Monday, November 25, 2013

And a very happy Thanksgivvukkah to you!

There's nothing like the holidays to stir my ADD into a maniacal frenzy.  Since we're in a mixed "faith" (a term that I use here to mean heritage or gift-giving holiday) family, we indulge the kids with Chanucka and Christmas.

(Side note, Mr. Auto-correct: Chanucka can be spelled this way.  It's the way my mother taught me to spell it, therefore it is correct.  Also, it's a transliteration so really, you're going to quibble with me over how to spell the sound you make whilst clearing phlegm from your throat?  Really??)

Sorry, sometimes a Jewish girl has got to put the obviously goyish auto-correct in its place.

Where was I?  Right, Christmas and Chanucka, for which if my 6-year-old son continues to call it Jewish Christmas he will receive 8 days of olive oil as his only gift.  So yes, we indulge the kids with 8 days of gifts.  Something to which my mother never would have agreed unless each gift was something practical like socks and underwear.

(Side note: I tried to find a short Hannukkah Harry video to serve as an example, but turns out . . . all of my references are dated and unavailable on Hulu.  I am old.  And yes, auto-correct, that's how SNL spelled Chanucka for the skit.  IT DOESN'T MATTER.  Oy!)

To make matters worse, this year we're celebrating Thanksgivukkah.  It's a rare year when Chanucka and Thanksgiving coincide and I know I should be awe-struck and giddy about this miracle even Juddah Maccabee couldn't have predicted (look it up).  In fact, I should be so excited about this coincidence that I should be profiting off of it,

[This poster, only $18 here: source]

or at least engineering a proper symbol of the combined holidays.


Seriously, the Menurkey designer (and CEO), Asher Weintraub, is going places.  At nine, he has funded his college education with a Kickstarter campaign.  I could learn from this child.

Thanksgivukkah has made my head spin.

I literally leapt into toy-buying action on November 1 for fear that I'd put things off and then have to make a mad dash into the Black Friday Thanksgiving Day sales.  Hold the phone.  Thanksgiving Day sales?

Guess where I'm NOT going Thanksgiving Day.

I guess some lucky retail slaves just don't get to enjoy a day off this season.

I am happy to report, however, that most of my Chanucka gifts are purchased, many are wrapped, and I didn't break the bank!  But with Chanucka falling in the midst of Thanksgiving, we don't really get to acknowledge the holiday properly.  The second night of Chanucka falls directly on Thanksgiving so we'll be with my husband's (re: Christian) family for lunch.  I'm pretty sure his uncle thinks that I'm Mexican.  Then back home for second Thanksgiving with Nana.  Third night of Chanucka?  Back on the road to celebrate - this time actual Chanucka - with my family.  Throw in several sleepovers and more family and seriously, I need a vacation!

(Side note: The article I linked to above, the one about Thanksgiving and Chanucka overlapping had this title: Thanksgiving-Hanukkah Overlap Spurs Thanks, Angst.)

Looking ahead, once the wrapping paper has settled, the turkey bones cleared off the table, and all of the candles have burned down on the menurkey, ultimately I know there is no rest for the weary.  I've barely begun my Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest Post Reminder: Send me your writing!

It occurred to me that I may have self-sabotaged when I decided to establish a guest post series on an Attention Deficit blog.  All of the people who have indicated they would love to contribute -- have promised to write up a story, anecdote, or micro essay -- all of these beautiful people, all of YOU beautiful people, have ADD.  What was I expecting?  I couldn't have asked for a more distracted group of contributors.

But, I'm not here to shame you or them.  I get it.  Writing for my series is something that is easy to forget.  It is also one of those priorities that can easily shift to the bottom of the list.  After all, no one will die if you forget to write or submit your writing to me.  No one will suffer or go hungry.  No one will go without medicine.

I will say that I still very much would like to read what you have to say about how ADD has improved your life, how ADD makes you the awesome person you are today.  Whenever you have time, or remember.  I still love you.  Promise.

Now, get to freakin' work, people!

Oh, Hyperbole and a Half, you make me smile

Friday, November 8, 2013

Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down, Falling Down, Falling Down

It's fall in Kentucky and the trees are luminescent.  Canary yellows and golds, crimsons and oranges.  It's as if someone flipped on the switch during the daytime hours and lit each tree with incandescent bulbs.

We had a particularly wet summer, so that always bodes well for the autumn colors.  And, although I appreciate this ephemeral beauty, I wasn't so focused on it while I raked bag after compostable bag of leaves for two freakin' hours on Tuesday morning.

Don't get me wrong, I adore autumn.  I love the smell of leaves and wood-burning fireplaces in the night air.  I love the sound of leaves crunching under foot.  I love the fall flavors offered at my local coffee shop -- pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie mochas, and hot apple cider.  And I love the sights as I mentioned before, the lovely trees lined up on my street like Southern Belles in their festive ball gowns.

All except my tree.

This is what mine looks like.

Addled - Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down
That's my daughter being helpful with the rake.

While I was raking, a neighbor approached me and said, "Wow," looking up and down the street for comparison, "you really got dumped!"

Yes, neighbor, I got dumped.  Megatons of leaves flitted on my head and my car while I uselessly raked away.  I felt like Sisyphus.  Ten bags done and you couldn't tell I made a dent.

This made me think about the task at hand.  Why was I bothering?  Why did I care?  What's in this for me?

I was trying to be a good neighbor.  I didn't want the street littered with leaves when the rain came that night, creating a slimy slurry that would lay beneath the snow this winter, making driving conditions worse than they already would be.  I didn't want the mailman slipping on leaves on my sidewalk and walkway, nor did I want the dog-walkers sliding by, raising their mittened fists at my house.  I felt responsible.

I also kept going because I have a completion complex.

If you have ADD, you might have this or you might have the opposite of it.  I love finishing a project so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off my literal or mental list.  I feel accomplished.  That said, when faced with never-ending tasks, knowing full well that the task is bottomless, I still tackle it with gusto.  This leads to crushing defeat and self-examination.

I know.  I know.  It's silly.  I should understand the circumstances and give myself a break.

When I worked at a local bookstore in the 90s, I took great pride in the sections I stocked.  Every book was flush to the edge of the shelf.  I had lovely displays of popular titles.  When customers came and took a book, then left it shoved in or left books in a stack in the wrong section of the store -- hello, people, Gloria Steinem does not belong in the "Paranormal" section! --  I would get bent out of shape and correct the problem shelf as soon as I could get off my shift at check-out.

Same with laundry -- why do my kids persist in dirtying their clothes and heaping them in a basket?  Can't they just stand back and admire the neat pile of darks and whites assembled on their beds?  That took an hour to create, my darlings.  ADMIRE IT!

Yet I persisted with the raking and the lack of rewards it gave back to me.

This is what my yard looked like after I raked.

ADDled - Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down - Yard
Yes, I'm aware that the pumpkin is still on the porch.

And here is my yard compared to the rest of the block.

ADDled - Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down - Neighbor's
Look, my neighbor actually has green grass!

Cruel, cruel Autumn.  You haven't heard the last of me.

ADDled - Autumn Leaves Are Falling Down - Bag of leaves

Do you have a completion complex like me?  Strangely, I have loads of projects that are half-finished.  I figured out that is the case because I want everything nicely completed.  If I can't do it right, I stop doing it at all.  I also get bored easily so if I'm not getting any payoff and I'm not entertained, I'm outta there.

What projects do you HAVE to complete?  What projects get the half-done treatment?  Why?