Transitions

Having your child go off to college can be a bit of an adjustment. Daniel’s been gone a full 2 months now, and we’re finally settling into a routine that doesn’t involve him walking in the front door at random intervals.

Today I took the step of clearing off his desk and starting to set up his bedroom to serve as a home office. It’s not quite there yet, but it will be before long. Eventually, my wife and I will both have small laptop desks and office chairs there so that when either of us is working from home we can do so without disturbances from the fur kids.

We get a call from our son a couple of times a week, since both of our IQs went up 100 points the minute he left home. It’s nice to feel needed. I try to send him a quick note once every week or so to let him know I’m thinking about him. I’ve not been above sending him a dad joke just so he knows I’m still doing okay.

We probably eat out more than we should, especially now that there are only two mouths to feed on a regular basis. Culinary options not being that varied in the small town where I live, we’ve had to get creative about cooking so that we wouldn’t have leftovers up the proverbial.

Leftovers are not a problem, unless they sit in the refrigerator long enough to the point that they get their own address and are able to register to vote. This was more of a problem when I was a bachelor and was prone to ordering takeout.

As I wrote in a poem at the time:

The fridge is quite empty if it’s food that you seek

Except for cold pizza from dinner last week
Or maybe a bucket of moldy Chinese
And a gallon of milk slowly turning to cheese

We are trying to use the slow cooker more these days as it allows me to toss ingredients into the pot in the morning, start it, and come home to something that resembles food rather than a bagged salad or a frozen entree. My wife being laid up has improved my culinary skills from their previous buy it, boil it or bake it level of competency. I’ve added nuking and frying to the mix.

I’m sure I’ll get stuck with more domestic duties once my wife is up and around, now that she knows that I’m capable of more than PB&J sandwiches (She still likes to have the crusts removed and the sandwich cut in half. 

I better let you get back to work, I have to run to the store for chili fixin’s and cornbread.

The Growth Mindset

I just heard a great talk on the Growth Mindset at a conference I attended recently. Basically, there are two mindsets people have: A Fixed, or a Growth Mindset. The Fixed Mindset is a belief that you are born with a set of abilities and that’s all you have to work with. The Growth Mindset, recognizes that you have a set of native talents, but that you can work to improve on what you got and get better as you go.

There has been a fair amount of research on the differences between people with Fixed and Growth mindsets. The biggest difference is that people with a growth mindset are more resilient because they see everything as a learning opportunity, even their failures. It seems to me that a growth vs a fixed mindset is what differentiates those that thrive with ADHD vs. those who suffer.

Much of this is from my own experience. I’ve been fairly successful in spite of my ADHD merely because I’ve always looked for opportunities to learn. I think people who see failure as just another learning opportunity tend to be able to move forward and try again. I will admit that there have been times when I’ve given up and stopped trying for awhile, but I usually pick myself up and hope the next time will be better.

Much of this gets instilled during childhood. If your parents or teachers tell you that you are dumb or a failure, there is a fair amount of internalization of that message. If they teach you to try again and learn from your experiences, odds are you will be able to succeed in spite of ADHD.

Go To Bed!

Not Me, but My Wife Knows the Struggle

Did you get a good night’s sleep last night? A recent article in the Harvard Business Review notes that entrepreneurs that get enough sleep are better able to identify and execute on good ideas. I don’t know about you, but my first reaction was “DUH!”

I mean really? People spent money to prove something that anyone could have told them from personal experience? I don’t know about you, but I do not do well when I don’t get enough sleep. My wife swore the old joke

“Do you wake up grumpy?”

“No I just let him sleep in.”

was about me. I am not a morning person at the best of times, but not getting enough sleep intensifies my level of crankiness exponentially.

I also suffer from sleep apnea, which makes it even worse. I spent a good year trying to figure out why I kept falling asleep in meetings at work and never felt really wide awake. All the triple espressos in the world didn’t help either. Finally I went in for a sleep study, which is a complete misnomer. Nobody sleeps during a sleep study, other than out of sheer exhaustion, at least if it’s not being done at home.

The first step is to wire you up like a network patch panel and then allow you to fall asleep, if you can. I cheated and took two Benadryl beforehand.

Once they have a chance to see whether you have problems with breathing while you’re asleep. Then they wake you up to put a mask on if needed.

The mask is not comfortable. It’s probably the biggest reason people don’t continue treatment. If you want a mental image, think of the face hugger from the Alien movie.

So imagine that you are wired up like a Christmas Tree, you have a mask on that makes you sound like Darth Vader and look like a cyborg elephant and then imagine trying to go back to sleep. The only other time I had a harder time getting to sleep was the night’s before surgery for my broken leg.

The good news is that even after all that, I was able to pass out long enough for them to decide I needed to have a cpap machine on a long term basis. I won’t say I enjoy wearing a machine to help me breath at night, but I do have an easier time staying awake during the day. I also don’t have to sleep with one eye open anymore at night because I’m afraid my wife will try to strangle me to stop me from snoring.

The only problem is that now that I’m not snoring, I’m much more aware of it when she is. Fortunately, she’s only an occasional snorer, mostly when she has a head cold. The dog, on the other hand, seems to have developed a sympathy snore.

I better let you get back to work. I need to pick up a supply of NyQuil for the missus.

I better let you get to work,