Organized on the Outside (what A.D.D. means to me)

Don’t hate me because I’m organized – as with most things, that’s only half the picture. We all have strengths, and I happen to have the superpower to sort, purge, alphabetize, chronologize, and index with my eyes closed. With one hand tied behind my back. In my sleep. OK, I’m not that good, but you get the picture.

The sorting/de-cluttering bug bit me tonight, so on went the music and junk drawers or bust, I was spending the evening sorting through pens, rubber bands, calculators, papers, and a plethora of accumulated this-and-thats. Barry White, Van Morrison, and Fleetwood Mac blared. I know, it’s a sad state of affairs when Barry White puts me in the mood to organize. Whatever.

Desk drawer could use more purging, but I’ll sleep better knowing it’s organized!

But like many uber-organized, I’m not that great with intangibles. What I mean is, because I spend much of my energy and time keeping everything just so, there never seems to be time for hosting dinner because I can’t get my home quite right enough for entertaining. There is always one last project I want to finish and then I’ll have folks over.

I’m not good at calling either. Thank goodness for email, text, Facebook, and now this very blog, or I’d be a veritable Big Foot – one blurred photograph away from never having existed. Unless my closest friends see me in person, which would be by chance or upon their invitation, it could be months between conversations. Of course I call my Mom every weekend, and I return calls…eventually. But to place a phone call for the sole purpose of having a superfluous conversation (when there are things needing to be arranged and put in order) makes absolutely no sense to me. Weird, right? Nope.

This, I have read, is common among women with A.D.D. (Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life). Some of us overcompensate by over-organizing, and we struggle with social expectations. I assume mine is a mild case because it is manageable. No, that’s wrong. I feel it makes me who I am. I am not manageable, I am me. I opted not to take medication and took comfort in finally knowing why certain things that seemed easy for others were a challenge for me. Now, instead of hosting dinner, I am happy as can be to go out with friends. When I’m scattered in my conversations, go off on tangents, and veer back to topic (or not), I kind of like that. That’s who I’ve been for decades, and when those little quirks surface it’s like feeling the warmth of the sun wash over me as I tilt my face skyward and smile.

I might throw that dinner party, you might get a call from me tomorrow, and even though I try to make the effort, Vegas odds say probably not. I used to stress over that and wonder what was wrong with me. It’s who I am, and I embrace that. We all have strengths. If you need some organization, your closet purged, your home staged, or some good old face-to-face conversation, I’m your girl. Just don’t wait for me to call…