Mastery

Pretend You Don’t Have ADHD

ADHD

Sometimes I wish that I could follow a non-ADHD person around for a day – just to see how they do life.

Haven’t you ever wondered how the so-called “normal” people do it?

I can spend a whole day, frenetically doing a bunch of this and a whole lot of that. I try to be mindful of what I am doing, while I am doing it. I feel like I am pretty efficient, for the most part. But I’m sure if I hung out with a neurotypical, their day would look a lot different than mine.

But would it be better?

I’m thinking of asking someone if I can shadow them for a day. But how do you approach a request like that?

“Hey, can I follow you around for a while? Just go about your business and pretend I’m not there. You be the lion, I’ll be the camera woman. I just want to know what a normal day looks like in your wilderness.”

It’s creepy and weird, so perhaps I won’t.

This idea came to me the other day. I am a member of a task force in my community, whose focus is on promoting education about ADHD and enhancing resources for those who live with it. Every October, we put on a community event in honor of ADHD Awareness Month. This year, our theme is going to be “Getting Inside the ADHD Mind” – with a focus on creating a better understanding of what it’s like to have ADHD, designed especially for those live with an ADDer.

I would like to engineer the reverse of that. What’s it like to not have ADD? Do people without ADHD have only one thought at a time? When faced with a big list, do they automatically know what to focus on first or do they have to think hard about it? Are they naturally organized and on time, or does it take effort?

Think about this for a few minutes. What would it be like to NOT have ADHD?

I’ve been contemplating this. I can’t come up with a conclusive answer, obviously. I can’t live in someone else’s head. I’m stuck with my own. But this is the conclusion I’ve come to, based on nothing more than a thought experiment.

Without ADHD, I’d still be me. I can see that certain parts of my life are definitely affected by the fact that I have it, but I can’t say that my struggles would go away if my brain was wired differently. Perhaps I would just have different struggles. Perhaps you would too.

Being organized, focused, and on time would no doubt be easier. But I don’t think I’d necessarily be happier, more successful, or fulfilled. I imagine it this way:

 

People who wear glasses might feel that some things in their lives would be easier if they didn’t need to wear glasses. No doubt, that’s why laser surgery has become a popular procedure. I don’t wear glasses, but I can imagine it’s a pain-in-the-butt to have to rely on them, and there would be times when it’s extremely inconvenient to depend on them.

But take away the need to wear glasses – how much better would life become? I mean, after the initial novelty wears off?

This is what I think:

Life without ADHD would have its own struggles. Having ADHD can certainly make a lot of things harder, but it doesn’t necessarily make life harder. Living with ADHD, successfully, can mean that it’s no more inconvenient than relying on a pair of glasses for reading or driving.

It really is that simple. As I’ve talked about many times before, there are many ways in which ADHD can actually benefit our lives, especially when we know how to use it to our advantage. The difference between being overcoming ADHD struggles, and being overcome by them, comes down to whether or not you find ways to make it work for you.

Read through the archives of this blog – I’ve outline dozens of ways that you can make ADHD work for you. If you’d like to find more unique ways to manage your ADHD, shoot me off an email and we’ll talk about it. And don’t forget to sign up for more free tips delivered straight to your in box in the signup sheet below.

Growth

How to Be Your Own ADHD Coach

adhd coach

It doesn’t seem like it should be this hard to get on top of things, does it?

If you know what needs to be done, you should be able to just do it, right?

Maybe its the approach you’re taking.

I’m going to shoot myself in the foot when I say this, but you don’t need coaching to help you manage the challenges of ADHD. To say that in writing is a bit bonkers, since I am an ADHD coach. Why would I tell you that the thing I have to offer is something you don’t actually need? Hint: it’s not because I lack sales skills (though actually, I do) or because I am a half-wit (though actually, I hope I’m not!)

In truth, no one needs coaching. No one needs counseling either. There’s no rule of physics, philosophy or otherwise, that states things have to be any different than they are right now.

But when you want to feel better, leave a problem behind you, or move past a limitation – you may choose to get help. Through coaching or counseling or whatever means available. You don’t need to overcome challenges. You want to.

And get this: a lot of the help available, should you choose to seek it out, is free – or close to it. ADHD resources – such as books, websites, online videos and courses – are bountiful and relatively inexpensive. Most of them are but a click away, at any time, from anywhere in the world. Maybe not from my house on a Sunday evening, when the Internet connection collapses from winter traffic. But from anywhere else, anytime else.

But here’s the catch:

Just reading the book or watching the video is not the same as doing the work.

A lot of people use self-help materials. It’s a huge industry. No doubt, some of them are better than others (this blog is one of the better ones, just ask my mom). In any case, it doesn’t really matter. You have all the answers you need within yourself. Whatever resource you consult is merely a way of tapping into those answers.

That’s why I want to share with you the “secrets” of coaching. There’s no real mystery to it. You are the expert on you. And you can coach yourself through ADHD if you know how to approach it.

Here’s How to Coach Yourself

 

1. Find out everything you can about it

Books, videos… whatever! A good ADHD coach knows a lot about ADHD, and not just about the typical symptoms listed in a wiki. They know that ADDers can be accident prone but also make great athletes, can be unfocused at work but awesome in emergencies, and can look like they’re procrastinating when really they’re perfectionisting  (my word, but you can use it).

ADD is full of paradoxes. Learn about those paradoxes so you can understand why some so-called easy things are hard while other, objectively harder things – are easy.

 

2. Become more aware of YOUR ADD

It’s been said that there are around 18 thousand variations of the ADHD presentation. That’s why it’s so highly misunderstood.

My ADHD will most definitely look different than yours. Coaches help individuals figure out their own brand of ADHD, from the big challenges to the more subtle nuances of it.

 

3. Be More Accepting of Yourself

My most important job as a coach is to teach my clients how to let up on themselves a bit. You know how honey catches more flies than vinegar? My clients work harder when they know it’s okay to screw up. I don’t lecture them because I’ve made all the same screw ups in the past too. Except for my client who once burned down his garage. I haven’t done that (yet?)

Don’t lecture yourself. Remember: you are learning. You don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to step back and think:

What did I learn from this and what will I change next time?

 

4. Stick to one or two strategies at a time

My clients show up to our first meeting wanting to work on time management, clearing up clutter on the second, and by the third – they want to launch a new business selling personalized hour glasses to house keepers.

I’m no different. I’m an avid reader. I’m certain that each book is “the one” that will change my life forever. I’m a book-promiscuous. My Kindle has become a cemetery for forgotten epiphanies.

An ADHD coach’s job is to hold dear what the client quickly forgets. When my clients bring up new goals, I check in with them… “Are you sure you want to tackle thermodynamics right now? Cuz we haven’t really nailed the scientific method yet!”

In the beginning, focus on one or two of your “this-will-be-a-huge-relief-when-it’s-gone” type of challenges. Focus on first-things-first, before you take on the complete redesign of your entire life.

 

5. Keep doing the work

Richard Branson wasn’t built in a day. He may have been made in 15 minutes or less, but his empire took years to build. And he built it by making records and launching airlines, not watching TV.

My job as a coach is to keep my clients working hard, even when they don’t feel hopeful or motivated. Your job, as your own ADHD coach, is to make that commitment to yourself. Show up. Do the work. Repeat.

 

6. Celebrate successes

My favorite coachy things to say is: “Whoa pony, slow down! You just did what?!”

Not because my clients like being referred to as equines, but because my clients rarely take a moment to congratulate themselves when they kick butt. That’s where I step in and high-five their butt-kicking.

So when you coach yourself, make sure you high-five yourself. A lot. When no one is looking of course.

 

There’s no mystery to coaching yourself to overcome ADHD challenges, it just takes the right mindset and a willingness to accept your challenges, learn from them, and take a moment to celebrate when things go well. Now that I’ve talked myself out of a job, I must add that I’ve been incredibly happy to do so. I want everyone to know that the power to change their lives is within themselves, but you have to treat yourself the way a coach would treat you. Do onto yourself as a coach would do onto you – remember that okay?

But if you can’t do that, then maybe we should talk. Drop me a line on the contact page and we’ll see what we can do.

Growth

Help! There Are No Resources For Adult ADHD Where I Live!

See a doctor, get diagnosed, get treatment, get better. That’s how it goes for adults who find out they have ADHD, right?

Yes. Yes, it does. And afterwards, a pink elephant swings by the doctor’s office, scoops you up onto his flying, technicolor carpet and gives you a lift home to your mushroom mansion on cloud cuckoo land.

Here in the real world, it doesn’t work that way. Many places – especially rural areas, but even large urban centres – have few services for folks with ADHD, none the least adults. Getting diagnosed is often the easiest part, but even that can be tricky. What comes afterwards, though, can be logarithmic. As in – the problem can be solved, but few of us know how.

As October is International ADHD Awareness Month, I’d like to make help* more accessible for everyone. Surprisingly, some of the best help out there is location-independent – you can access it no matter where you live. If you have a telephone or internet connection, you’re golden.

To follow is a plethora of ADHD resources. I will explain what they’re about, who they are best suited to, and how you can access them and use them most effectively. It’s a pretty robust list, but don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t need to read this whole post. Skim the headings, find the sections that interest you, and come back to it later. And if you have a recommendation, please share it in the comments at the end. If suitable, I will revise this post and add it in.

 

Adult ADHD Coaching

I have a bias here. I am an Adult ADHD Coach, so of course it’s going to be the first resource I recommend. I became a coach because coaching changed my life. It gave me insight, awareness, and the power to make things different.

But what exactly is ADHD Coaching?

It is a unique relationship, like no other. You get to talk to someone who is intently interested in what you have to say, and whose entire aim is to help you move forward in life. Your coach has an adept sense of how to get the most out of you – to challenge limiting beliefs and help you design strategies for success. On top of this, he or she knows all about ADHD and what it’s like to struggle with it.

Where else could you get this kind of focused, strategic and supportive help?

The beauty of ADHD coaching is that you can access it from almost anywhere. You don’t need to find a coach in your community – most coaches work over the phone. Telephone coaching works brilliantly, sometimes better than face-to-face. My clients fit me around their busy lives. They call me on their lunch breaks, from the office, from a parking lot or the side of the road.

Telephone coaching works well for adults with ADHD because it minimizes hassle and maximizes time. You don’t have to drive to get it. You don’t have to find parking. You don’t even have to get dressed if you don’t want to. (Though if you decide to do Skype coaching, it is recommended you at least put on a housecoat.)

If you want to know more about coaching, feel free to email me. This isn’t a sales pitch – I give free advice all the time. There are also a few coaching directories I can recommend. They will help you pick a coach based on particular attributes.

Here are those directories:

1. Totally ADDhttp://totallyadd.com/coaching-directory-search/

2. Attention Deficit Disorder Coaching Academyhttp://addca.com/adhd-coach-training/ADHD-Coaches/

ADDCA also does a great post on what to look for in a coach. Check it out here.

3. ADHD Coaches Organizationhttps://www.adhdcoaches.org/find-a-coach

Just a bit of advice as you do your search – shop around. A great coaching partnership is not just about a person’s credentials or their price. Coaching works best when the two of you gel. Whenever I get a call from a new client, I always encourage them to speak to a few other coaches as well. I want to make sure they find the coach that is the right fit for them.

 

Videos

There are many great videos that can help you understand your ADHD and teach you effective tools for managing it. These videos are stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking. And the beauty of them is that they take very little effort – just sit back, relax and enjoy.

I’m kidding about that last part. While the videos I am about to mention are completely enjoyable, you’ll only get as much out them as you put into them. Watch them attentively. Take notes. Do the exercises. Then watch them again and repeat. They are meant to change your life, so it’s only natural you take them more seriously than watching Netflix.

1. ADDcrusher.com – When Alan Brown says his videos (aimed at helping you CRUSH your ADHD) “kick the crap out of reading books”, he’s not kidding. Alan is just the kind of boot-camp-drill-sergeant I’d have on my team if I was embarking on siege to take my life back. It helps that he’s also a really great guy – entertaining, witty and very engaging.  It’s his personal mission to help ADDers worldwide live up to their potential. I, for one, am glad he’s on our side.

Have a look at his Crusher video series or  check out his newly launched Crusher TV series. They are like having a personal coach in your living room, on demand, whenever you need it. Here’s a little taster…

2. TotallyADD.com – No doubt, you’ve seen the PBS favourite “ADD & Loving It?!”. If you haven’t, you should check out the trailer.

Rick Green et al bring you solid information about ADHD – what it is and what it isn’t – as well as strategies for managing your life better, getting professional help, and just about any other ADHD-related topic you can think of. Bonus – they are funny. Like, spew-coffee-through-your-nose funny. You’ll be able to pay attention without much effort at all.

Check out the Totally ADD‘s online videos and their videos available for purchase. Also, have a look at their YouTube channel – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder why you haven’t watched these videos before now.

3. The CHADD National Resource on ADHD also has an array of webcasts in their “Ask the Expert Series”. Make sure to have a look around their website – they have a TON of other resources as well, including their Adult ADHD Toolkit.

 

Online/Distance Learning Classes

People don’t realize that effective help doesn’t have to come in the form of one-on-one conversations. Sometimes the first step to figuring out your challenges is to learn from others who have mastered their own.

1. ADDCA – The coaching academy I trained with offers two classes that are specifically designed to help you understand and manage your ADHD better: Simply ADHD and Personal Transformation. The classes are done via conference calls, and by participating you get a chance to connect with a skilled ADHD coach, as well as a cohort of people who “totally get it” when you say you feel like a light bulb has just switched on. Not sure if this is for you? Enroll for one of their free introductory teleclasses.

2. ADDclasses.com offers several web-based training opportunities specific to ADHD challenges. Check them out soon and you’ll still have time to register for their free online ADHD Expo (October 25 to October 31). ADHD Experts will share tips and strategies via video while you connect with other ADDers in the chat room.

3. ADDitude MagazineADDitude Online offers several webinars hosted by the field’s top experts, addressing your most common concerns.

4. ADHDMarriage.com – Offers two courses via telephone – both live and recorded – aimed at helping couple who experience the impact of ADHD on their marriage. The ADHD Effect In-Depth with Melissa Orlov not only improves your understanding of how ADHD affects the marriage for both spouses, it will give you concrete strategies for moving your relationship forward. Recovering Intimacy in Your Relationship is a multi-week seminar that will provide you with tools and exercises to bring back “those lovin’ feelings.”

Podcasts

Podcasts are another great way to get more information and help for your ADHD. They don’t have the visually stimulating effect of videos, but sometimes that’s a bonus. You can listen to a podcast while you do other things. You know how we all love to multi-task. Now you can feel good about it, knowing you’re actually helping yourself while you play video games, put away your laundry, or pick your nose.

My recommended podcasts:

1. Attention Talk Radio – Hosted by Attention  Coach Jeff Copper, Attention Talk Radio puts spotlight on how paying attention to your attention gets you unstuck. That’s a lot of attention.

2. ADDitude’s ADHD Experts Podcast – ADHD Experts answer questions posed by parents and adults with ADHD.

3. ADHD PeopleThe Tom Nardone Show – An Enema of ADHD (Not necessarily aimed at tricks and tips, but the name says it all – you’re in for a cathartic experience. Have fun, you can thank me later.)

4. ADHD reWired – Hosted by therapist and coach Eric Tivers, reWired broadcasts interviews with real people living with ADHD, including entrepreneurs and professionals working within our tribe.

5.  ADHD Support Talk Radio – Founder and Director of ADDClasses.com, Tara McGillicuddy, shares her expertise and interviews other experts in the field.

 

Support Groups

There is a lot to be gained from participating in a program with other people who understand what it’s like to have the challenges you do. I’ve often talked about how finding my tribe was one of the best things I ever did for my confidence. Since I’ve started talking to other people with ADHD, I’ve become a different person. I now belong to a tribe of incredible dreamers, visionaries, innovators and scatterbrains. We’re an awesome group, flaws and all, don’t you think?

1. Check out CHADD to see if there is a chapter local to you or have a look around your community for a support group. If you can’t find one, consider starting one. You’ll be surprized how many other adults like you will be glad you did. If you want to know how to start a support group, CHADD can be a great resource to get you started.

2. ADDforums.com – If you’d like some support from the comfort of your couch (as opposed to lying back on your shrink’s proverbial couch), check ADDforums. Post your question or concern and get feedback from other ADDers who have experienced the same dilemmas.

3. ADDconsults.com – Ladies only! A pioneer in the niche of women with ADHD, Terry Matlen’s ADDconsults.com hosts a forum area where women can connect with her and with other women living with ADHD.

Books on ADHD

Books are probably one of the most accessible yet underrated resources for ADHD. Books are great for helping you to get a new understanding of ADHD – not just its symptoms, but what it actually means to have ADHD and the skills necessary to thrive with it. They are also great because you can keep them to refer to later, as many of us will forget new tips and tricks.

They aren’t great for people who find it difficult to concentrate or have a hard time sitting still long enough to read them. If this is the case for you, you may want to check out my post How to Read Like a Pro and Enjoy It (Even if You Hate Reading). An even simpler tactic is to get an audio book that you can listen to while walking the dog, cleaning the house, or dance up a storm at Zumba. Okay, maybe not.

Here are my favourite ADHD books (these, of course, are just some of the many out there).

1. 10 Things I Hate about ADHD, Bryan Hutchinson – A great read to start with – especially if you’re not really looking to change things but just want to feel like someone else “gets it”. Reading it is like talking to a good friend about everything you’ve been through – the good, the bad, and the laugh-out-loud ugly. Bryan’s written a lot of other excellent books on ADHD and positive psychology related topics, check them out here.

2. Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, Russell A. Barkley – From the world’s leading authority on ADHD, you will find step-by-step strategies for managing ADHD with exercises to build your skills.

3. You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo – Apart from having an awesome title, this seminal book on Adult ADHD provides moral support by articulating just what it’s like to have ADHD. It also offers practical advice to manage your symptoms and your life. (Audio Version Available)

4. The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals, Lidia Zylowska – Before you roll your eyes and groan at me for yet another mention of mindfulness, I promise you – I receive no kickbacks from the Buddha! The reason I tout mindfulness so much for us ADDers is because – IT REALLY WORKS. This book takes all the mystery out of meditation and illustrates how easy – but impactful – it can be. Plus, it comes with a CD to guide your attention training process.

5. ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau – These ladies have compiled the best organization suggestions that are congruent with how an ADDer actually operates. (Audio Version Available)

6. More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD , Ari Tuckman – This foundational book outlines clearly the journey between getting diagnosed and transforming your life, and pays special attention to why some strategies work and others don’t.

7. Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder, Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey – Driven to Distraction revolutionized a new understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder. It was the book that made me realize I had ADHD. In Delivered, the authors take that revolution to the 2.0 version by building a comprehensive guide to living successfully with ADHD. (Audio Version Available)

8. ADD Stole My Car Keys, Rick Green and Umesh Jain – My psychiatrist gave me this book a few years ago, and it was probably the best book he ever gave me (it was the only book he gave me). The way it is set up is very cool and very novel (and hey – don’t we all love cool, new things?). It gives parallel perspectives from both an ADDer (Rick Green of ADD & Loving It?! fame) and his psychiatrist. So it’s kind of like seeing a shrink, but not footing the bill. And … each chapter is very short (great for quick minds).

9. The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents, Nancy A. Ratey – This book teaches you how to take control and make real changes so that you can live your best possible life.

10. The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out, J. Russell Ramsay and Anthony L. Rostain – I’m a firm believer in the power of CBT (so much so, I did a post-grad in it!) – not just for ADDers, but for everyone with a pulse. One of the biggest problems ADHD folks face is the fact that the symptoms of ADHD can actually interfere with your ability to get help for ADHD. This user-friendly book doesn’t just teach you skills, it offers you tactics to help you apply the skills in your everyday life. .

11. The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child Paperback, Thom Hartmann – This is one of my all-time favourite books. Ever. It explores how our traits as ADDers have been very necessary in the evolution of society. It won’t change your ADHD. But it will make you feel a heck of a lot better about having it. That, to me, is worth more than a thousand hours of therapy.

12. Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload, Lucy Jo Palladino Ph.D. – Not specifically about ADHD, it does spend some time exploring attention challenges specific to ADDers. In addition, it is a wonderful read that demystifies the art of focusing and paying attention.

13. Untapped Brilliance: How to Reach Your Full Potential as an Adult with Attention Deficit DisorderJacqueline Sinfield – I think we ADDers are magical creatures who could fly if only we knew how to tap into our strengths, kind of like unicorns who misplaced their horns. While this book won’t teach you to fly, Jacqueline does outline 11 simple steps to flourishing with ADHD. That’s better than flying.

14. Journeys Through ADDulthood: Discover a New Sense of Identity and Meaning with Attention Deficit Disorder, Sari Solden – A step-by-step guided journey through your adult ADHD mind. Buckle up – your going to bulldoze some road blocks.

15. The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps, Melissa Orlov – This book goes beyond the scope of traditional marriage counseling and guides couple through the healing process of improving an ADHD-affected marriage. Also check out the author’s other book, co-authored with Nancie Kohlenberger, entitled: The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD. 

 

Websites & Blogs

There are a gazillion great websites and blogs out there on ADHD and related topics – too many to add to this (already too-long) post. Each offers readers a unique take on what it takes to manage ADHD and thrive with it. Here are a dozen or so of my favourites (Apart from The Art of ADD of course!):

 

ADDerworld – Bryan Hutchinson’s positive take on ADHD

ADD Crusher (the blog) – Alan Brown’s ADD-Crushing Blog

Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada – Canada’s resource for ADHD

Cameron Gott – Unique perspective of the Global Creative and ADHD

ADDitude Magazine – THE Magazine for ADDers

ADHD From A to Zoe – A candid perspective of ADHD from accomplished author, Zoe Kessler. Check out her book by the same name too.

Dr. Kenny Handleman – Blog from a Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist specializing in ADHD

Dr. Hallowell – the “father” of modern ADHD awareness

Russell Barkley – the “other father” of modern ADHD awareness 

ADD Consults – “The Queen of Distraction”, Terry Matlen, talks about women’s issues and mothering with ADHD

Untapped Brilliance – Jacqueline Sinfield helps you tap into your brilliant side  

A Splintered Mind – Douglas Cootey tackles ADHD & Depression with “lots of humor and attitude”

ADHD and Marriage – Brought to you by ADHD Expert & Relationship Consultant Melissa Orlov in partnership with Dr. Ned Hallowell – this website offers information, connection & support for couples experiencing ADHD

Phew. That was exhausting, don’t you think? The ADHD in you probably thought this post would never end. The ADHD in me wants to quit right here – no conclusion, or wrap-up – it just wants me to bolt. But since I’m in control, not my ADHD, let me conclude this post saying one more thing:

You may feel alone in your search for self-assurance and a better life. You so aren’t. You may think you’ll never figure it out, never live your best life. You so will. You may think there’s no help out there for you to access. There so is!

I hope this list of ADHD resources has shown you that, at the very least, there is help for you – no matter where you live. Most of these resources have been created by the people, for the people – ADDers united. Reach out to these resources and reach out to each other.

This is ADHD Awareness Month but we need to be aware of ADHD every day of the year. I hope these resources will give you a good start. And again – if you have any more resources you’d like to add to this list, or great idea for a resource you’d like to see available – please share it in the comments below!

* (Caveat – For the purpose of this post, I’m referring to non-medicinal help. Whether or not you take it is a matter of personal choice. But I stand firm that medication alone is not an effective treatment regimen. It helps you reign your mind, but it doesn’t teach you how to use it.)
Mindset

What Do You Hate about ADHD?

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:

We (ADDers) have been misunderstood for most of our lives. Sometimes, just feeling understood – like somebody else “gets” us – can be a more powerful than many years of therapy. And its certainly better than the ass-kicking we give ourselves. 

If there was one book that could bring you face-to-face with your ADHD personified, this book would be it. Bryan, as always, does a fantastic job of bringing ADHD to life with his witty prose. Are there laugh-out-loud moments in this book? You bet. And also some cringe-worthy ones, but then – haven’t we all had more than our share of those too?

10 Things I Hate About ADHD is concise – a perfect read for the impatient mind. But don’t be fooled by its brevity. Its impact is far-reaching in its objective to show us we are (definitely) not alone in the crazy quirkiness of our ADHD lives. Each of the 20 things he mentions are things that drive me crazy about ADHD too. I won’t spoil the book for you (go get it here!), but I’ll bet they are the things that you hate too.

I spend a lot of time writing about acceptance and embracing the positive side of ADHD, so it’s hard to admit to the things I hate about it. Nevertheless, there ARE things I hate, and I wonder if you hate them too?

I hate the restlessness. I hate how, at times, NOW is never good enough. I am always reaching for the next thing or eagerly pursuing the next moment rather than being in the present. Hell, I can’t even have a good time without wondering what is going to happen when the good time is over. (BTW, when is this post going to be over? I was ready to start painting my basement door three paragraphs ago!)

I hate not being able to transition. I hate when I am really into whatever I am doing, but have to stop. It violates all the tasks I do afterwards. All I can do is perseverate on getting back to that thing I was doing before. Likewise, I hate it when I have no perseverance. My kids would tell you that hanging out with me is a kind of playtime speed-dating – we do lots of things together, but nothing for longer than 12 and a half minutes.

 

Lastly, I hate the impatience. In fact, I can’t stand one more second of life with impatience! No one understands the ills of waiting like an ADDer. Our minds run like the bus in the movie Speed – if you take your foot off the gas for one second, the whole thing is going to blow. And if it does, its taking everyone else with it!

Those are my top three, but I am more curious about you. What are the things you hate the most about ADHD? Or, what things have you learned to stop hating over the years? Tell us all in the comments below. But please hurry up, I can’t wait a second longer for your reply because I have other things I need to move on to! 😉

Mindset

The Joys of ADHD and the Risks of Being Normal

 

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.

Why Embrace the Joys of ADD?

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. But not all 8 out of 10 are great conversationalists.

All of the things that make up our ADD-selves, the part of ourselves through which our ADD traits manifest themselves, those are things that other people (who don’t have ADD) also experience. Lots of people are frequently late. Lots of people are incredibly disorganized. Lots of people are long-winded interrupters who seem to have no point to their stories.

Just because we have all of those things, we are told we have ADD.

But let me ask you this: If a tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear?

Or put another way: if an ADDer is put in an ADD-friendly environment, do they still have ADD?

Let’s imagine I sent you on a little vacay for a couple of weeks. I left you on a deserted island, with only a spoon, a tarp and a box of matches to aid your survival. Because I am a wonderful travel agent, I also informed you that there were wild beasts from which you would need to defend yourself whilst simultaneously searching out a food source. Then I left.

Would your ADD hinder you in any way during your stay?

Think about it. You have no itinerary. You don’t have to awake at any set time, and there is nowhere you have to be. You have no home to maintain, no items to lose but the clothes on your back, and no one expecting you to remember the shopping. There is no TV to distract you. It’s just you and the elements of nature. Your duty is to survive and enjoy whatever the day may bring.

Would ADD get in your way AT ALL?

How might it help you?

People with ADD are often quick to react. They are frequently distracted by all the stimuli in the environment which, in this hypothetical environment, makes them a “scanner”. It’s pretty useful to scan the environment frequently when you need to watch out for predators and seek out your prey. Hyperactivity wouldn’t harm you in anyway either – it’s quite useful to be constantly on the move when you need to survive, or so I’ve learned from the Walking Dead anyway.

If you still can’t see what I am blatantly trying to tell you, let me encourage you to think of it from a different perspective. How useful are the skills of sitting still, listening in class, being neat, tidy and organized and punctual when you are running for your life (or at least for your stomach)?

Yes, of course, it’s not a real-life situation except on Survivor. But that doesn’t change the fact that if you were able to live in a different environment, your ADD might not be a problem at all. Maybe you don’t live on a deserted island, but that doesn’t mean you have to conceptualize yourself as the problem, rather than the environments modern society allocates us to live in.

You know, it’s only been in the last 100 or so years that kids were forced to sit down and learn the same standardized curriculum in a group of thirty same-aged peers. We think that’s normal. But if the world is tens of thousands of years old, and we’ve only started teaching our kids that way in the last century, in my books – that makes school abnormal. It may be the way we do things currently, but it’s not the way we have always done things and it’s very unlikely to be the way we will always do them.

Yes, the world has seen an explosion in ADD diagnoses. I don’t think it will always be this way. If Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind has anything to say about it, I’m right. You should go read that book (or listen to the audio).

There are plenty of things that the ADD mind is adeptly built for. Like creativity, and innovation. Like chaos management and crisis resolution.  Like firefighting and emergency response. Like, like, like….

You see, when you look at things from a “broken” perspective, you assume that you need to fix something that is wrong, when nothing is wrong at all. It is what it is. When you celebrate what is good about that thing, you find a place for it.

That’s not to say that ADD doesn’t have its disadvantages, of course it does. But there are a lot of hazards to being a genius. And many hazards of being frugal. And also many hazards of reclusive or self-restricted. We don’t have to think that those things are ALL BAD though.

I happen to think that there is a place in this world for us ADDers. Thom Hartmann, author of The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, agrees with me. He’s a pretty smart guy, so you should believe us both. Even if you don’t agree, at the very least you must accept that having ADD isn’t all bad, all of the time.

Research shows that ADDers have a higher tendency towards creativity. They also suggest that ADDers are frequently drawn to intense, high-demand and high-risk careers such as entrepreneurship.

You may not be one of those people. You may be, like so many of us, stuck in a career that is ill-suited to your energetic, associative, divergent thinking and need for constant stimulation and frequently changing environment.

It’s a lot easier to feel bad about being in the wrong place than it is to feel about being the wrong person.

I don’t have a simple solution to this. Try as hard as you can to find a better job for yourself. But in the meantime, try as hard as you can to make your job fit you.

The point about celebrating ADD isn’t to stand on top of your roof top and shout into a megaphone how wonderful you are. That tends to draw the wrong kind of attention to yourself and may lead to an all-expenses paid trip to a psychiatric facility.

However, celebrating your differences can have real advantages. People who celebrate their differences aren’t limited to ADDers. With the change in the way we think about “normal”, the idea of normal becomes a more and more obscure concept. Once upon a time, the only so-called normal people were white heterosexuals, with husbands who worked 12 hour days and smoked cigars, while their wives baked bread all day and their children played kick-the-can.

C’mon. Normal is so last century. But even last century…

Albert Einstein was not normal. Thomas Edison was not normal. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were not normal.

Normal never changed the world.

The Risks of Trying to Be Normal

The strengths of ADD are inherent in their challenges. Abundant minds tend to be scattered. Energetic people tend to have a hard time sitting still. And quick-reactors tend to be impulsive at other times. It’s just the way it is.

But there is more to this point than accepting it’s okay not to be normal. You can never get to where you want to be – to get the most out of life – when you are trying to work towards a false ideal.

Sometime, you might get to where you wanted to be. You may get very, very close to normal. And in the process, you may lose everything that was wonderful about you as you were.

I know this first hand.

I will never profess to be normal but I can say that I got very close to acting like a normal person on a routine basis. I got to the point where I was never late. But it usually meant that I was a harried mess trying to get out the door, shouting and badgering the kids to hurry up. I stopped making impulsive decisions and “winging it” most of the time. Instead, I was always thinking about next steps, appropriate courses of action, and reasonable expectations. I lost the ability to be spontaneous.

I became an automaton of efficiency. I was the family Border Collie, herding them all day long.

I learned to keep my environment neat and organized. But I became dependent on it. I couldn’t function in a disorganized environment. I spent so much of my time keeping things in check that I started doing less of the creative stuff. I daydreamed less. Which meant that I seldom had any ideas at all, let alone good ones.

I became very dangerously close to not having ADD anymore. Though it would never go away, I came close to shoving it in to remission. It required herculean effort to be normal. So much so that I lost my way. I actually caught myself wishing I could be more ADD again.

Life was certainly more chaotic with full blown ADD, but it was also a lot more fun. Though at times it was frustrating, I enjoyed living in my head and having interesting ideas. Sure, there were many projects that I never finished. But without my ADD brain, there were also fewer ideas and the projects that I did take on all tended to be very mechanical and lacked flare.

I couldn’t keep it up, being someone who I wasn’t. The pendulum, they say, swings both ways. It seems that my pendulum had to swing completely in the other direction, before it could come back to the middle ground in a reasonably feasible way.

Now, I am living in what I call ADHD Integration. Its where I am able to take the parts that work for me and keep them, while managing the parts of ADD that don’t work for me. I don’t want to give the impression that I can turn it on and off, but rather that I have the ability to switch gears when I need to.

The whole point is that I was extremely unhappy when I wasn’t letting myself be ADD. I was functioning better on the exterior, but I had lost a core part of myself and failed to fulfill my needs to be creative, expressive and spontaneous.

Embracing ADD does not mean that you just let yourself be late, disorganized or dysfunctional in many areas of your life. But don’t try so hard to not be ADD that you lose everything that is wonderful in the process. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Some of the most interesting people I know have ADD. I also know many interesting people who don’t have ADD. The difference is that the people who don’t have ADD don’t walk around feeling broken because they don’t fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants. They fit in to the world but that doesn’t make them better people. It just means they’re better at fitting in.

People who don’t fit in have a place in this world. The shoes you have to fill may not be comfortable but no one said life was going to be comfortable.

Embrace who you are and what you have to offer the world. Be yourself. Manage ADD by all means, and don’t let it interfere with your happiness, but don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking you’d be happier without ADD in your life because trust me, you won’t.

 

Mindset

10 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Life With ADHD

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 honor 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 yours too.

 

1. You are Not Your Diagnosis

Having ADHD means your brain is wired a bit different. Being diagnosed with ADHD is only an explanation of that wiring. It doesn’t explain who you are. You are so much more than a diagnosis. Let ADD be a part of you, but don’t ever think it is who you are.

 

2. It’s good to Be Different, but Normal to Want to Be the Same

Nobody wants to be different, least of all kids. When you’re young, fitting in can feel like the most important thing in the world. It’s not. You may not fully realize this until you are much, much older. One day, you will realize that being different can also be an advantage in life. It’s never too early to start celebrating your uniqueness. Learn to feel good about living in your own skin. This step alone will make all the difference.

 

3. Sometimes You Must Harness Your Energy, But You Should Never Squash It.

Yes, sometimes you do have to sit still and hold back your impulses. This is a good skill to learn, as hard as it may be. But that doesn’t mean you should hold back on your passion, energy or enthusiasm. Sit still when you have to, but don’t let anyone put out that spark of yours.

 

4. It’s Okay to Be Misunderstood

It sucks to feel as if no one gets you. But I get you, and your father gets you. And all the people in our family and our close friends who love you – they all get you. We love you for who you are – strengths and flaws, just the same. People might not always follow your train of thought, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have valid thoughts and interesting ideas. It just means that not everybody thinks the same way.

 

5. Being Normal Is Not the Same as Being Right

Being tidy, punctual, organized and stoic are nice characteristics to have. Spontaneity, courageousness, creativity and passion are also great characteristics to possess. There is no one right way to be. Some people have an easier time with certain things than you do, but that does not make them right. Be who you are and own it. It’s your life and no one can tell you how you should live it.

 

6. ADHD Isn’t All Bad

ADHD can make some things more difficult, but it’s not all bad. There are some real strengths to having your brain-wiring, strengths like creativity, enthusiasm and passion. One day, you will have more control over your life – how you spend your time and what you do. If you focus on doing the things that you are strong at and the things that you love to do, ADHD may become your biggest asset.

 

7. Push Yourself, Just A Little Bit Harder And A Little Bit Farther, Than You Think You Can Go

ADD will make you want to give up the moment things get uncomfortable. Just like you, there are many things in my life that I gave up on as soon as they started to feel too hard. Go a little bit further than you think you can go. You will surprise yourself. You are not a prisoner of your ADHD-brain. You are in charge of it, and can train it to work better for you. It’s like weight-lifting. You will only build brain-muscle by making your mind work harder than it wants to.

 

8. You Are Completely Okay As You Are

I love you no matter what. If your hair remains messy or you eat with your hands, if you forget your homework or leave finger prints on my clothes, if you don’t listen or lose my phone – I love you. We all make mistakes. You are good enough because you are you, not because of what you do.

 

9. I Try Harder than You’ll Ever Know

I want to be a better mom than I am. Sometimes, I make a big deal out of things because I am trying to prevent you from having the same struggles I’ve had in life. When I tell you off for doing things, it’s not usually because I am mad at you. It’s because I am mad at me, for not doing a better job of teaching you. This is something every parent does, ADHD or not. Know that when I don’t do a great job of being your parent, it’s only because I am human. Every day I try harder to do better than I did the day before.

Something else you need to know: I see how hard you are trying too.

 

10. Almost Nothing Is Quite as Important As You Think It Is

Everything in life passes. The good times are short, but so are the bad times. Enjoy the ups with the downs. Life is meant to be lived. Don’t spend your time trying not to feel something. Spend your life embracing whatever you feel in the moment, good or bad. Your feelings are what let you know you are truly alive.

I don’t care if you get good grades or ever have a good job. I don’t care if you win at a sport or never even attempt one. I don’t care if you get married, stay single or run away with the circus! Just enjoy your life and whatever it throws at you. The point of life is not the pursuit of happiness. The point of life is to simply live it.

 

These are the 10-most-important things I would want my kids to know about life with ADHD? What do you want your kids to know?

Focus

Transform Your Life: ADHD to Zen

 

Going from ADHD to Zen… is that even possible? You probably think I’m kidding. Actually, I’m not – and you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking they are dichotomous either.

Life with ADHD may seem restless, unfocused and disorganized on the surface. Dig just a little bit further, though, and you may find a layer of peace and calmness under the chaos, just waiting to be excavated.

When ADDers seek help through medication, counseling or coaching, they are hoping for strategies to overcome their symptoms and live “normal” lives. What they really want is to transform themselves, to have a different experience of life altogether. At the core, they want more peace and happiness.

Isn’t this what we all want?

But who has time for personal transformation? It’s hard enough just getting through the day with your head still on. Transformation is for caterpillars and Autobots, not people trying to muddle through each day without falling apart. Most of us would settle for just getting to work on time.

We should want more from life than just muddling-through. What about having a life in which we are flourishing and having a great time at it? We assume that by becoming more organized, productive and focused, our paths will eventually lead us to a life of tranquility.

What if we’ve got it the wrong way around? What if the way to organization, productivity and focus was through peace and calmness? What might be possible if transformation was the first step, not the result?

What I’m saying is this:

What if Zen came first and the rest followed?

I believe that complete transformation is not only possible, but inevitable, when you open yourself up to a new experience of life, even when circumstances haven’t changed one iota.  I’m not the only one. My ideas have been influenced by several likely suspects. Specifically – two monks, a professor and of course, a punk rocker. In this four-part series, I will explain what I have learned from them and challenge you to shift your perspective.

What have you got to lose?

You’ve already lost time and perhaps money trying to find the perfect system/treatment/cure for your ADHD. I’m daring you to try something different. Expand your horizon. For now, change nothing in your life but your perception of it. The nice part of this challenge – you don’t need to do anything but think. And we all know you’re good at that.

Transformation Step 1 – Embrace the Chaos

If you’re like me and many other ADDers, then I’m sure you’ve had this experience. You’ve tried countless tactics for getting yourself, your home or your work organized, and no system thus far has managed to stick. It’s not that you don’t know how to get organized, but keeping organized requires focus and effort – every single minute, of every single day. Focus and effort are limited resources and often – we’re just tapped out.

How can we transform this?

There is nothing inherently wrong with being disorganized or scattered. Sure, it makes our lives more difficult but there is no immorality in being less “together” than society seduces us into believing we should be.

However, the problem runs deeper than this. The pursuit of “getting-it-together” can actually divert us from the true purpose of our lives. Having an organized home, for example, should be something that supports us in getting on with our life’s purpose (if you don’t know what yours is yet, check this out). Yet the stress of trying to get and stay organized can be all-consuming, robbing us of the peace we are intending to achieve. A clean kitchen is a nice thing to have, but not something to record in a resume or obituary.

In The Art of Meditation, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard tells us:

“We expend a lot of effort to improve the external conditions of our lives, but in the end it is always the mind that creates our experience of the world and translates it into well-being or suffering. If we transform our way of perceiving things, we transform the quality of our lives.”

What if we see chaos as the tariff we pay for lives rich in creativity, purpose and meaning – lives that don’t rely on neat-and-tidy togetherness to substantiate them? Let me clarify:

‘Ms Jackson’

One of my clients was a highly creative work-at-home mom, whose creative spark invariably saturated her world at work and at home (they happened to be the same place). She was amazing at her job but her home looked like Jackson Pollock’s studio. And she wasn’t even a painter, so you get the drift…

In her “home time”, she engaged her kids in wonderfully imaginative projects that inspired their own creativity, curiosity and joyful experimentation. But she was always three loads of laundry behind and rarely could she string together a meal that didn’t come out of a bag.

Although my client highly valued creativity, being a mom made her believe organization and “togetherness” were something she should be good at too.

Parenting comes with a lot of “shoulds”, ones that other roles don’t necessarily have attached to them. A chemist doesn’t feel a need to program a computer, yet creative parents are always expecting to be better homemakers, organizers, cleaners, cooks and so forth. When did these attributes become inherent in the Job Description of a parent?

I wondered:

“How many creative-types did she know – painters, writers or the like, that were organized and tidy in all aspects of their lives? And if she had to trade her creativity for organization, would she?”

There seemed to be an important part missing in her story.  I mean – her kids got to school, nourished and nurtured, and went to bed the same way. She loved them and did the best job she could for them. She gave them the best of her abilities and shared freely with them her natural talents.

In fact, they were lucky to have a mom who had so many great ideas and could show them the joy of colouring their world. But on another account, they weren’t that lucky. Their creative mom was always stressed-out by their messy and disorganized home life, because of standards she assumed were essential to good mothering. I’d have loved to ask them: did they want a creative mom or an organized one?

She wasn’t letting herself be herself. She disallowed her joy in creative living by pursuing the got-it-all-together-mom persona. Her joyful spark was lost because she was too attached to the notion of who she should be.

Eventually, she experienced a shift in her perception. In short, she gave up on being a “great mom” and instead became a great “her”, who also happened to be a mom. She let herself be herself.  While she did her best to organize day-to-day life, she didn’t sacrifice her peace and joy to do it.

She found calmness amongst her chaos. She found a way to roll with the punches and think on-the-fly, not beating herself up when she didn’t quite manage things so well.

How She Found Calmness in Chaos

  • She became more mindful, present and grateful for the moment, rather than focusing on how things should be.
  • She set aside her judgement, and allowed each day to unfold, vowing to take each moment as a learning experience rather than a test she must pass.
  • She noticed that, whenever things weren’t going as well as she would like, these moments (like all moments) would pass. Each moment was a new opportunity to start again.

What was really cool was that, as she found more calmness in her “chaos”, she became more organically organized. Not perfect mind you, but functional – enough to get through the day without feeling like a complete failure.

Let me ask you:

What area of your life could be better-served by an attitude of acceptance?

What sacrifices are you currently making to your life’s purpose, by focusing on some externally-imposed standard you think is more important?

What shift might you experience in your whole well-being, if you simply gave up your need to control this one aspect of your life, and allowed it to be just as it was?

Finding Calmness in Your Chaos

Let’s imagine, for example, that your desk is cluttered (not hard to imagine, is it?). You’re always searching for items needed to complete your work. Your productivity is seriously limited by this kind of disorganization, no doubt. But you’ve tidied your desk a bazillion times and it never stays that way.

Should you try to organize it yet again? Maybe you should flagellate yourself with a mouse-cord. Or hire a thug to stand behind you, slapping you upside-the-head every time you misplace something. Perhaps that would keep you organized.

Another tack might be to change your point of view.

A Fix That Fits

Accept that part of your work day will involve time spent looking for misplaced artefacts. I’m not saying that you can’t work on de-cluttering your desk, but you can factor-in a cluttered desk as a natural part of the way you work. You’re a square peg, so make the hole square too. After all, you’ll lose more time in endless cycles of de-cluttering and re-cluttering than you will by allowing a few extra minutes to find things.

If you can get organized and stay organized, you will. But if you can’t, you will have to make peace with your disorganization.

Zen in Clutter  

Allow yourself to find the Zen in a cluttered workspace. Take the pressure off. Be present and accepting of the way things are. When you notice your desk in disarray, take a moment to tidy it. Or don’t. But do not beat yourself up for being disorganized. The calmness in finding this Zen could actually help you get more focused and organized, simply by being more present and accepting of the moment.

Stop fighting the waves of ADD. Start riding them.

In the next three follow ups to this post, we will explore:

  • How doing less, or even nothing at all, can help you get more out of yourself.
  • How sucking lemons is the one of the greatest ways to live more fully.
  • How managing ADHD and living life well is truly an inside-job.

For the next couple weeks, work on your own perspective-shift. Whatever it is about your ADHD that bugs you the most – make a decision to see it from a different perspective.

What are the positive aspects or off-shoots of that challenge? For example, Ms Jackson was creative but that often meant she was also disorganized. What do you get to be despite your challenges?

Your challenges – are they really in opposition to your values, or to society’s imposed values?

What happens when you look for the Zen in your ADD moments? How do you feel? Does a shift in perspective help you when you other tactics don’t?

I’m curious to hear what you notice. And don’t forget – please share your experience in the comments below!

Creativity

Twas the Night Before an ADHD Christmas

 

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through place

Two creatures were stirring, all set for the race.

The stockings were lost, nowhere to be found,

We opened each drawer but none were around.

 

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,

Sick from cakes, cookies, and food coloured red.

And mamma in her frenzy, and I in my panic,

Set out to wrap presents, both feeling quite manic.

 

When from in their room there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the wrapping to discover the matter.

To the sleep-disturbed children I flew like a flash,

Trying to settle them from their sugar-high crash.

 

Then back to the wrapping, we began once again,

But supplies had ran out, and it was almost past ten!

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a few old newspapers we’d kept through the year.

 

With a bit of duct tape, we wrapped them up quick,

Then settled to watch a short Christmas flick.

Relaxed with some eggnog and fire nice and hot,

We were nagged by the sense of something forgot.

 

“Oh no! Can it be?” We remembered the fowl!

“The turkey’s not out!” mamma said with a scowl.

“In the bottom of the freezer! It has no time to thaw!”

I dashed away! Dashed away! Fed up of it all!

 

I raced to computer, asked Google what to do,

A multi-tweeted blog post gave me a clue.

I calmed poor mamma with the advice I had chosen,

And told her we’d cook it, right from frozen.

 

And then, with a twinkling, I suggested we dance

The prancing and pawing of Christmas romance.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the hall the kids came, with a great bound.

 

They were dressed and all-ready, from heads to feet,

Impatient to see if Santa brought treats.

A bundle of toys, we spotted near the tree,

Ones not-yet-wrapped, we’d neglected to see.

 

Their eyes-how they twinkled! Their dimples how merry!

Mamma and I annoyed, by this evening so hairy!

“Go to bed right now, or Santa won’t come!

No Barbie! No candy! No toy drum!”

 

The kids started crying, mamma held tight her teeth,

And carried them off, wrapped round like a wreath.

She got in to bed with them, exhausted and spent

Then slipping to slumberland they soon all went.

 

“Santa’s chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

But even he couldn’t cope!”, I thought to myself.

The chaos and mayhem of Christmas in my home,

We get through it all, by skin, teeth and bone.

 

The Eve’s always like this, left up to last minute,

All frazzled and tired, little peace or joy in it.

But in the midst of despair, it suddenly occurred,

Today was December the twenty-third!

 

I sprang to my feet, whooping “Hip-hip—hooray!”,

The chaos now over and we still had a day!

I heard mamma exclaim, as I turned out the light,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

 

From my chaos to yours…

Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas this year.

But for now, just have an awesome day 🙂