Reply To: Getting Older and Losing Interest

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The best advice I can give is, get outside and walk. So many people with ADD do better outdoors that there was a big move for a time toward teaching ADD kids outdoors whenever possible. I have no choice but to walk a couple of miles a day because I don’t have a car, but even on the weekends, I make sure it happens. Sometimes I’m so exhausted and tuned out that I just want to sit on the sofa and binge-watch Supernatural, and on those days I coax myself out of it by telling myself I’ll just walk across campus (I live near a college) to the Starbucks and get a cup of coffee. Once I get started, half the time I don’t make it to Starbucks because I got distracted by photographing ducks or water drops, or ice crystals, or spotted some raccoons. I just need the excuse to get the ball rolling. Also, I carry a camera constantly. You don’t have to be really into photography or have an expensive camera (mine’s a cheap superzoom). I’ve just found that carrying it makes me look at the world in a different way. I notice things I wouldn’t have noticed before — the way the setting sun makes the campus sprinklers look like they’re scattering gold. Frost crystals on the juniper hedges. Small birds. Sometimes I barely look at the photos later. It’s not about the photos. It’s about taking them.

Also, I find it helps me a lot to be involved in something that makes a difference. Without my snake rescues in the winter it’s harder but there are still little things. Last week I met a homeless guy who I’ve seen many times in the same location, so I spent some time crocheting a couple of warm things for him and putting together a practical care package. When I gave it to him, and told him I’d made some of the things in it, his eyes filled with tears and he said, “But you’ve only met me once!” Seeing how much he appreciated that little gesture… where am I going to find better motivation than that? With ADD, motivation doesn’t come to us readily. We have to go out and look for it.