One down, one to go.

Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza ahead of us.

Every holiday is a learning experience for me (maybe that’s how we should frame them, if they are as difficult for you as they are for me). In fact, many of my ADHD presentations include a holiday “faux pas” or two. Or three. I think this makes my tenth, at least.

We’ve been in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. There’s good news and bad news with that, which I don’t even have to go into.

The final stage of the reno fell smack in the middle of Thanksgiving, even though I planned on dinner for 11 that night. Kitchen reno + ADHD + a woman who is not exactly gifted in the cooking/entertaining department = disaster.

So I put on my ADHD expert crown on for size and decided to make accommodations for myself to survive this holiday. The crown fit, but not the rest of the outfit.

I decided to simplify everything by ordering Chinese Food, since my kitchen was not 100% ready for action. This, my friends, would solve all of my problems: deciding what to make, deciding what NOT to make, ease of serving and virtually no cleanup. Ta-da! Problems solved- I could enjoy my family with no stress.

Three days before Thanksgiving, I called our favorite Chinese restaurant to place my order. I was surprised to find out they are closed for Thanksgiving, though I was happy to know their employees would get the day off. But then….why are they always open for Christmas? That’s for a different discussion.

I called two other places. They were closed as well.

I knew I couldn’t take on the cooking, so in a state of complete agitation, I called the local markets for a full Thanksgiving carry out dinner. The first two firmly stated I was too late calling- no more orders were being accepted.

The sweat began to dribble down my neck and back. Phone call #3 worked, though. It would cost a mortgage payment, but it was worth it for my mental health.

Still wanting to stay OUT of the kitchen and be WITH my family stress-free, I hired a lady to take on the whole project. For a 1 ½ months mortgage payment, it would be worth it to me.

This sweet, likeable lady whom I will call Cindy, to protect her innocence (?), arrived on time. I told her what I needed done (I mean, how simple is it to throw food into the oven to warm and then into containers to serve?? Wait, that’s why I hired her).

When I walked out of the room, I overheard her calling her girlfriend on her cell:

“What temperature do you heat up turkey, stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes? How long do you let it cook for?”

Luckily, a family member who drove 5 HOURS to my house to enjoy dinner with us, came to the rescue and directed the gal. Obviously, my relative does not have ADHD, because she orchestrated this like she’d done it a million times blindfolded. Wait, she has done it a million times.

But here’s the thing: even though I’ve been in the field of ADHD for a million years and have offered advice to hundreds and hundreds of women over the years, I still found myself questioning my abilities, my self-worth. Here we go again! Why couldn’t I heat up a bunch of food and get it on the table without having a nervous breakdown?

So you see, even the pros get stumped at times.

But….I did remind myself of the things I am good at. I make art. I write books. I play at least 5 different instruments. I earned college degrees. I can still jog 2 miles, even at my age.

So what’s my point? Like me, you WILL fall down. But we just have to remember that we can still get up and brush off the dust and move forward.

And boy, that turkey was delicious.

How about you? Have an ADD holiday story to tell? Please do- in the comment section below.