Holiday Time-markers

This morning I was planning to go out and buy Halloween decorations. I’m particularly partial to Halloween, only maybe partly because it’s my birthday. It is also just a pleasant holiday. So the plan was to go get my son one of those plastic jack-o-lantern candy buckets that I never had, because now I have a son who I can give all those things I never had that cost less than $9.99, and to buy some festive cobwebs and ghosts and bats and the like, because it seems like fun!

I’m generally not so good at taking executive responsibility for things like holiday celebrations. I am good at putting together parts, or even managing the whole celebration, once I’ve got the plan in place and the decisions made with my partner in holiday joy. But maybe, just maybe, I want more in my holidays. Maybe I want to deck the house with All Hallows spookery.

Holidays are fun and warm and happy and idyllic and whatnot and whatever, but there’s something more about them. They mark time, keep us grounded in where we are on the calendar, and they manage to do so in a pleasant way, assuming we stay in charge of how we celebrate.

This sounds obvious, but I hadn’t really thought about it before, despite how I recommend that my clients hang a lot of wall calendars. I suggest picking out monthly calendars (I mean 1 page per month) that are interesting enough to bother looking at daily or even more often, to remember where we are in the year. Time is so abstract for people with ADHD, and particularly if you have spacey inattentive issues, you might just well forget what month it is, or season, or year, or anything like that, from moment to moment. Or you might remember in name, it’s October, but forget where that is in the year or what it means. It is, after all, an arbitrary concept.

What I want to suggest is to make the calendar and all the impending holidays into something to organize around, not something to panic your way up to. I don’t mean that you should do anything in particular to celebrate or not celebrate those holidays, though decorations and festivities may help make it fun; I do mean to suggest leveraging those holidays for joy, and a joyful experience of time.

So get out there and get some pumpkins. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! I’m jealous yours has already arrived.