautiful game. That’s when we really suffer. They say that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But if you don’t have access to water or sugar, you’re hooped. The adage is intendedly..