I just returned from our little lake house in Canada where we spent a long 4th of July weekend. The water, sky, trees worked its magic and I fell into a state of…well…a good state of inattention. I didn’t have to focus on anything. The hours bled into each other, with no particular plans needing to be made. Dinners are always out, so there was no need to fret about meal planning. The kids were happy. Hubby was content doing what we call “Garage Putzing”, meaning…juggling all kinds of projects he loves to do in his little boathouse and garage.

As for me, I was absolutely happy staring out at the sky and water, watching as the blues leaked into the greens, which dripped into reds as the day aged into evening.

Still, a lingering feeling kept stabbing at me. It’s a feeling I get whenever I’m on vacation or other break from routine. The nagging thought that I *should* be doing something productive.

I’m not sure if those without ADHD feel this way, but walking down the beach, I saw plenty of people just relaxing happily on the sand, in the water and on lawn chairs. Or running blissfully with their dogs. Or playing long games of Frisbee and badminton. Why then, was I feeling pulled into doing…something?

I wonder if those of us with ADHD are so used to obsessing and worrying about the things we ought to be doing, that we can’t fully shut off the “on” button. I finally rid myself of this gnawing feeling of being lazy and useless by scrubbing down our wooden swing that had collected a few years’ worth of slimy green algae. I broke out in a sweat, felt my muscles being pulled in all directions, and when I was done, felt proud of my achievement. But at what price?

Am I the only one that feels periodically guilty while on vacation? Who feels pulled and swayed into the “ought to’s”, instead of allowing myself to truly relax and enjoy the freedom of daily responsibilities?