How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays


The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook

(Putting an end to those awkward holidays!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An edited reblog of a previously published article

ENOUGH with the questions from well-meaning others!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” can be asked at any moment – even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear.

Nor is it something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he won’t be coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

It runs the gamut:

  • from feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your [lack of] relationship status this particular holiday,
  • all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or-
  • grit your teeth, grin and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their families and many of their friends) can find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays — at the very least every other year.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

People who never drink anything stronger than root beer have confessed that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below the original post.)

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

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The Virtues of Lowering your Standards


Consider this a “Track-back Tuesday” post

Late last night (or early this morning, depending on where you are and how you track time), I received a comment from an extremely frustrated ADDer struggling with cellphone and I-pad impulsivity. Most of us can relate, huh?

You can read her comment HERE (my coaching response follows).

Double-checking one of my older articles that I suggested she read, I notice that it received fewer “likes” or comments than I thought it would when I wrote it. It struck me that MANY of you who read ADDandSoMuchMore.com only occasionally probably missed it, and it’s a goodie. It contains more than a couple foundational concepts that create issues that most people find problematic, and those of us in Alphabet City frequently find debilitating.

SO . . . I am reblogging my own post,
hoping it will provide a few keys to turn a few of YOUR locked doors.

If you want to add velocity to your self-coaching efforts, take the time to read the articles linked within that post as well. They will open in new tabs/windows, so you can click them as you come to them and keep on reading.

Enjoy!

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

click image for sourceclick image for source

 When “Good enough” is Good ENOUGH!

©Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Let’s delve deeper into a couple of foundational problems,
particularly for those of us with Executive Functioning dysregulations:

* struggles with activation,and
* the perils of falling victim to black and white thinking.

Hand in hand, each exacerbates the other,
until it’s truly a miracle we ever get anything done at all!

To the neurodiverse AND the neurotypical

On a very different kind of blog, post-production supervisor and self-professed Edit Geek Dylan Reeve shared his thoughts on the very topic I planned to write about today (the image above is his). He began and ended his relatively brief article with a wonderful synopsis of exactly what I am about to tackle in this article.

In Defense Of ‘Good Enough’

For many people . . . ‘good enough’ is a dirty word…

View original post 2,887 more words

The Single Person’s Holiday Playbook


“Home Alone” Holidays —
without the tears

(Make this your LAST awkward holiday!)

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Note: If you’re jumping over from the 2016 edited reblog
[How to navigate those “Home Alone” Holidays]

scroll down to “NOW let’s really shake things up”
to read the remainder of the article (with the TIPS)

ENOUGH with the questions!

Whether we are alone by choice or circumstance, holidays can be, at best, awkward.

Found on: Lolsnaps

“Have any plans for the upcoming holiday?” is asked even by total strangers trying to be friendly in grocery lines.

ANY version of, “Not really,” is something they do NOT, actually, want to hear, and not something that most of us who are already feeling marooned are eager to utter aloud.

No Mom, s/he’s not coming

As any single person who’s ever gone “HOME for the holidays” can probably tell you, being “unpartnered” during special family events can present a unique set of challenges, especially the first time.

From feeling awkward, maybe a bit defensive about your lack-of-relationship status this time, all the way to feeling that you must either “ruin everyone’s holiday with a display of pique” -or- grit your teeth and bear it as you attempt to find a way to politely field unintentionally rude inquiries about why you happen to be alone.

The Formerly Familied

Far too many individuals who are divorced, widowed, separated (or outliving their friends and families) find solo-holidays sad and depressing.

A friend of mine, an emotionally healthy, extremely self-reliant, empty-nest single parent says her married kids “make other plans” for major holidays every other year at minimum.

She really doesn’t resent the reality that the kids have their own lives, hope to start their own family traditions, and deserve to feel unconflicted about making holiday plans that won’t always include her,  BUT . . .

She says that she can’t face cooking a holiday meal for one OR going to a restaurant alone when everyone but her seems to have somebody celebrating WITH them.

She also finds it unbearably depressing to fuff around in her pajamas and slippers ALL day, even though she feels like she is “all dressed up with no place to go” if she doesn’t.

Reaching out to help others?

Even singles who volunteer at soup kitchens and so on have to make it through at least a portion of the day totally alone, at a time that was once known for family get-togethers.

Even the ones who are teetotalers tell me that the idea of becoming a regular at their town’s version of the Cheers bar crosses their minds more than a few times, just to have somewhere to go and a few people to talk to on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

Different ways to make it work . . .

Since I have spent most of the major holidays alone for many years now, I’m hoping that I will be able to help you look at things in ways you haven’t already thought of, tried and rejected.

In any case, I’m not planning to rehash the holiday survival tips already found all over the internet (but in case you have missed a few bloggy ideas, check out the articles under the Related Articles ’round the net heading in the links below.)

So read on . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

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When Acknowledgment Backfires


Owning our Brilliance
How come that is so much harder than owning our Challenges?

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Black & White Thinking category
part of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Performance Pressure

Most of us can’t get ENOUGH positive feedback, even if we deflect it for one reason or another – as most of us tend to do.

WHY would anybody toss aside positive comments, you ask?

Check inside.  Why do YOU?

The causes of deflection are varied and individual-specific, but there are a few categories in which they tend to cluster.

For example, because:

  • We aren’t developmentally ready to let our awareness of our own expertise, learned or innate, really sink in
  • We’ve internalized the cultural meme that there is something intrinsically wrong with “owning” our brilliance.  Admitting that we are aware of what we do well is frequently considered conceited, ego-based, or heaven forbid narcissistic! (Odd, isn’t it, that owning our Challenges is laudable?)
  • We’ve learned that people who compliment frequently have an agenda beyond encouraging us to bask in the glow of accomplishment — and we’ve equated “compliment” and “acknowledgment” (NOT the same things at all).
  • We’ve learned in the past that acknowledgments are some kind code — a sneaky way that others let us know that somebody’s trying to raise our bar — usually them.

Acknowledgment Avoidance

As I explored with you over two years ago in Doling out the Cookies (one of the reward and acknowledgement articles in the TaskMaster™ Series):

Besides the feeling that there is something wrong with endorsement, our knee-jerk responses often point to a paradigm leading us to embrace the idea that unless we are perfect, we might as well be worthless, undeserving of acknowledgement: a perfect example of black and white stinkin’ thinkin‘.

The underlying concept that keeps that particular example of black and white thinking in place is the idea that things of value are pure examples of absolute consistency. That’s insane!

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Breaking the back of Black and White Thinking


Three Tiny Things

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another of The Black & White topic articles from
The Challenges Inventory™ Series

click image for source article

In last week’s article [What GOOD is Black and White Thinking?], I introduced the idea of maintaining your own version of my Three Tiny Things Gratitude Journal™

The Three Tiny Things™ process encourages us to pare down the scope of what we explore when we look for things for which we can be grateful.

This concept focuses on a slightly different objective than other gratitude suggestions you may have heard: this idea is going to take on the task of breaking the back of black and white thinking (and lack of ACTIVATION).

As I implied in my introductory article, Black and White Thinking is probably the most insidious of the Nine Challenges identified by The Challenges Inventory™.

In Moving from Black or White to GREY I went on to say:

  • Until addressed and overcome, black and white thinking will chain one arm to that well referenced rock and the other to that proverbial hard place. At that point, every single one of life’s other Challenges will loom larger than they would ever be otherwise.
  • With every teeny-tiny step you take into the grey – away from the extremes of black and white – life gets better, and the next step becomes easier to take.

What I want – for me, for you, for EVERYONE – is to be willing to change the experience of life by transforming our black and white thinking – one small step for man, one giant leap for man-KIND!

Be sure to check out the sidebar for how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

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What GOOD is Black and White Thinking?


If Black & White Thinking Never Works
How come so many people DO it?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Image from Kozzi.com

I have received some version of one of the two questions above more than a few times recently.

Since I’m now guiding my writing by the number of blog comments or questions a topic generates, I’m thinking it’s time to turn my attention back to Black and White Thinking.

As I implied in my introductory article, Black and White Thinking is probably the most insidious of the Nine Challenges identified by The Challenges Inventory™.

In Moving from Black or White to GREY I went on to say, “It’s like a VIRUS: it infects, proliferates, and spreads to others.”

  • Until addressed and overcome, I asserted, black and white thinking will chain one arm to that well referenced rock and the other to that proverbial hard place. At that point, every single one of life’s other Challenges will loom larger than they would ever be otherwise.
  • With every teeny-tiny step you take into the grey – away from the extremes of black and white – life gets better, and the next step becomes easier to take.
  • By the end of the Black and White Thinking Series, what I want for you is to be in a place where you are ready to change your life by transforming your thinking – one small step for man, one giant leap for man-KIND!

Be sure to check out the sidebar for how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

But does it EVER work?

Black and white thinking? Sure, it works sometimes.  I’m sure you’ve heard about “the exception that proves the rule.” 

Here is the short version of my answer to the implied question of
WHEN it works:

Although there are better ways to get the job done, it can work for you when you are mired in a decision quandary and absolutely MUST move forward.

  • It reduces rumination as a result of “choice overload” in a manner that unlocks brain-freeze.
  • It lowers the expectation that you will be “perfectly satisfied” with whatever choice you make, ultimately leaving you happier than you might have been otherwise – either way.
  • Parenting small children aside, it usually works best when the individual making the choice decides to employ it – not as well when others force a black and white decision upon them. (Ask any parent about how well their teens react to either/or enforcements: they can sulk for days!)
  • It is helpful when making decisions during bona-fide crises situations, where choices are reduced dramatically to begin with (the reason that many of us can say that we are “good in a crisis”)

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Moving from Black or White to GREY


Moving toward Balance:
How Much of a Challenge IS Getting to Grey?

unbalancedScales

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
One of The Black & White topic articles from
The Challenges Inventory™ Series

As I implied in my introductory article, Black and White Thinking is probably the most insidious of the Nine Challenges identified by The Challenges Inventory™.

It’s like a VIRUS: it infects, proliferates, and spreads to others.

  • Until addressed and overcome, black and white thinking will chain one arm to that well referenced rock and the other to that proverbial hard place. At that point, every single one of life’s other Challenges will loom larger than they would ever be otherwise.
  • The good news is that turn-around is not only possible, with some concentrated attention to what’s going on, turn-around is inevitable.
  • With every teeny-tiny step you take into the grey – away from the extremes of black and white – life gets better, and the next step becomes easier to take.

By the end of this segment in the Black and White Thinking Series, what I want for you is to be in a place where you are ready to take the first step toward CHANGING what’s going on now by transforming your thinking – one small step for man, one giant leap for man-KIND!

Since awareness is always the first step on the road to change, let’s take a closer look, considering what well might have been a huge contributor to the development of what’s going on now.

No One is Immune

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ATTENTION on your driving saves $$ and lives


Check out additional info in the comments too – in answer to a great question

driveBrainYour Brain REALLYglobe2_100
Can NOT Do it!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
From the What Kind of World Series

Heads Up!  The information reproduced below is NOT new news – yet things are getting WORSE!

Science has been studying the driving/multi-tasking dangers for years now, publishing their findings in scientific journals.

FINALLY, it is getting some serious attention from the mainstream press!

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) did us all a huge service by getting laws on the books that cracked down on drinking and driving. Briefly, our roads were safer and traffic deaths went down.

Despite their efforts, however, we are all now at greater risk than ever because of mobile technology.

  • You probably figured out on your own that dialing, texting,
    or updating your Facebook status while driving is a seriously stupid idea.
    After all, you’d have to take your eyes off the road.
  • BUT WERE YOU AWARE that, according to scientific reaction-time studies, talking on a cell-phone while driving – EVEN hands-free – is riskier than driving with a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit?

DON’T DO IT – and don’t let the driver of a car you ride in do it either.

Just Say NO!

Those of us with attention deficits to begin with really need to heed the warning – and that category includes ALL teens, by the way, whose prefrontal cortices aren’t yet fully developed.

We simply can’t take the risk that we will act on the impulse to answer that cell phone – turn it OFF or hand it to a passenger to tell callers you are not available while you are driving.

Don’t even chance it. Make it a habit by making it your POLICY.

The lives at risk are not ALL yours to gamble!

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Black and White Make-wrong


One of The Black & White articles from The Challenges Inventory™ Series
Foundational Concepts of the Intentionality Series: Opinions vs. Facts

Blog Belittlement — yet not here!

© by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
NoCyberBullying

A overdue THANK YOU
to my Readership!

NEWS TO KNOW — in the over two years of this blog’s life (born, essentially, in March 2011), I have gotten only THREE comments that crossed the line separating disagreeable from disagreement.

(Not counting, that is, whatever is inside the thousands of auto-spammed comments I’ve never seen — caught by the Akismet spam filter on this blog — check out the spam counter near the top of the skinny column to your right.)

Think about that for a moment.

From YouTube to The Huffington Post — to Scientific American, for heaven’s sakes — the comments section seems to be developing into little more than a place to indulge in a snide and sarcastic form of cyber-bullying, discounting entire articles and comments from others with a sneering couple of words that add nothing but nastiness.

Sadly, many sites have felt the need to disconnect the comments feature because of the abject churlishness of the comments that have been posted. Moderating and editing thousands of comments can be a tedious task indeed — NOBODY has the time to sift through and delete all that stuff when the “trolls” and haters decide to descend.

  • YET on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, where the readership make-up is primarily those whom we would expect to have more than a few issues with impulsivity (and more than a few frustrations to take out on the closest available victim), it is practically non-existent.
  • WE seem to be a community of civilized, respectful and supportive, grateful-for-anything-that-might-help band of brethren.

How cool is THAT!?

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Intentionality CAN be a Trap


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info
.

Lessons Learned from Late Night Upsets

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC

“When in deep water, become a diver”
~ the Viking Runes (Ralph Blum version)

Unexpected Benefits

When I lived in Manhattan, there were more than a few nights when somebody’s car alarm went off — sometimes blaring away for over an hour.

Sometimes the car was parked close enough that it seemed as if the sound threatened to oscillate the teeth right out of my head.

With the laws in place at the time I lived in The Big Apple, there was absolutely nothing that anyone but the owner of the car could do to silence the racket, including the police.

Dealing with this little hitch in my git-along, as they say in the South, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

THE UNIVERSE IS PERFECT

The first few times I heard that expression, it annoyed me. Greatly.

Perfect?!

How can (for example) disturbing an entire neighborhood in the middle of the night because some idiot parked the car too far away from his or her apartment to be able to hear that s/he needed to go turn off the racket possibly be considered any flavor of perfect?

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Homage to Kate Kelly


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

A bit of background on the article below Saturday, January 21, 2012 – 2 AM

UPDATE Sunday-2/19/12

For anyone who hasn’t already heard, dear friend, ADD Coaching colleague, and Interfaith Minister Kate Kelly was in Christ Hospital in Cincinnati when I wrote the article below. She is now recuperating at home, between rounds of chemo for what turned out to be renal shutdown due to a mass in her bladder, which turned out to be cancer.

After a very scary couple of weeks in January, we’re as certain as man is allowed to be about these things that she will ultimately be fine, but her body’s got a bumpy road ahead to carry her to glowing health once again. (This all serves as background for the insight which was the reason for this post – be patient, or scroll down for Small Blessings).

——————————————————————————————————

Even if you think you don’t know Kate, you probably know OF her. I’ll bet you’ve read the ADD classic Kate and co-author Peggy Ramundo wrote.

Cover of "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid o... Do yourself a favor and beg, borrow or buy a copy now if you haven’t already read it – this is one you will definitely want in your ADD library.

If you already have one in your library, and can afford it, buy a brand-new copy as a gift for a friend or to donate to your public library or local Youth Group.

Not only will you be saving somebody’s quality of life, you will be offering support to Kate in a very practical fashion. Cancer-care is EXPENSIVE, and book royalties will probably be her primary source of income for some time to come. Any published author will tell you that the authors see VERY little of the price of each book sold. So let’s put it on the Best Seller’s List together.

Peggy Ramundo is another dear friend, with whom I am working on the ADD in the Spirit Coach Training. Peggy and I have already been dervishes in the past month, setting aside nearly everything else to get materials fluffed by deadline for our presention at the upcoming March ACO Conference in Atlanta. Our session together expands upon the importance of spiritual coaching concepts in a field as pragmatics-focused as ADD Coaching.

Before we had time to refocus on day-to-day work objectives, Kate took a sudden turn for the worse. We have practically lived at the hospital since Kate was taken by ambulance to the Christ Hospital’s Emergency Room,  over a week ago. If you missed me, that’s where I’ve been!

So, in 2012, I’ve barely had time to edit drafts of older content to post here, much less time to write anything new!  Since it’s likely to be another week or so before I am able to resume anything resembling my “normal” schedule — and then comes catch-up I believe I’ve come up with a novel way to fit it all in: blogging about my hospital insights (very big grin).

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ABOUT Black and White Thinking


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

The Challenge of Gray —

from Black and White to Balance

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
The FIRST of The Black & White articles from
The Challenges Inventory™ Series
(updated content March 20, 2013)

Black and white yin-yang symbol

  • A or F
  • Perfect or worthless
  • All or nothing
  • Good or bad
  • White or black
  • Always or Never!

Perfectionism and Black & White Thinking can turn a bright, shiny day into a thunderstorm!

One of the Nine Challenges (from my Challenges Inventory™), Black and White Thinking is an area that will be explored in one of the eBooks in my upcoming eBook Series.

ADDers (and those involved with them) seem to fall into the black and white thinking trap more than most – especially where the functioning of the ADDer is concerned.

That’s a shame, too, because the damage inflicted by black and white thinking seems to stop ADDers dead in their tracks more quickly than than those with the so-called “neurotypical” brain-style.

Maybe it is because we have heard it levied against us so often in our lives.

  • Why can’t you ever be on time?
  • You always interrupt me!
  • You are the messiest person I have ever known!

Utter NONSENSE!

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Expectations Mismatches & Moon Men


Frustrated expectations are difficult to overcome.

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Graphic: Johnny Automatic

“You do something right ONCE and they
hold it against you for the rest of your life!”

~ Mel Levine

One of the complaints you often hear about ADD/EFDers (and all of us struggling with kludgy Executive Functioning) is that our cognitive and functional abilities are erratic.

In posts to come, I will share with you what I have discovered about WHY that it so: why our behavior seems so unpredictable, and what we can do to change that perception.

I would like to introduce you to some of the theories and concepts that underlie the manner in which I work with Executive Functioning Deficits of all types — a way that allows you to put the pieces together so that you understand what you need to DO to be able to drive your own brain — without the constant fear that it will break down on the road!

Prediction is key

An ability to predict the impact of your particular combination of cognitive challenges allows you to realign expectations realistically, so that you can design action plans that are likely to succeed. Almost more important, through prediction’s crystal ball you will be able to design action plans that produce the kind of results that are more likely to be perceived by others as successful.

Subsequent posts will say more about learning to predict yourself. I want to begin by tackling the “perception of others” part of the equation.

In this post I want to describe an unconscious dynamic in our society that makes it tough for ALL of us, but especially for those of us with Executive Functioning Deficits.

It is very difficult to allow yourself the experience of success when the feedback that surrounds you focuses primarily on real or imagined “shortcomings.” And it happens ALL the time. What’s up with THAT?

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