I have noticed that I have few ADHD symptoms when on vacation…if only my daily life were so simple! I have no bills to pay and no important deadlines to meet when checked out from the daily grind. I just have to be sure not to leave a bag at the airport and not to react negatively to loved ones who are accustomed to reminding me, thoughtfully, of what I need to do.
I’m the one who prefers keeping the hotel room clean. My clothes are on hangers and in drawers. I am on time for recreational and leisure activities. There is little competing for my attention, as I am looking ahead to just one activity at a given time. The experience is a reminder that the ADHD problem has more to do with inhibiting attention than the oversimplified notion that I am unable to focus. Unmanaged attention, not attention deficit, best describes our challenge.
A wandering mind is no problem on vacation. The so-called default system—a network of brain regions associated with daydreaming—normally turns on at night and recedes in the evening. Our ADHD brains don’t work that way. There is evidence that our default systems turn on easily during the day, corresponding with our difficulty activating the executive system, a network of brain regions associated with alertness and selective attention.
So, when life is simple, your brain can wander without interfering with your limited obligations. I will make my deadline for posting this and will still show up for the next scheduled activity. I have at least a half hour to get ready…plenty of time!
THIS is living well with ADHD…if only for a week!