Waldo, Carmen Sandiego and mgh

carmen and waldo

click image for source

Famous Disappearing Acts

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

OK – so I’m not quite as well known as my disappearing cohorts but, in 2014, until just a few days ago, I have been just as difficult to locate.

If the events of my life so far this year had been even a small portion of a TV show, comic book or game, the editors would have nixed the story line for lack of believability!

No matter. I want to fill you in on why I suddenly disappeared and what I’ve been up to lately.  It’s been scary . . . are you ready?

A bizarre form of isolation

Unable to work for the last EIGHT months(!), with blogging impossible for the most part, and email languishing still, functionality broken as a result of changes following the sudden sale of WebValance, my internet provider service since the debut of ADDCoach.com decades ago (necessitating settings changes there has been NO time to Sherlock or accommodate).

Hundreds of emails are floating somewhere in the ether of some cloud, unseen and unopened.

For most of this year I have not had EVEN the time, physical ability, cognitive bandwidth or ready access to a computer connection (or a working phone!) to connect in any manner at all.

And that’s just the background story (and only the “highlights”)!

I’ve also been forced to relocate my home and my business – with very little notice.

But I have, in fact, somehow stepped myself through a bazillion to-dos – and I hope that sharing my situation will serve as an example that YOU can get through whatever you’re going through too.

FIRST, the good news

I believe that, slightly past August’s midpoint as I draft this post, I’m just about at the turnaround point during what has been one of the most difficult years in my life.  And the way my life has gone, that’s saying something significant!

HOWEVER, after I provide an accounting of a few of the difficulties that explain where I’ve been for the majority of 2014, the next post will tell you about the BEST thing that has happened to me in a long, long time.

It came right smack dab in the middle of TWO practically impossible situations (of several months duration each!)

The TRULY good part, however, for all of us here in Alphabet City, is that my story provides yet another real-life-example of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of impossible meanness and lack of empathy and of the resources and drive deep within us — even in those of us who have no IDEA how we will survive what’s going on in the moment

And NOW, for the not-so-good part . . .

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Why I seemed to disappear

Carmen tied dangling2

source: click image

For those who weren’t already aware, except for the lovely break of a week in Phoenix for the ACO Conference, the last eight-plus months have been BRUTAL — beginning with a gang mugging between Christmas and New Years.

Then came 3 months with my dominant hand pretty much immobilized in a cast.

I was unable to do much of anything — even basics like washing my dishes (or my hair), slipping into a coat or hanging anything on a hanger, navigating a zipper — or securing a pair of shoes on my feet during months when Cincinnati was under a chronic blanket of ice and snow that made it too risky for me to venture out.

Meanwhile, I had to figure out how to replace all identification, bank accounts and cards, datebook, phone and keys that were stolen by the band of thugs, and getting the locks changed on apartment and van doors and ignition.

This was followed practically immediately by an unanticipated move, NOT my idea and for no reason I can fathom (other than a vehicle to provide proof that we are all stronger than we realize).

I’ve been a BUSY woman! 

No rest for the weary, as my thug-crushed hand continued to heal. For almost every waking hour from the day after my May flight home from this year’s ACO conference in Phoenix (and despite yeoman duty from friend and colleague Peggy Ramundothanks, Peggy!), I’ve been little more than a human-doing.

I’ve been moving out and moving in: packing, searching for a place to move TO or handling leasing and funding details, clearing and cleaning both old and new apartments (and a hastily rented storage space), unpacking and setting up new services — all in the face of rapidly dwindling financial and energy reserves as I also:

  • built shelving and a gigantic pot-rack to supplement the ONE base cabinet in the kitchen of my newly-leased five-room pre-war apartment (with balcony!), allowing me to set up and organize a functional kitchen
  • constructed shelving and bookcases throughout the rest of the apartment to house my personal books and other possessions, as well as floor to ceiling bookshelves for my extensive resource library in the room that yields much-needed dedicated office space for the first time since I moved to Cincinnati
  • retrofitted closets appropriate for the items I need to store in them
  • caught up on a bodacious backlog of laundry, along with
  • jumping through the hoops involved in getting my van air conditioning and automatic windows working once more, food in my pantry, internet and phone services working relatively reliably, and
  • attending to all of the other things that any ADDer can expect to have to handle when suddenly relocating both home and business in any otherwise ordinary year.

And I’m sure I don’t have to remind any of my readers of my self-professed and dubious status as The ADD Poster Girl, with all of the challenges faced by most of you part and parcel of my own daily reality.

If, last November, you had told me what I would be facing this year and everything that would be necessary to survive it, my response would have been, “Just shoot me now!”

Back in the Saddle Nonetheless

My hand has (mostly) returned to its former functioning and I finally have most of my boxes and clothing unpacked, a modicum of clean sheets and towels and spotty internet and phone services (with appointments to Sherlock the problems).

Tonight and tomorrow I hope to finish the carpentry so that I can secure all of the excess lumber, assorted tools and fasteners in my wonderfully large storage space in the building’s basement (included!) — to clear out the clutter.

I’m oh-so-eager to turn my attention to decorating the digs a bit as I put my office and business back in place.

Starting Monday, I hope to be – finally – able to begin anew, eight months behind. Yiikes!

So I am – yet again – personally experiencing the extreme overwhelm described by most of my clients as I take steps to put my life back together.  I’m not sure I needed the refresher course in empathy, activation and resolve, but I guess God thought otherwise.

  • Little by little, I’ll be able to catch up with those of you who have left comments and e-me forms and are wondering why you have heard nothing.
  • Step by step, I’ll be able to contact each of you interested in coaching, groups, classes or training, and reshape my schedule as I reschedule plans for new classes that had to be abandoned (temporarily – but for much longer than I would ever have imagined!)
  • Bit by bit I will hang the curtains and the artwork, shelve the books, purchase a queen-sized bed once more since, happily, I now have a bedroom large enough to accommodate one — and turn this apartment into a home. (At some point I’ll post photos – but don’t hold your breath.)
click image for source

click image for source

BUT, as I tell all of you — although none of us have time to fiddle around, Rome wasn’t burned in a day.

I need to ask you to be patient with me (and remind me to be patient with myself) as I continue to take action after action until I can, once again, be the resource I want to be and have been.

Remember that EFDers don’t rush well, so NO SHOULDs please!

And NOW, it’s really past time for me to turn my attention back to getting my house in order.

On Monday, I will begin preparing the article that will tell you about my GOOD news.  I’ll post it as soon as possible, given all of the other items on a very full plate.

As always, if you want notification of new articles – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come, now that I am able.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles — many of which let you in on how I’ve been able to keep on keeping on –– available on this site right now.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)

Background supports for this article

A Few LinkLists by Category
(Links to Series articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

18 Responses to Waldo, Carmen Sandiego and mgh

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  6. Ah Carmen Sandiego…we all need our own personal Rockapella backing us up at times, especially when we’re juggling so much. I’ll confess I went OOOOOOOOH about the kitchen renovations and such, but don’t ever apologize for being busy!



    • I LIKE “busy” — I simply prefer to pick my own damned projects! I get nuts when they are foisted upon me.

      We seem to be online at the same time — just left a comment on your blog in response to your response – etc.

      Ain’t the internet fun?


      • We are indeed!!!! And of course I had to run off to YouTube and hum along to that theme song…because DUH OF COURSE! ROCKAPELLA 4EVA!!!!

        Two recently-read books I reviewed were “Dating Cary Grant” by Emelle Gamble and “Famous” by Kate Langdon…both fun, no-brainer, just enjoyable reads. I’d recommend them. I’m trying to mix in biographies with these heavy books that keep landing in my “reading” queue…we need balance!!!!



        • I’ll have to google that b-word. Not familiar with it.

          Meanwhile, I’ll add your recommendations to my list. I’ve spent so much time on line my ankles are swelling! I’m due for a stretch-out read for a change.

          I’ve never been a fan of “Romance Novels” – but something brainless right now would be nice. (I’m good with “big words” – but heavy themes would probably be beyond me at present) – and I’ve read more than enough neuroscience to hold me for some time!



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  9. Welcome back! How funny that we basically disappear at the same time and then return at the same time ha! I am so happy for you that there are more positives coming through and you think you are coming up to a turning point – woop well done.

    Getting there. Best of luck for the upwards motion. x x x LC


  10. jeg700 says:

    So glad you are back. BTW, I think the reason you were able to get through the past 8 months relatively intact is because of that famous ADDers ability to function brilliantly in a crisis! We think outside the box because we can never find the darn box in the first place…besides, most of the time we are barely aware there is a box😄.
    Anyway, looking forward to hearing more…take care.


    • BOX? What’s a box? 🙂

      BTW – blind terror is an effective stimulant too. Works great in combo with meds.

      I mean, I love bridges, but I’ve never really thought that living under one would work for me, and the color of cardboard is not my fav. (I’m a “winter” in more ways than one ::grin::)

      I will admit it is getting MUCH more difficult to activate to finish the process now that I have “moved out/in” — and have found myself caught in the tractor beam of blogger’s hypnosis since the late Friday’ visit by the wonderful technician who figured out how to hard wire my computer (only one phone jack here – hallway – and the last guy promised that it woud be “fine” — yeah right!)

      Couldn’t justify the $150 they wanted to give me a jack in an actual ROOM. Much as I despise wires, wireless fibre-ops couldn’t keep me connected.

      Anyway, I’m doing it again — just wanted to say thanks for checking in with me and for taking the time to comment.

      PS – as soon as my finances recover from the recent bloodbath, I can get start looking for a Shih Tzu pup!!!! Former landlord ran a cat house (highly allergic or I’d have one) – moved in with Tab only as an exception because she was so old (died at 19) and I would NEVER have taken the place if it meant deserting her.

      btw – I know all about rescue etc. but my allergies are bodacious, Shih Tzus are one of the few animals I can live with and breathe – I want to train from puppyhood, and it can’t be “mixed” or I’m wheezing by day three. (By then I’d be in love, I don’t want to live out my days on allergy pills, and I can’t see myself abandoning that dog either)


  11. Pam Augspurger says:

    So glad to see you back! You’ve been on my mind lately! I have been shopping for, of all things, sheets for my husband’s apartment (I didn’t kick him out! He works out of town). It reminded me of your post on lousy products and I chimed in with “wrinkle free sheets that aren’t!” So every time I see wrinkled sheets, I think of you and that post! Lol I finally chose some last Tuesday for his new digs. Time will tell if they get “perma-crease” along the top binding edge!

    Anyway, glad to see you back and can’t wait for more good stuff! I’m really working on simplification. Not trying to be all things to all people! Narrow my focus and know just because I want to do something doesn’t mean I have to. It’s all about evaluating and prioritizing which I stink at! That feeling of having a million things to do so I end up not finishing ANY of them! I plan to re-read some of your posts. Especially any related to time management. It’s hard to do when you have no concept of time. “I’ll be done in 10 minutes.” An hour and a half goes by and I would swear to you it really was only 10 minutes. And so it goes….

    Good to see you back!

    PS-my DSPS is showing, isn’t it? Giggle!


    • Hey Pam!!

      DSPS showing? How would I know?? (says she, totally lacking a sense of time herself, surprised to note that she is still blogging after 3 AM)

      I’m online attempting to finish Monday’s “good news” post so that I can avoid getting trapped in blogger’s hyperfocus “tomorrow.” I’m itching to be able to get apartment to-dos DONE and am hoping to be able to leave the computer dark upon awakening later today.

      LOL re: “didn’t kick him out” — I wonder how many wives kick their husbands out only once they make sure he has a set of decent sheets? (but then, I guess it depends on what they had to promise to keep the ones bought previously, huh?)

      I actually giggled anew over that exchange only the other day, searching valiantly for a set of sheets — as I came across a white one with a badly wrinkled top edge (the ONLY clean sheet I had left, forcing me to move “Go to the @#$! laudromat already!” further up on my list.)

      I’m now only three buildings away from one of the nicest, but I have so much backlog that going there feels like packing for a month in Alaska. Sheets and towels and comforters, oh my!

      UM – I think we may have a new diagnostic criteria going here – how long two people can discuss sheet parameters without one of them crying UNCLE. (It won’t be me, I can promise you that!)

      I appreciate your good wishes and welcome back. I’ll be “making the rounds” ere too much longer, and will drop in to see what you’ve been up to. Thanks for taking the time to drop in on me “tonight” to remind me that it is actually morning already and I need to put myself to B-E-D.


      PS. Your “simplify” idea sounds highly appealing – be sure to come back and let me know when you figure out how to actually DO that (I could use the help!)


      • Pam Augspurger says:

        🙂 I said I was TRYING to simplify! Ha! One of my husband’s favorite lines to me “you always have to complicate things.” At times I’m offended and at times deep down I know he’s right but you won’t hear me admitting to it! Btw-I felt the need to qualify the “apartment” comment because as my daughter and I have been shopping and we mention we are shopping for his apartment, we get some strange looks from friends and strangers!

        We are setting up the new place tomorrow. I’ll give you a sheet update! Lol Have a great


        Ps-this apartment item gathering is just another example of how I get "sidetracked" doing the fun stuff, putting the less fun stuff aside, then getting behind, getting overwhelmed, then accomplishing nothing much of what I SHOULD have been working on. I'll forever be a work in progress…


        • Like we ALL are *not* works in progress? Sounds like we could shop together forever – never understood those folks who find it a chore. I even enjoy browsing the grocery store!

          btw-I figured that was why you “quantified” – just couldn’t resist vamping on it (just like I couldn’t resist logging in while I drink my first pot of cofffee, hoping to build up enough steam to move on to what *I* “should” be doing with this day!)


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