By Emily Jones
While driving across the state a few days ago, I had a light bulb moment that would have knocked my socks off if I’d been wearing any.
I enjoy talk radio — doesn’t matter what the subject is — talk radio satisfies my need to snoop or eavesdrop on the conversations of others. With talk radio, you can do it legally and no one thinks you’re just an ordinary busybody.
Anyway, so here I was riding along, listening covertly to a conversation between Oprah and some expert on personality disorders. Smugly, I thanked my lucky stars for being so well adjusted and “normal.” Then, I felt my scalp tingle as the expert described a malady called Attention Deficit Disorder which apparently is a growing problem among children — like 5.2 million of them.
I’m not surprised, what with all the violent animation and special effects they see on TV and movies. Have you watched the cartoons on Saturday morning lately? The graphics are frightening and they confuse me! But the expert says there is a growing problem of ADD among older adults. (Excuse me while I drool a bit.)
Listening to the symptoms of adult ADD, I discovered I have them all. The guys in white coats should show up any moment with my straight jacket! Suddenly, a lot of things are making sense. Like why I burn the bread whenever we have company, and often forget to serve something it took hours to prepare. Or why I go out to work in the garden and end up painting the house. Or why I get dressed in my Sunday finest and end up trying to change the oil in my car. (Incidentally, that was a disaster.)
I usually feel like a frazzled fruitcake. It’s kind of like being on an airplane to nowhere and your brain gets hijacked.
I daydream incessantly, and conjure up exciting scenarios that are totally unrealistic.
During one of my reveries last Sunday in church, I caught myself grinning like a loon. Since I was sitting on the front row, it didn’t get past my pastor. I’ll be going to confession later this week.
I never finish anything I begin unless it contains chocolate and peanut butter. I have pieces of needle point stuffed in desk drawers. Most were started 25 years ago and have turned a funny shade of yellow. Ditto for furniture refinishing. My antique library table looks pretty good until someone turns it around and it still has red paint on the back.
Anything tedious drives me bonkers. I got stuck making 200 rice bags for a friend’s wedding once and developed a tick in my left eye. To this day when I see a bag of rice I begin winking uncontrollably.
Yes, it bothers me that in the middle of a discussion I forget what I'm talking about and the older I get, the more aggravating these symptoms become. It’s just another reminder that everything gets worse with age — well, except the price of car insurance. Thank goodness for that.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at http://www.deludeddiva.com .