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Archives: May 2008

posted: Friday May 30th - 8:45am

Make It Work, People!

Mayhem or meditation: Do what you love, love what you do. Follow your heart and it will lead to the best career path for you.

I should clarify something. Lots of things, actually, but most of them aren't any of your business, so let's talk about your choice of profession. Your choice of profession should be whatever interests you the most. What gets you up out of the nice warm bed in January and off to the office/store/lab/driving range, full of new ideas for doing your best. It's not the profession that...
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posted: Thursday May 29th - 8:29am

Noise! Distraction! Tuna!

Even the smallest sound can provide a big distraction. Do you know how to filter out all the noise?

If you think of noise, what do you imagine? Sound? Loud sound? Maybe, maybe not. It's the old eye of the beholder standard. Been to a rock concert? Very loud. Painfully loud. Loudest one I ever got to was a Jefferson Airplane gig in the old Fillmore East. It was so loud that I couldn't hear well for two days - and I was sitting in...
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posted: Wednesday May 28th - 8:35am

Crash! Smash!

Would you like some wine with your disorder?

This is a good one. I was talking to an old friend last week. The usual kind of chitchat: “How're the kids, Have you eaten at such-and-such restaurant, Aren't you glad we don't live in L.A. (sorry, folks, I call 'em like I see 'em), What else is new?” So I mentioned to her that I was doing some blogging for a website devoted to ADHD. My...
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posted: Tuesday May 27th - 8:00am

Snake Eyes

Like many adults with ADHD, I am the lucky recipient of bonus "co-morbid" conditions as well - learning disorders, depression, and just being pissed off...

Looking back over the posts from this month, I believe that I've tried to be informative and pleasant, perhaps even humorous on occasion. For the most part, I've succeeded, although I may overestimate the amount of chuckles I've provoked. Sadly, if this is the impression I've created, it's hardly a complete picture. ADHD is co-morbid, a word introduced to me in a comment to a posting for...
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posted: Monday May 26th - 12:11pm

Glass Houses, Anyone?

Where'd I put those keys? A system isn't a good system unless you remember to use it.

Three weeks ago my car refused to start. I had AAA tow it to the closest garage where the Chief Mechanic allowed as the starter motor was shot, and I'd need a new one, and it would cost about $400. Being over the proverbial barrel, I agreed; there's a follow-up to this tale of woe, but it involves litigation rather than ADHD, so we'll skip it...
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posted: Friday May 23rd - 8:19am

One Out of Four Ain't Great

Why email and text messages are dangerous business for nuance-starved ADHDans like me.

The other big hazard of email (and IMs), and one that those gathering around this particular campfire should pay particular attention to is that due to the abbreviated, bare-bones nature of the medium, nuance disappears. Let's say we're sitting vis-á-vis and having a nice chat. Even if your attention span is as addled as mine, at some level you'll be aware of four streams of communication:...
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posted: Thursday May 22nd - 8:06am

Beehive

Those scattered thoughts of yours aren't going to line up single file and get organized on their own. You need a system, my friend.

There's a camera/optics/consumer electronics store over on the west side. At midmorning on a Tuesday in July, it's very busy. On a Sunday in December, they have guys at the door regulating the number of customers who can enter the store at any given time. Inside, it's like — scratch that, it looks like a huge model of Brownian motion, hundreds of people milling about in...
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posted: Wednesday May 21st - 7:56am

Uke and Nage

Got dojo? Aikido teaches self-control, concentration and calm in the face of frustration. Sound like anything you could use?

Unlike many of the martial arts, which struggle to trace their roots back to an itinerant monk who got the idea from watching a lizard fight a crane, aikido has an unquestioned provenance. The form was developed in the early 1930s by Morihei Ueshiba, known to students as "O-sensei," the Great Teacher. Regarding the nature of the art, he said, "To control aggression without inflicting...
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posted: Tuesday May 20th - 7:12am

Easy Calendar Tool

Use this free online resource to keep from overbooking your life or overlooking an important deadline.

Taxes? Hey, I got an Uncle that lives in Taxes. He lives in Dallas, Taxes! - Chico Marx in A Day at the Races This is a beaut. I'm assuming that you have, even if you don't use, the Google Calendar. What you may not know is that you can import calendars from outside sources and incorporate them into yours. Want an example? Do a Google search...
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posted: Monday May 19th - 10:07am

I Have a Dream... Job

If it's legal, and you can support yourself doing it, and you love it, DO IT.

I worked for three years for a very clever, very wealthy, self-made man who had reduced the rules for successful conduct of one's life into a handful of hortatory maxims. These included "Control your own destiny," "Communication solves all problems" and "Don't fight the tape." The first two explain themselves, but the last one might not evoke a usable image for those of you who grew...
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posted: Friday May 16th - 7:55am

Were You Saying Something?

If my mind goes wandering during our conversation, don't take it personally -- that's the ADHD staring blankly into space, not me.

It's like the line about the guy who gets a courtesy call from his bank, telling him that he's considerably overdrawn: "What! How can I be overdrawn? I still have checks!" I must take issue with the impression, one that I've heard expressed far too many times, that ADHD is a "memory problem." This totally ignores the mechanism of ADHD. It's not that we have trouble remembering...
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posted: Thursday May 15th - 8:30am

So Sue Me

I am weak, but not so foolish to deny the link between nutrition and ADHD. Lower cholesterol = better health = higher self esteem = improved concentration.

I try to practice what I preach. I quit smoking. Quit smoking cigarettes, anyway, and I figure that smoking a couple of Robustos a month doesn't add much, percentage-wise, to what living in Manhattan does to my lungs. And I'm trying to watch my diet. But I'm weak. One of the kids came buy for an impromptu breakfast yesterday, and left the better part of a...
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posted: Wednesday May 14th - 7:19am

An ADHD Drug Diary

ADHD medications impact every patient differently. Here is how two popular meds converted me into an 'alternative therapy' guy.

Most of my postings here at Spinning My Wheels are, to borrow a term from my days as a chef, panaché. In other words, a little fact, a little opinion, a little whimsy, a little cynicism. Or, as we used to say in the Italian kitchens, a giambotta. Whatever. The following material, however, is based on my own experience, and I present it as objectively as...
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posted: Tuesday May 13th - 8:38am

Polishing Up that Golden Rule

How 'Please', 'Thank you', and 'Yes, ma'am' can build confidence in your ADHD child. Some call it manners; I call it beautiful, predictable structure.

Every now and then I take pleasure in slipping into my curmudgeon outfit (itchy, three-piece wool suit, starchy shirt with collar stays that are too long, a narrow tie in a single Windsor and shoes with laces) and rail about today's youth. C'mon, now, I deserve an easy target sometimes, no? And what could be easier than the death of etiquette? I'm not talking about prissy, Mrs...
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posted: Friday May 9th - 8:39am

Black-Belt Therapy

The search for composure and concentration in tai chi can provide concrete, and frequently elusive, focus to ADHDans.

I tend to be contrarian, but not dogmatically so. For example, I'm totally in accord with the notion that appropropriately vigorous exercise is an unmitigated positive for everyone. Furthermore I think that it's essential for ADHDans. Name your game: cycling, swimming, soccer, jogging, anything that gets you to break a sweat and burn off some of those heebie-jeebies. (As much as I love a good game...
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posted: Thursday May 8th - 8:49am

A Life Less Boring

The meandering path of a ADHD brain on (and off) the job.

At first glance, copyediting might seem like an excellent vocation for an ADHDan. You sit in a quiet room, all by your lonesome. There are no (non-spousal) distractions. You don't have to worry about interacting with other people. You work until you're tired, or your eyes ache, and then you take a nice break. What could be bad? Are you mad? It's the worst possible situation. Copyeditors...
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posted: Wednesday May 7th - 8:31am

Blog... Interrupted

We all wish to leave footprints in the sands of time, but often much simpler feats prove far more challenging.

Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time. "A Psalm of Life" Longfellow I'd be willing to bet that if we were to poll 10,000 Americans under the age of forty, fewer than 500 could identify Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and fewer than 100 could honestly claim to have read any of...
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posted: Tuesday May 6th - 1:23am

We Interrupt This Program...

How to tackle that impervious to-do list without falling prey to monster distractions: save the worst for first.

Most ADHDans would probably put prioritization near the top of their lists of problematic areas. (Yes, that's one of those lists we make and never look at again, but that's another story.) I'm sure this rings a bell. You've got about a dozen or so things on your calendar. The peril is that you'll start thinking about which one to do first. Odds are you'll bat...
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