Yesterday was my Birthday. I’m 59 years old. There, I’ve said it. I rarely disclose my age because, well…because part me can’t believe I’m no longer the 18-year-old idealistic hippy that wore bright yellow bell bottoms and marched against the Vietnam War all those years ago.

Today, I am looking at leaving middle age soon and entering what they call the “autumn of life”, which I think is the (Norman) Rockwellian way of saying I’ll soon be old as dirt. According to Wikipedia,“Most developed world countries have accepted the chronological age of 65 years as a definition of ‘elderly’ or older person.” Ok, so I’m not *quite* there. Yet.

I tend to think of Birthdays the way others see New Year’s- a time to reflect on my life and to think about where I’ve been and where I’m going. Now, before I get too sappy for all of you, let me share that I am generally a happy person. I’ve worked on my ADHD for well over 15 years and have come to that place where I’m comfortable with it. That’s not to say that I don’t get de-railed from it; I do. But I no longer define myself as a person with deficits; rather, I’m a woman who happens to have ADD. I have ADD; I am not an ADDer.

Every day brings its own ADD related challenges:

  1. What should I make for dinner tonight? Or these days, what should I pick UP for dinner tonight?
  2. When will I get to that annoying pile of papers?
  3. How long will it take to fall asleep tonight?
  4. Why can’t I just pick up the phone and call my childhood friend and make a lunch date?
  5. Will I ever be able to wear high heels?
  6. What IS her name? She’s my next-door neighbor, for goodness sakes!
    …and the list goes on.

If you read my last newsletter, you would have learned some things about me you probably never knew. I shared my private foibles along with my talents and strengths, hoping that you, too, would focus on what you do well, instead of hyper focusing on your challenges. Yes, I trip over words and memory lapses. I can’t organize things too easily. I procrastinate better than most. But…I also do other things quite well. And so do you.

That idealistic 18 year old is still alive and kicking- the dark haired Bohemian who believed that everyone could make this a better world by doing their little bit in whatever way that works best for them.

So today, in honor of my birthday, I’d like to ask that all of you post one thing you are proud of- one thing you do well, whether it’s creating something, making people laugh, baking, being a good friend- something that makes you feel good about yourself- and post it in my FORUM. Let’s remember that we are people, first: people who just happen to have an ADD brain.