This post is about how my ADD affects my woodworking. I’ve mentioned this subject before, and in fact some of this text is from a previous post. But I’m going to be expanding on this in the near future, so I thought I’d talk about it again. If you find this information useful, please share this post.
Can you take a moment to consider the possibility?
I run into all sorts of reactions when I try to explain what it’s like to live with ADD. Many people are open to learning about it.
But a lot of people think “everyone has that”, and if you just “stay focused”, or “try harder”, then it won’t be an issue.
If that’s you, I’d like to challenge you to imagine, for the next few minutes, that maybe not everyone is the same.
ADD, ADHD, WTF?
“ADD” is “Attention Deficit Disorder”, more commonly called “ADHD” these days, where the “H” stands for “Hyperactivity”. I always leave the “H” out, because, if anything, mine is “Attention Deficit Inactivity Disorder”, due to the amount of time I spend sitting on my ass.
What ADD means in my case is that it’s hard for me to keep my attention on one thing, hence the name “Attention Deficit”. I’m extremely easily distracted. But more than that - there are times when no matter how hard I try, I can’t stay focused on something important. Like a sharp blade, for instance.
A Matter of Degree
For those of you who think “everyone has that”, you may be right. But the question is, how much do you have it? How much does it affect your daily life?
Think of it like eyesight. Some people have 20/20 vision or better. Some people only need glasses to read, but they could probably get by without them if they had to. Others are virtually blind without their glasses.
When it goes from the “I can squint and still read” stage to the “I’m blind without my glasses” stage, that’s when it becomes a “Disorder”.
You Might Have ADD If…
In my best “You might be a redneck” voice, You might have ADD…
If your teachers always wrote on your report card “Dan needs to focus more in class”. And if your name isn’t “Dan”, you’ve got other problems.
When you’re talking to someone, and they keep wondering what you’re looking at over their shoulder.
When people are constantly asking “Did you hear what I just said?” If you’re male, this doesn’t count for your spouse, because everyone knows we men don’t listen to our wives very well.
If you’ve tried to pray or meditate, only to give up because your mind won’t stop long enough to focus.
If you’re always saying “Now what was I just doing?” This doesn’t count if you’re over 50, because this is actually how you know you’re over 50. 😂
And finally, relevant to woodworking:
If you’re constantly cutting the wrong side of something, or the wrong direction, or even the wrong piece, because your mind is on something else. Note the “constantly” part, because everyone does this from time to time.
If you’ve stuck your hand in the blade when it was almost, but not quite done spinning down, and you’ve done it more than once… (guilty).
I’m sure there’s other examples, and I welcome them in the comments, below.
I’m planning on delving more into the subject of ADD and Woodworking in the future, including an upcoming video. I especially want to focus on ways to help prevent mistakes and accidents, for people with ADD.
Assuming I don’t get too distracted by something else, of course. 🙄
So let me know what you think in the comments, below. And share this post, if you think it might help someone else.
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