I still can’t get used to writing the year, let alone adjusting to the the time change, and 2020 is almost over.
Remember how we’d say, “Only six months until the election”? Now we have to wait until almost Thanksgiving, and who knows maybe until Christmas to find out the results. The goalposts are always being moved.
We’re always waiting. When we were little it was our birthdays and Christmases that were always elusive, but then we had to wait until we graduated, or turned 21 or got the new job or until the wedding day. Before I dreamed of becoming a writer, I wanted to be a ballerina; it seemed more attainable at the time.
But that’s not the happily-ever-after we dreamed of because first, we needed to buy a house, or wait until the children were in school full-time, and on and on it went, and before you knew it, you’ve waited for the divorce (or two), you’ve retired, and your next birthday has another zero in it.
Photos are startling reminders of those touchstones, but in between are those days and events that are never recorded except in the recesses of our minds. I used to wonder what my mother was thinking about during those last years as she stared out the window for hours on end, but now I know.
I did a fair amount of staring when I was a child in school, and was often reprimanded by my teachers to stop daydreaming. I suppose there are people who look through windows and see only what is really out there, but my mind was light years in the future and a million miles away.
Today, people are more inclined to accept the possibility that girls have ADHD as often as boys, but it takes on a different persona in them. They may be chaotic and curious, overly-sensitive and often overwhelmed, sometimes irrational and impulsive, but always interesting!
I once had a supervisor who worked in the entertainment industry with Michael Jackson, and he proudly exclaimed that his ADHD was the best thing that ever happened to him! He was a master at thinking out of the box and coming up with creative and lucrative solutions to seemingly impossible situations. He was also a bit of a maverick, but all the other accountants secretly admired him for his je ne sais quoi.
People with ADHD have no problem finding things to do and delight. Their dance card is filled with dozens of possibilities from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. I could spend an entire afternoon exploring the etymology of sayings such as the one by Thomas Paine to which I just alluded. My mother often reminded us that there is no excuse for boredom. She would sometimes quote Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame (1958), “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” (I actually can’t recall her using the word, ‘suckers;’ that wasn’t her style.)
How would most people entertain themselves during this current pandemic if they didn’t have Netflix and YouTube and all the offers of seminars on how to make money creating videos? Market predictions report that e-Learning will grow to $325 billion by 2025! Working at home in your pajamas at the kitchen table was a dream to commuters a decade or two before the Internet, and now it’s here.
Perhaps we ADDers do take too many detours and too many chances which don’t always work out right. But the alternative is to have lived an ordinary life, which to us is tantamount to having your teeth pulled out by a barber. Some of the most memorable events in my life were the ones that ‘fell out of the sky and into my lap.’ I can’t express them any other way.
There was the time my sister called to say she was driving her MG Midget across the country to be shipped overseas and would I want to come with her. Yes, ma’am! What a blast we had! Similarly, when my mother called from Germany to ask me to, “Come on over!” I got on a plane a few days later. If I hadn’t, I may never have visited all those wonderful European cities.
I might say that flying by the seat of my pants has been a hallmark of some of the largest and most important decisions of my life, but to say that would negate the hours and hours of contemplation, daydreaming, researching and thought behind those decisions. It is easier to lambaste a woman for ‘irrational’ behavior than to call her decisions quick and decisive, as would be said of those in leadership. The concept ‘Know-Think-Do’ is not a binary skill only available to a certain subset of the population.
Falling down an Internet Vortex may seem like a waste of time, but to a retired researcher (which is what I now call myself), it is an exciting exploration of the human experience. If I am no longer able to travel across the ocean, I can dream, and perhaps, one day, I will find myself on the train from London, through Barcelona and on to Marrakesh…
Is that Crosby, Stills & Nash I hear?