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Good Friday? Mine was great! Or at least efficient.

Apr 13, 2018

If you can look past the silliness of the title, you'll see this post is about daily schedules. I know that I have posted daily schedules before. But, sometimes it can be a pain in the neck to find older posts. So, I try to post these once in a while for people to be able to use as a current resource. 

I made this schedule the afternoon/evening of 3/29/18. It was a client-free friday, but it was my wife's day off and I wanted to let her sleep. It was shower morning for the kids, which always adds a degree of difficulty. I had to get Delia to school in Quincy/Braintree. Then I had to get Elliot to my parent's house in Newton with him being prepared to spend the day with my Dad. Then I had to drive back to Mattapan to drop of our car for exhaust work. I had to work in a workout. And, it would be nice to actually see my wife on her day off for a least a bit. So, my "day off" wasn't so much a day off. There was much to accomplish. 

I will admit that it didn't go exactly to plan, but basically everything got done in a non-stressful way. There is no way I would have been that efficient without the schedule... and I probably wouldn't have slept well the night before being anxious about how to fit it all in to that one day.

Key: On the left side where the times are, if there is just a time, that is a time that something happens that doesn't really have a duration. Most of the times are preceded by an arrow. In my scheduling shorthand that means that the item to the right of that arrow then time will begin at the time the previous event on the above line ended and go until the time written after the arrow. (Explaining this always makes this sound so much more complicated than it is.) For example: Walking home from dropping off the Subaru begins at 8:15 when dropping off the car ends and continues until 8:40. I only bring this up so that you can read the schedule, as there has been confusion in the past. You certainly don't have to do it this way... though it works really well for estimating times...
Good Friday? Mine was great! Or at least efficient.

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Medication Journal

Apr 5, 2018

I am loathe to give my clients homework. I generally feel that working on the things we are talking about is enough. However, one of the few things I often suggest to my clients is to keep a medication journal. The harsh reality of the world is that ADHD meds are all about trial and error. There is no way to know what drugs you will respond to until you try them. 

Combine that with the fact that we are often not so present in the moment, may be forgetful, and sometimes lack self monitoring skills... and it is really easy to forget, or not even be aware of how a change in medication or dosage is affecting us. This is particularly the case when we are first trying meds and our attention is not great. 

In my experience it can be invaluable to:
  • When you started a new medication,
  • What other meds you were taking at the time,
  • What time of day you took it,
  • If you were consistent with taking it,
  • Was it name brand or generic (even what generic producer,)
  • When you may have changed dosages,
  • How your attention and/or mood were affected,
  • Any feedback you may get from other people in your life.
Trying to remember what you took three years ago and how if made you feel can be really tough. It is a great resource to have an actual log of the details. And, it doesn't have to be too extensive. Just note the change dates and check in with yourself two or three times a week about how you feel. 




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Workout Tip #8: Keep a visual record

Mar 29, 2018

I find that it can be very hard for us to build momentum with things that are new. Working out is no exception. Actually, it may be one of the hardest areas in which to build a routine if it doesn’t feel great at first. Even for me, as an athlete who loves to be active, it has been very difficult to restart exercise routines after periods of inactivity in my life. You will have to “suffer” through a period of time during which you probably can’t push yourself hard enough or long enough to get the physiological benefits that will eventually be there. I’ve found that keeping a visual log on a calendar is a great way to build momentum, confidence, and a sense of success during the beginning stages. I still log my workouts. I have a separate calendar on my Google Calendar that at is gold and I put abbreviations for all my workouts to track what I did and when. I still draw a tremendous amount of self empowerment when I look at my month or my week and see how much I’ve worked out.


I suggest using a month view calendar and simply putting a big red X on any day you worked out. At first don’t worry if it’s a 20 minute quickie or an intense 45 minutes. The momentum is build by doing it, period. Then at the end of the week or the month you will have a record of what you did. Check out the example I posted. You will see that it incorporates previous tips by using the weekend and not missing two days in a row. (Except where I X’d the wrong days on the second week…) To me, that looks great. In reality it is only 4 workouts a week. Maybe as little as a two hour per week commitment. But it is a good month and you can actually see it was a good month.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


Workout Tip #8: Keep a visual record

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Because I'm shameless...

Mar 27, 2018

Because I’m a little bit vain and really proud of myself I’ll post what my workout calendar would look like so far this month if I still did it on a paper calendar. As a side note, I’m currently battling some depression and some really stressful circumstances. So, I’m really doubling down on self care like exercising, meditation, eating well (if not a reasonable amount,) not drinking, getting enough sleep etc. If only I could not “stress eat” the exercise might do even more good. Under normal circumstances I don’t regularly to do two-a-days. I should probably do a post on the self-care double down...



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


Because I'm shameless...

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The PLANNING is the hardest part!

Mar 23, 2018

One might think that as an ADHDer I would agree with Tom Petty that “Waiting is the hardest part.” I certainly won’t make the argument that waiting is easy. It is probably in the top five hardest parts. But I would argue that the planning is actually the hardest part.


Planning requires extensive executive function. It requires attention, follow through, initiation, and is particularly heavy on working memory. Bottom line: it’s really hard for us. So, mostly we try to avoid it. We might…

  • Try to pack at the last minute without a packing list,

  • Write a long paper without making any sort of outline,

  • Go to the grocery store without a shopping list,

  • Start a home improvement project without figuring out time, materials, and tools,

  • Or promise an outcome without thinking about how we’ll achieve it.


But, even though it is hard for us to do the planning, it can be done. And it usually results in better results and lower stress. I suggest taking a deep breath and sitting down and making a detailed written plan well enough in advance that there isn’t substantial pressure. Identify action steps. Estimate how long they will take. Plan when and how those steps will be achieved to build toward the desired result.


As one example in my life, I’ve built a huge suburban garden over the past 4 years that consists of 13 raised bed of various sized, a fence row of sunflowers, 12 fruit and nut trees, 4 window boxes, grape trellises, and several herb planters. Sounds overwhelming, right. At times it was. But every time I got overwhelmed, I’d (take an ativan, work out, or meditate, and…) make a plan!


I don’t have any big building or improvement projects for the garden this year. But, I’ve got to get my seeds planted at the right times so that everything is ready to go outside at the optimal time of year to optimize my harvest. Check out the pics of my seeds that I planted today and the detailed map and list that I generated first so I know what and how much to plant.


By the way, the planning doesn’t always yield perfection. I planned the crap out of last year, including a color-coded spreadsheet. And, it was not a good year. But, some of that was out of my hands. Lots of it constituted learning opportunities. However, I can promise that it would not have gone as well as it did without the plan. And, my planning “muscle” is stronger this year. No spreadsheet. Less time. Better plan. If the weather and the animals cooperate, I’m anticipating a wonderful year.


Whatever it is you sew, happy planting... and planning.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


The PLANNING is the hardest part!
The PLANNING is the hardest part!

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How I got my first tattoo at 38

Mar 16, 2018

I was and am a punk rock kid at heart. Well, really a 3rd Wave Ska-Punk kid. (But that's probably a bit esoteric for most folks.) I am also a bundle contradictions. More about that in another post tentatively titled “owning it.” But my style has always been a blend of establishment hipster and anti-establishment punk. At one point, I had my ear, tongue, eyebrow, and labret pierced. Not to mention the orange hair twisted up in spikes with old-school flat top wax. Needless to say, I’ve always wanted a tattoo. But, I also know my own limitations. So I instituted a rule. If I loved something enough to put on my body, I had to wait five years. If I still loved it that much after five years I would get it.

But through my twenties everything seemed fleeting. I didn’t want to end up with a sports logo, or a band, or an ultimate frisbee related tattoo that I would outgrow. Which was a good idea because I’ve more or less outgrown most of those things.


But I had an idea when my son was born in 2009. I loved him. I would alway love him. So I set to thinking about what I wanted the tattoo to be… and took five years doing it. By the time he turned five I had the idea nailed down. I wanted:

  • His name in a cursive script that reminded my of my grandmother, who he was partly named after,

  • In the form of a punk rock patch (that looks like real stitching) that is an ode my my punk rock ethos and esthetic

  • In blue and white that also reminds me of my grandmothers wedgewood china

  • On my left forearm, where I’ve always wanted it so it can be my white guy shaolin dragon… thanks Kung Fu, The Legend Continues.


After five years, I was a master of patience and it took me a while to find the right artist. I found Neil England at Empire Tattoo in Somerville through a client. Neil's profile. Then he had a waiting list. So I really didn’t get the tattoo until Elliot was eight and I was 38. But it was more than worth the wait. It is exactly what I want. If suits me and represents his personality, as I’ve seen it develop over the years. And, I love it. I can’t think of a scenario where I would regret anything about it. A major ADHD victory if you ask me.


My daughter turns 4 in a few weeks. That gives me a year to finalize the design, the colors, and the theme. By the summer of 2019 my will be decorated in a way that honors her, thus completing my own Kung Fu dragons.


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


How I got my first tattoo at 38

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