Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

15 April 2007


I have A.D.D., I swear I do.

Lately, it seems fashionable for people to make excuses by invoking the A.D.D. defense. "Oh, I can't do that, I have A.D.D.," they'll say. Sometimes they'll say that in advance, before they've even tried. Or parents will excuse a toddler's otherwise unacceptable behavior by saying, "Well, he has A.D.D." Oh, really? You have A.D.D.; he has A.D.D., we all have A.D.D.!

As far as myself, I'd never really thought about it until recently. But at some point I realized that I cannot read a newspaper - can't do it! There is something so confusing...disorienting, even, about all those columns. My eyes jump from article to article, reading little bits from one, then another, and another. Sooner or later the whole page gets read, but certainly not one-story-at-a-time. Reading comprehension? I'm not sure.

I'm even conscious of it. So I'll deliberately try to read a full story. But it's just not possible. The Sunday paper is pure torture. This is why I like magazines and blogs - especially blogs. So easy to read. Just keep scrolling down.

I'm 51. And I wonder how many from my generation have undiagnosed A.D.D.? And further, I wonder how much of an impediment it is/was to our lives? It certainly seems to be a big issue nowadays.

Or maybe I don't want to know.


David said...


I can't read them (newspapers) either. Not in a 'continuous' sense.

Too many options, choices. You know the story wont end on the first page anyway. You'll (I'll) get distracted half a dozen times per page.

I'd bet it has more to do with the format of a paper and the lack of substance in journalism today more than defects on our part.

Here's a thought... What about your Pilot Nature? Constant sweeps of the instruments and the horizon. Radio calls. Mental calculations of time, weight, distance, traffic, wind, weather, 'what's that weird noise?' and etc.

Geeze! That's the most credit I've given a Pilot in a long time!


Hal Johnson said...

Author Thom Hartman writes that ADDers aren't abnormal, but rather uniquely gifted folks. He describes them as "hunters in a world of farmers." He portrays ADD not as a disability, but as a state associated with creativity, high achievement (Einstein was thought to have ADD), and "a most successful adaptive style.

Dunno if I have ADD, but I kinda like the idea of being a hunter in a world of farmers.

Hal Johnson said...

"Geeze! That's the most credit I've given a Pilot in a long time!" Yeah, be careful there David: your coworkers might get suspicious!

Anonymous said...


What?? Huh?? I forgot what I was doing or saying.

Anyway, do you think the Government will stroke me a check for this A.D.D. thing?

GENE said...

You ADD! I don't think so. You always seem to be deep in the newspaper when reading it. You Sleep Apnea..Yes..Fall asleep when watching Television.

Bob Barbanes said...

David: Oddly, having ADD may actually be beneficial for a helicopter pilot who has to keep track of many things at once. So maybe I ended up in the right career after all.

Hal: I never said it was a disability (at least I hope it's not), only that it's annoying when I try to read the front page of a newspaper.

Gene: I may *look* deeply engrossed in the newspaper, but it's only because I'm desperately concentrating on trying to actually get through one story at a time. Oooh, Ann Landers! Oooh, my horoscope! Crossword puzzle! What's a three-letter word for "lack of ability to concentrate for more than a nanosecond?"

And let's leave my sleep apnea out of this! That's another issue. Matt Hewatt took a picture of me sitting at my laptop, fingers on the keys, sound asleep. (And no, I will not post it.) I wish I could say it was the first, or only, or last time.

Anonymous said...

So is this one of those "Posts just to Post" things youwere ranting about a few months ago? For shame Bobby....

:) Matt

Bob Barbanes said...

Ah Mathew, you found me out! I guess there's no getting anything past you, eh? But thanks for letting everyone ELSE know! And to think I had offered to pay your college tuition at Virginia Tech. How I wish you would have taken me up on that now...


(I swear, I'm going to have to go back and edit my post on the subject of friends.)