Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beer and pudding pops

As I shopped for groceries one evening last week, I excitedly discovered pudding pops in freezer case. For the uninitiated, I'm referring to frozen pudding on a stick for which Bill Cosby once served as a spokesmodel. As a kid, I enjoyed pudding pops perhaps more than any type of frozen treat. It, of course, thrilled me beyond belief to see that they have made a comeback in the 21st century.

But just before I reached into the freezer case to snag a box of pudding pops, I noticed the cost: $4.99 for a box of 12. My hand then retreated from the handle of the freezer case.

I thought to myself that it was crazy to pay that much for pudding pops. I think I figured that they should cost $3, so $4.99 was exorbitant to me. Never mind that I hadn't had a pudding pop since the Reagan adminstration.

Thinking back to earlier in the evening, I realized the irony of my situation. I'd been out with a friend and drank one beer, which cost $4 and a $1 tip. Thus, I paid $5 for an after work beer, which I occasionally have...and never think twice about its cost.

So why did I get all indecisive about buying the pudding pops? Probably because the thing that I wanted very much was staring me in the face and actually having it was too overwhelming to comprehend.

Perhaps you're thinking that I'm a lady of low expectations to have such an emotional reaction to pudding pops, but I'm pretty certain that you do the same thing. There's likely something that you want, but it takes a bit more investment to procure or achieve than you had originally anticipated. It could be a purchase, but it also could be catching up with an old and awesome friend with whom you haven't been in touch with in a few years. Yesterday, in the U.S., it could have been voting for president. Or maybe it's updating your resume. Or learning how to knit. Or, if you've been me over the last couple of months, it could be blogging.

By having ADD, we often excuse ourself for not achieving what we want. I'm not talking about the "shoulds", as my ADD coach would say; that is, things we feel obligated to do. I am referring to the things in life that deep down, you really want. If you're like me and were diagnosed with ADD as an adult, you probably have an impressive track record of things that you started and never finished, as well as the squashed confidence that's a residual effect.

As a result, you take the easy way out or accept a lesser substitute for what you really want. I'll use the previous examples from two paragraphs ago as examples. So, instead of contacting your old friend, you write "hope to catch up soon!" on a holiday card and spend your time listening to the pal (of sorts) who calls when s/he needs an audience for her/his latest drama. Or maybe you decided to drive straight home from work yesterday because you live in one of the bluest states and you were planning to vote for Obama. And why try to get another job when the economy sucks? Or try to knit a sweater when there are plenty available at TJ Maxx? Or, if you're me, assert that you have no time to blog yet plenty to watch "What Not to Wear?"

In my earlier example with the pudding pops, I illogically felt like it didn't make sense to buy a box because the price differed from what I expected it to be. And I almost let this ridiculous notion overrule some other compelling points:

Were they the delicious pudding pops that I remembered from my youth? Totally.

Was I as excited to see them as I am to see the new James Bond movie? Heck yeah.

Did I have any issue with parting with $5 for my postwork beer? Of course not.

How we each spend our money, time, affection, attention, calories, and so forth is our owndecision. Are you using these resources on the people and things that you know will enhance your life and delight you? Or are you squandering them on people/things that fill your time or squander these resources?

With ADD, it's easy to accept second best. We're all used to everything having a higher degree of difficulty than what non-ADDers have to handle. But at the same time, don't use your ADD to justify not setting out to achieve anything that you want in life, small or large. If you do, that makes as much sense as a lady who shivers in the frozen foods aisle for way too many minutes as she grapples with the idea of shelling out an extra $2 for something that will keep her happy for a week.