Post-It Notes! Friend or Foe

Post-It Notes! Friend or Foe

Post-ItsIn Praise of Post-Its

One of the best ways for someone with ADHD or anyone for that matter to start up a new routine is to have reminder post-it notes.  They are safe to basically put on most anything!

For the longest time I couldn’t remember to hide our dog’s bed away in our bedroom each morning.  The cats are tucked away at night but set free throughout the day.  One of our cats loves to remind all of us that he was here first–the alpha pet, if you will–by peeing on the dog’s bed.  Not awesome. So not awesome. As long as the bed isn’t out for Stuart to leave his legacy, there is no problem. But if I forget to put it away…it means an unhappy and avoidable chore of washing Bronx’s big bed outside, waiting for it to dry, cleaning and sanitizing the carpet inside, etc.  Makes for a full day. 😛

I finally resolved this issure with this two part plan.

Post-It Notes Are My Friend

1) I put up post-it notes that say, “Got Bed?” in all the areas that I am, first thing in the morning.

Now, there is a catch!  After awhile the post-it notes can become “invisible” to you and you might end up looking right through, around, and past them.  So, ultimately I have found a part two for this mission.

2) Linking new tasks to other tasks or rituals I already have up and running = victory.  For me, my routine is that I am not allowed to go downstairs in the morning until Bronx’s bed has been put away.

To accomplish this two part task you must stop what you are doing and think about what the problem is, how it can be resolved, where the sticky notes should go to start up the new routine and then finally what will be the long-term link you can mentally make to continue to remember to routinely do this task.

Some situations are harder to resolve than others.  So, celebrate each one that gets resolved!  Seriously!  Repeat after me:

Celebrate!

A Final Note (!) To Remember

Sometimes a change in routine, like a vacation, visitors, crisis, or a schedule change, can shake you out of your routines. You then need to reingage the sticky-notes until you can link it back onto something that will keep the routine going.  The more gracious you are with yourself the easier it will be to get back on track!

Helping your family understand that there will be times that routines get totally erased due to changes in schedules, etc., will also help you feel less stress as you get back to your special routine again.

Hit an office supply store and have some fun picking out eye-catching sticky notes!  You and your family will be glad you did!

What’s your story?  Are you a lover of the little notes? Or do you find them annoying? What works best for you?

Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did. And please share the love.

photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops! (Part 2)

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops! (Part 2)

Persistence (Part 2)Persistent + Positivity = Payoff

As stated in my first blog, completing a task or “closing a loop” can be a huge challenge for me. Especially if I am thinking of other things while doing them. Some tasks are extra difficult due to the fact that there is time sensitivity involved.  I shared in part one that opening and closing windows to help keep the house cool during the summer has two parts to it.  The second part (*closing*) is normally the tricky part.

Another task I briefly mentioned in blog #1 involves doing more than one thing at a time. Example: feeding the cats.  This may not seem like a multi-tasking sort of task but when you have three cats that don’t eat the same food or eat in the same location then you have got yourself a job!

For me something this “simple” will sometimes result in me leaving a can of food out by accident.  It’s often the middle cat whose can I leave out for anyone to snack on.  I get the first cat all set up downstairs but feeding two boys upstairs in separate rooms with separate foods is often when things go awry.  I forget to loop back around to pick up the can of food for cat #2 because I am now focused on cat #3. Plus, since cat #3 is located in the laundry room, I immediately start thinking about the laundry situation and getting a load going.  Once I do that, there is no memory of the can of food left out for #2 until it’s lunch time or my hubby finds it.

Persistent About Allowing Growth

Overall, multi-tasking is just not something that works for me.  And, even though I have been through this struggle a million times it doesn’t improve the situation.  It doesn’t matter if “on pain of death it must be done” because I can’t keep all those thoughts and feelings in some organized order in my head all at once.

I have to break this task down to feeding each animal individually.  I also need to ask myself, “Have you finished the task at hand?”  “Do you have any loops you need to close before moving on to the next task?”

This, of course, is easier said than done.  So, I often put sticky notes up to remind me of daily open loops like washing clothes so we don’t run out! (More on that topic next time.)

Another helpful trick I have learned is pairing up a task you often forget to do with something you always remember to do. That way it will become a new habit much faster than usual.

It takes (persistent) work and a positive attitude (positivity!).  If you get down on yourself, you just give yourself another thing to distract yourself with.  Experiment! Try different tactics and see what works for you.

Keep on keepin’ on!

Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did. Is there an area in your life you’re persistent at improving? Are you striving to bring positivity along for the ride? Invite someone you know into this conversation. Everyone is welcome. 

photo credit: readerwalker via photopin cc

Monday: The Day That Wouldn’t Die

Monday: The Day That Wouldn’t Die

AngerOh, Yeah…Monday.

A few winters back, I had one of those days. You know, the days when the wheels come flying off and any sense of maturity or self-control you had, just got flung out the window?! Yep, it was that kind of day.

Now, I will be totally up front with you, being a potty mouth has been one of my biggest struggles since I was about 8 years old. Most people would never suspect this. Emphasis on most. However, once in a great while if things really go south I go from a private potty mouth to mistakenly a public one!

It was a typical Monday morning. Our daughter was off to high school and it was time to walk our dog, Bronx. I was looking forward to it. My back has been bothering me and sometimes a good old walk helps my muscles to relax.

There was a pretty layer of snow on the ground covering whatever had been there the day before, snow, slush, ice, whatever. Everything looked fresh again. Most of what was underneath the snow was pavement, but once in a great while I would discover an incredibly slick icy patch. We are talking the kind of slippery where it takes several uncontrolled movements to finally catch yourself. These, of course, are movements you would never choose to make, they just happen automatically as your body fights to stay upright. Not fun.

These Boots Are Made For Walking

About halfway into our walk and 3 major slips later I discovered that Bronx had lost one of his little snow shoes. Grrr! So, we had to turn around and start the hunt for his shoe. Of course, this meant we had to walk over the same area from which we already came.

Now, you’d think it would have been obvious where to avoid slipping again, because of footprints, this was not the case. Even when I could find a spot I slipped, by the time I did I had already discovered the other part of it.

The longer we walked the more out of control moments presented themselves. Now I can keep a lid on things for one major slip but by the time I hit the fourth and fifth spots my mouth had taken over. It was a good thing that the children were away at school because the neighbor kids would have heard a plethora of colorful linguistics come flying out of my mouth!

By the time we found Bronx’s shoe we were back in our neighborhood, just a few houses down from our home. I was very relieved to see the shoe, after expressing a few spontaneous words. By the time I got home I was so tired and sore from pulling so many muscles in my back and shoulders that I was convinced that several of the most famous non-rated G words had to be put on back order.

And to think this was just the beginning of my Monday! “Oi!”

So have you ever had one of those days? Oooh, do share! Please?

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did. Who else might need to add to this conversation?

Tea Time

Tea Time

Tea Party Time?

Have you ever invited someone, or been invited, to a tea party?!  If you haven’t, you must! However, I must state that your tea party will never be a match for having a tea party at Anne’s, my mother-in-laws, home.  She is the Queen of Tea Party!  As the phrase goes, “she is the Hostess with the Mostess!”

For five years, we had the joy of living just down the street from Joel’s mom in Yakima, Washington.  Joel and I knew that this was a very special time for our little family of three which, now with “Mams” just a block away, made four.  We spent many a weekend visiting each other.  Mams also did a lot of babysitting of Jessica, so Joel and I could go out on a date together.  Anne would also watch Jessica once or twice during the week so I could go write music with my friend, Jeff.  Mams actually was really my support staff.  If it hadn’t been for her, my music would never have had the chance to blossom!  I am forever grateful for this.  Thank you, Mams!

Earl Grey? Hot!

Oh!  Back to the tea parties!  Once a week or so, after school, Jessica and I would walk from her elementary school across the street and stop in at Mams house for a visit.  Often those visits became little tea parties.

Anne has this way of taking any normal everyday food and making it extra fancy and special.  She also is a great house decorator, so doilies and fancy table cloths decorated her dinner table.  She often had a candle and petite little plates for us to use along with her beautiful teacups and saucers.  She would often take a large blueberry muffin and divide it into thirds, and sometimes have a few crackers and cheese on the side.  Our “Tea Party” consisted of her very weak coffee, and my hot water with a variety of teas. And last, but definitely not least, Mams would put together the perfect mixture of juice and water just right for Jessica’s tummy.

We would often talk about Jessica’s day at Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade.  Usually, much laughter took place along with silly stories and little games Mams and Jessica would routinely play.

Tender Mercies

It truly was a special time we shared together.  I encourage you to stop and take time to slow down.   Enjoy a treat and something warm to drink.  This is a great time of year to make memories with family members, neighbors, friends.  But then, what time of year isn’t a great time?  You could also pick up the phone and give someone special a call and have a long distant Tea Party!

I wrote this song, “Tea Time,” for Mams.  It is written from the perspective of Jessica, reflecting on these days when she was a wee little thing.

Who in your life would love a tea party? Put the pot on and start a new memory.

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did!

photo credit: T.MoE via photopin cc

ADHD Oompah, Part One

ADHD Oompah, Part One

Oompah

A salute to sanity!

I wrote this song for my husband, Joel, and daughter, Jessica.  It was actually a Valentine’s gift a few years ago.  We had survived our first year of knowing I had ADHD which was why we were…..uh, let’s just say, when it came to communicating with each other we were “having troubles,” as Jessica use to say when she was a wee person. (Not Wii, wee)

In fact, the first verse is written from my daughters perspective and the second verse is written from my husband’s perspective. Dealing with ADHD is difficult.  Living family life with a member with ADHD really can be very difficult.  Yet, sometimes it can provide a family with some wacky or fun moments too!  Seriously, the spectrum is that wide of a range!

Now, you can’t ignore the challenges that come with ADHD but you also don’t have to sit and stew in them, either, singing your woes.  There are two things I strongly recommend, instead:

  1. First, celebrate the colorful dynamics that come with ADHD.  Kind of like a magnifying glass, ADHD magnifies not just the challenges but beautifully magnifies the gifts that each person has been blessed with.  Focusing on these things helps you remember you are valuable and you bring something special to the world.
  2. Second, you just gotta laugh at some of the silly predicaments you get yourself and/or your family into.  One example of that is this dilemma that happened twice!  I have one of those Betty Crocker Cookbooks that everyone seems to get when they get married.  Well, mine is no longer a cook book but a “cooked book”!  Twice I have managed to lay the book down on the stove and then accidentally turn on the wrong burner.  Yep, the back of that book has been nicely branded with that unique spiral that can only come from an electric burner.  (Good thing it didn’t happen when we had a gas burner, eh?!)

I can’t help but smile whenever I interact with that book!

(Stay tuned for part deux coming soon to a website near you!)

While waiting for part deux you may want to click on support info and check out the excellent ADHD books listed.  They are some of the best to read whether you are single, married, or have kids.  The books are written for adults and kids.

So, what’s your story? Do you deal with ADHD challenges? Do you also “cook” your cook books?

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc

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