Brain Farts & Rabbit Trails

I had a meeting on the weekend with a prospective client (we’ll call him Dave). Actually, I didn’t meet with Dave, I chatted with his wife (let’s call her Jenn) while we waited for Dave. Let me explain…

Dave called me earlier last week, and from our brief conversation it was apparent that he was exploring some adjustments in his world of ADHD. He sounded upbeat, hopeful, and quite informed about ADHD. We had arranged to meet - Dave, Jenn and I - at 10am Saturday and Dave even asked me whether I liked coffee so he could have some ready for our initial conversation. (thinking ahead... impressive)

I arrived at 10am on the dot. (also impressive for someone with ADHD, right?) Jenn was a welcoming person and made fresh coffee, explaining that Dave would be back right away after dropping their son off at a baby-sitter’s. 

Ten minutes later, Dave phoned from the sitter's to explain that he had left his cell phone on top of the car while driving away from the sitter's. He would have to backtrack to find it. (I completely understand that) 

Recently, I went to the post office to retrieve my business mail. It was a freezing cold day (-20º C) and I didn’t relish the thought of the trip outdoors. I was quite proud that I remembered to grab the little round key off the special key hook reserved for "keys we don’t use everyday". 

Returning home, I walked inside the door a little sheepishly and somewhat irritated, “Stupid mailboxes don’t accept shed keys” I told my wife. Turns out I had grabbed the little round garden shed key instead of the little round mailbox key. We had a little laugh about it (her laugh was a little more robust than mine). 

I didn’t get the mail that day.

ADHD can be much more than a  collection of these cute little “brain fart” anecdotes. 

While Dave chased down his phone, Jenn and I talked a lot about ADHD in general, covering the many angles of cause and effect - the symptoms, social implications, and personal impact the disorder often has. I think it was a beneficial conversation. 

About an hour into our conversation, Jenn was reminded of a time when they were having company over for the evening and she discussed with Dave all of the preparations they needed to get done. 

At some point, Dave had driven off to take care of something on the list. Jenn hadn’t been sure where he’d gone, and as the time got closer for guests to arrive, was a little concerned whether they could complete the list in time to enjoy their visitors. 

Just then, she got a text from Dave. He sent her two pictures of deck tables asking which one she thought would look best on the deck. Apparently, at some point, Dave got in his mind that it would be impossible to entertain their friends adequately without a nicer table on their deck; so off he went, following his rabbit trail. I get that. (not he table part, but the part about “got in his mind… so off he went, following his rabbit trail”)

Brain farts and rabbit trails are not unique to ADHD; everyone has them occasionally. With ADHD, however, it is the frequency of their occurrences that is unique as well as when they occur. They can happen even in the most critical of life’s circumstances, when normal functioning brains would be paying much greater attention to necessary details. In those moments, brain farts and rabbit trails aren’t just cute ’n quirky stories to tell at the dinner table.

After 90 minutes and no Dave, Jenn and I decided to simply reschedule the conversation. She was apologetic but it was not necessary; there are very few surprises in ADHD Coaching, today certainly was not an anomaly. 

Dave update: Luckily, Dave had a “find my phone” app installed which eventually showed him that his phone was travelling down the highway … already 20km out of town. A couple of hours and one speeding ticket later, using his sister’s phone to track his phone, he was able to retrieve his phone from the person who had found it.

I enjoyed our visit with Jenn. The coffee was great. And I’m glad Dave found his phone.

ps - just before posting this blog, I brought my homemade chicken noodle soup in from outside where I had set it last night to cool off. 
I now see that I forgot to add the noodles … anyone for homemade chicken “noodle-less” soup?
(reminds me of the time I made cinnamon buns without adding cinnamon)

                                                         © Dan Duncan 2013                                             part of the  interior sq wht