When it comes to living in the present moment, people with ADHD are to be envied. This is how most of them live – often to the exclusion of planning for the future or (sometimes) remembering well the past.
A writer for ADDitude, Emily Chen, has described living in the moment (with ADHD) and her heart, mind, and body as cats. She explains how sometimes they’re all super excited, playfully pouncing here and there in pursuit of prey. During those times, she feels invincible — like anything is possible.
This is an interesting take on accepting and finding gratitude in the moment. What if you chose to be open to what could happen in that present moment, and learn to celebrate it as well? And, for non-ADHD partners…let go of the other, non-present moments?
There is joy in this sort of living. Living this way ALL the time can cause problems if you don’t have a really great support system (i.e. not paying taxes because you are too busy being in the moment doesn’t turn out well unless someone else does them for you…) and ADHD ‘living in the now’ vs. non-ADHD partner ‘planning’ is one of the main sources of friction in ADHD/non-ADHD partnerships. The non-ADHD partner gets to pick up all the non-joyful stuff.
BUT, it is my experience that there is real room to meet in the middle on this. I observe that many non-ADHD partners don’t live in the present moment enough. They miss lots of opportunities to celebrate life as they struggle to keep up with the never-ending ‘to do’ list and try to meet a host of commitments. ADHD partners can do their part by creating the habits they need to be able to slow down and consider the past or future when they need to.
My suggestion to non-ADHD partners is to give yourself permission and grace to celebrate the moment more often…to just enjoy what is coming at you and ‘get on board’ with some of the more fun family chaos. Pick and choose those chores that must (truly) take you away from the joy to be had in the moment.
And for ADHD partners? Think about creating a structure that allows you to help out more so your partner can more easily share in your joyous times. By being aware of the present moment we will each be more grounded. We will pay better attention to how we live and our relationships with others.
“My Mind, Heart, and Body Were Like Wily Cats”, ADDitude; Emily Chen