Friday, February 27, 2009

Random Stuff

Emily thinks if she were a celebrity she would get addicted to fame.

We are sitting at her dining room table in Colorado. She is at one end with her computer; I am at the other end with mine. Paul is out somewhere picking up a mattress and box spring and frame. That man can pack more stuff into a van than anyone else on earth. It's like he turns it into Mary Poppins' bag. People came in here the last few days and couldn't believe we got all this stuff into the van and a scooter besides.

Maybe it's time we leave, because Emz has been plaguing me with questions like, "Why did you want to have children?" and "Do you think you're a really good writer?" Also, I just talked to Amy and she told me that Steven was cleaning the bathroom and he would light a match and spray it with a shot of air freshener and take great pleasure in the WHOOF. Yeah, time to go home I think.

I enjoy being at home. I enjoy being away from home. What I don't enjoy is arrving home, like the first 24 hours. That's when the tsunami hits. Everything yells at me at once, in equal volume. Everything. The newspapers on the living room floor, the garbage bill, the egg bits on the stove, the three phone calls to return, the article to write, the cat food bag that Hansie dragged onto the porch, the sad daughter who needs Mom time, the hungry boys, the husband who thinks by talking and needs a listening ear, the full laundry hampers, the rides to arrange, the students' photos for convention to critique, the mail to sort, the vitamins to arrange in the cupboard.

Ever since I read up on ADD I attribute this tsunami syndrome to it. Paul comes home and he can say, Ok, this needs to be done right now, this other stuff can wait. Whereas I find my brain in a complete buzz and I end up organizing my vitamin bottles when much more urgent things are waiting or I am so overwhelmed it paralyzes me and I can't do anything.

Two more trips and then God willing I'm home to stay for a good long while.

Paul gets a mysterious high from planning. He just absolutely loves to plan. This August is our 25th anniversary and he figured out that the only time we can take an anniversary trip is the following spring. So the other week we started talking about this and he was all about where would I like to go and for how long and on and on. Now this was smack in the middle of numerous trips to Redmond and beyond, and the last thing I wanted to do was plan another trip, especially a whole year ahead. And I told him so in not very nice terms. Now I feel sorry for him. Well, for all our differences we have lasted for almost 25 years, so there.

I enjoyed all the comments and perspectives on my ADD post. Just to set everyone's mind at ease, I have no intention of taking medication. Maybe a few natural supplements, but no Ritalin or anything. And I also don't see it as any sort of excuse for not doing what needs to be done.

Special thanks to Mrs. I for her encouragement, and for putting it so well: I think it is largely genetic, with some environmental conditions and nutritional compromises exacerbating the problem. You and I both were ADD-ish long before we were familiar with anything more tech-y than a rotary dial telephone.

Very true.

Last night I was trying to email some Craigslist ads and Paul and Emily kept talking and it was terribly frustrating. And I thought, Ah, this is how my brain works; I can't filter out distractions. So I kindly asked them to talk elsewhere, and they cheerfully complied.

Which is not anything profound, maybe, but even minor increased perspective, clarity, understanding, and dot-connecting are good.

Probably the most helpful insight, which you won't get if you haven't been in my situation, is that housework really is harder for me than it is for other people. And it is ok to feel a sense of accomplishment for finishing something that other people find easy but I find hard.

Wait, you don't want to know all this. I'll be quiet now.

Except for one other epiphany: I forgot to bring extra tea along, so I bought some here--nice black quality Lipton tea in little pyramid bags. I boiled water in Emily's hot pot and brewed my tea. The first three times I thought, My, this is awfully weak tea for how much I paid for this. I made sure the water was really boiling well the next time. Same result. Then, the light bulb moment: Canon City is about a mile high. So water boils long before it reaches 212 degrees. And so of course it doesn't extract as much flavor.

Quote of the Day:
Emily: I have a picture of Brandon brushing his teeth.
Me: What?!
Emily: (turns computer around and shows me Brandon in a bathroom mirror, brushing)
Me: What in the world? Where did you take that? Was it at youth camp? At our house?
Emily: It makes more sense when you remember this computer used to belong to Matt.


  1. This whole ADD idea is a great comfort.
    I can never get my housework where it should be and I work at it way more than my organized SIL.
    My Mom,sister and myself all like neat homes, but deep down we can all find far more interesting and Worthwhile things to do instead.
    If I had a housekeeper... life would be perfect??

  2. Lots of talk here about housework and neat homes. My life became much simpler when I learned that "dust is a protective coating for furniture" - sure saves a lot of time and frustration. Interesting note - the "word verification" for me to be able to post this comment is "adism", add a couple of "d's" (ADDISM) and you've described a condition of half of the people I know.

  3. I just had a hearing test this week and it turns out I have way better hearing that 99% of the population. Which means that it is harder for me to focus on conversation in a crowded room, over the tv, etc. I definitely think of myself as ADD too, as well as both my children; but if you take the hearing into consideration, perhaps it IS just harder for me to focus because the volume is turned up in my head.

    I had fabulous teachers growing up. Teachers that let me get out of my seat to help other kids, teachers that let me go down the hall to the science room to read so I wouldn't distract the rest of the class....teachers that knew now to deal with an ADD child before ADD had a name.

    I too have trouble staying focused on anything, unless I am hyperfocused and then I shut absolutely everything else out...even eating and other physical needs.

    But what I REALLY think all this teaches us is that every brain is unique and has unique abilities and difficulties and we should accept that and accept other people's difficulties without criticizing, without thinking of it as a character flaw...without thinking of ourselves as flawed because certain things are so much harder for us than for everyone else.

    And grab hold of understanding...Ask for the help we need, and not be offended when someone asks something of us...Like asking someone to take a conversation elsewhere. BRAVO! And Kudos to the kids for not being offended... That's the kind ow world we need to live in.