Sunday, January 31, 2010

Putting the "H" back into my ADD

Because I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in my 40s, the medical professionals and I both concluded that it was ADD and not ADHD. I certainly wasn't a hyper-active individual. But last weekend, I became keenly aware that I am much more fidgety than most people, at least the people sitting around me that day. I was visiting my hometown and joined some friends to watch the high school girls basketball game. 

I was sitting amongst the parents and family members of many of the players on the team.  I'm not extremely knowledgeable about the finer points of the sport, but I can read the score board just like anyone else and it was close game. Regardless of the sport, I'm usually cheering for someone. (Except, of course, when I'm judging figure skating because standing up and cheering isn't viewed as good form.) 

I was cheering for the Albert Lea High School Girls' Basketball team that day. I was tugging at my ponytail when the tension increased and pumped my fist into the air when we scored. I was rocking back and forth in my seat and occasionally sitting on my hands to keep them still. I was yelling at the players to hustle and be there for the rebounds. (I also got paranoid that I was yelling the wrong things at the wrong time and sounded like an idiot.)

I looked around at the parents of the players and they weren't looking hyper or excited. They would cheer when we scored and yell an occasional piece of advice to the players, but mostly, it was their heads that were moving the most - back and forth from one side to the other. 

Maybe I still have the hyperactivity of the disorder? I'm suddenly much more aware of how I sit at my desk and how I stand while watching something. I don't sit in one position very long and I don't stand still, ever!  I've noticed other people when they stand aren't shifting their weight from side to side. 
Well, I'm not going to rename the blog, but I think I have to give my "hyper" side more recognition than I had in the past. So the hyperactivity isn't just in my brain - it possess my entire being.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I had the most amazing experience this past Tuesday night. I was able to meet a group of local Minnesota bloggers. Forty bloggers (38 women and 2 brave men) met up for a night of networking and volunteering.

(This blog is my personal blog, but I work as an editor for the Hazelden blog called "Recovery Resource Blog," so I attended as the Hazelden blogger because I'm still insecure about telling people I'm a blogger. The other bloggers at the event gave me great advice and I know that I have some great blogs that I can follow and learn from.) 

Missy, the event organizer, is a former Hazelden co-worker and an incredible example of a successful blogger. (The Marketing Mama) She's built up a strong following by being a consistent blogger, talking about something she loves and sharing what she knows.

Following the social time, we headed over to "Feed My Starving Children" in Eagan.  Missy set up this volunteer opportunity for our group weeks ago, so none of us knew that we would be working with a charity that is providing assistance to Haiti as they are coping with the aftermath of the earthquake.

The FMSC staff member introduced us to their work by showing us a picture of Omar, an 8-year-old boy who weighed 19 pounds when he came to the FMSC-supported mission in Haiti. Think about that 8 years old and weighing only 19 pounds! The staff showed us another picture of Omar after a few weeks receiving meals from the mission - healthier and looking more like an 8 year old. The biggest difference: There was a smile on his face! In the "before" picture, his eyes and expression were distant.

The volunteers put together food packets that consisted of rice, soy, dried vegetables and dried ground chicken. We put together 64 boxes of packets that will provide 13,824 meals. That will feed 38 people for one year. The cost of the materials for the packets was $2300.(I doubt I could feed just me for $2300 for a year)

FMSC relies on donors to help pay for this program and, I for one, will be someone who will keep this program high on my list of charities to support by sharing financially and with my time. (I'll be telling EVERYONE I see that the best volunteer project/service project or team building project they could do is volunteering at FMSC)
Below, I've linked to some of the other bloggers who write about this experience. (Most expressing the impact of the evening far better than me.) I'll work on getting my pictures off my iPhone and get them posted here, but there are some great photos on these blogs.

Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Geek (Liz does a great job of sharing the numbers that made such an impact on us.
Kate in the Kitchen (I could read her post over and over again!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Even when my life sucks, it doesn't compare...

I have complained about the windows in my house being too drafty and how I don't have a water softener and what that does to my hair. I have complained about how long of a drive it is to work and I might get upset when the network goes down. There are days when everything goes wrong and I'm sure my life sucks and I deserve a pity party.

But shortly before 5 p.m. (EST) on January 12, 2010, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.0 rocked the island of Haiti. And shook sense into my "sucky life philosophy" and reminded me that even my worst day is light years away from the reality that millions of Haitians are facing today and for the weeks ahead.

I also need to remind myself that my "sucky life" was still light years ahead of the Haitian BEFORE the earthquake. This island nation is one of the poorest and, if there is any blessing, it is the fact that this poverty had pulled more NGOs (non-government organizations) to their island before the quake. These incredible people were there from the time of the quake to help, even though many of them had also lost their homes to the quake. (Sadly, many of their generous co-workers were also victims of this diaster).

Pray for the Haitians. Pray for the NGO workers who have perished and those workers who survived.
But do more than pray. Donate to the American Red Cross or other relief organizations. It's putting your money where your mouth.

If you think that your $10 gift won't matter, it important to remember it was lots and lots of $10 gifts via text messages that raised $3 million dollars for the ARC in the first 24 hours after the disaster.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Tiger Moral Compass

Just got done reading the Tiger Woods cover story in the February 2010 issue of Vanity Fair. (Read the story) It is recommended reading. The Annie Leibovitz cover photo was taken before the scandal broke, but it works for the story. 
Since I don't watch trash shows like TMZ, I hadn't heard all of the stories about his escapades. I don't believe in judging other people's lives and their moral choices (I leave that to Brit Hume), but I do wonder what these individuals are thinking when they made those choices. 
I have a lot of questions, but don't have all the answers.
What the hell was Tiger thinking? 
Is his moral compass broken or did he never possess one? Do you think he ever felt guilt for cheating on his wife? Did he think of himself as a phony as he was passing himself off as a family man or did it add to his ego thinking he was "getting away with something?" 
After reading the details of Tiger's sex life that Vanity Fair highlights, I don't think he feels guilt or ever have any type of a moral compass. A quickee in a church parking lot? Really?
The question that wasn't answered in the article (and I doubt it could be answered by anyone except Tiger): Is it nurture or nature? If they are using the whole "sex addiction" as the reason for his behavior, then perhaps it is nature since medical science says that addictions are caused by a brain disorder. Or did he see this behavior in his formative years? At what point in his life did this behavior start? Before or after his rise to fame? Did he think the pedestal that the world put him on (not to mention the millions of dollars he was given) provided him with an invisibility cloak?
What the hell was Tiger thinking? 
Or was he not thinking at all?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to 2010

New year and new decade. 2010 has got to be better than '09. My life this past year wasn't bad. Just boring.
I didn't even bother to publish my annual YuleBlog for 2009. I tried to think of witty and fun things to write about, but I'm sure I'm not supposed to write about my fantasies in my holiday letter.
Is there a difference between a quiet year and a dull one?
This year could be interesting as I approach the big Five-O.  I don't think about it as getting older, just a newer version. In March, I'll launch "Elizabeth 5.0".  Doesn't that sound better?