The other day my son Andy came home from the gym and got the toaster out to make himself a protein shake. Yes, that’s right. The toaster.
He was thinking of something else and reached into the cupboard, coming out with the first thing he found.
Those of us with ADHD live a lot in our heads and in the future. I think we’re trying to see what’s coming so we can deal with it.
So when you come into the house with a bag of groceries or a new outfit, you’re not thinking about where you put your keys. You’re thinking about putting those groceries away or trying on those cute clothes.
That’s why, when you go to look for your keys the next day, you’ll likely to find them in the refrigerator or the closet upstairs.
We tend to function on autopilot a lot too. You know, you drive the same way you always do – on autopilot – and find yourself at the grocery store instead of the library.
We aren’t paying attention to the present moment because we aren’t in the present moment. We’re in a place that doesn’t exist – trying to solve the next problem that might come up in the future. We’re worrying about things that haven’t happened yet and might not.
You can do two things to try and help this – so you can find your keys quicker maybe.
First, make a place where things like keys go. At my house, there is a basket on the table by the front door. Once in a while, my son actually puts his keys there, instead of, for instance, on the kitchen counter next to the toaster.
Second, learn to pull yourself back into the present now and then. Whenever you catch yourself going back to the future 🙂 pull back. Notice what’s around you. What do you hear, smell, feel? Do you feel the smooth surface of the table and hear the sound of the keys landing there?
It takes some practice, and you’ll never be perfect, but you can learn to live in the here and now more often.