Forgetting to Smile

I remember a long time ago when my girlfriend’s mother and girlfriend’s father sat me down because they had been concerned that I don’t smile enough.  That my long gaps without smiling was “un-nerving”.   Thankfully, they came to get to know me a little better and I still keep in touch with that family.    But this was actually a common theme for me.

I’ve come across this problem many times in my life.  Where I need to be reminded to smile or I  would get asked in I am unhappy or mad.  Even though I was perfectly content and had nothing bothering me.

I learned that is extremely common for people with ADHD to not  smile.  The reasons vary.  Maybe they have a billion things going on in there head.  Maybe that are so focused on all the stimulus around them that smiling is an after thought AKA “Hyperfocus”.    Both these are true in my case.

In today’s world the natural scowl on someone’s face is called RBF -resting bitch face.  And I have never had myself associated with that term until my boss pointed it out.   I need to find a way to change this.

A genuine smile can light up the world and remove those invisible walls that separate you from other people.

“Unapproachable”  That’s another word that has been thrown around in my direction.

ADHD is a neurological disability but it’s also a behavioral disability, in my opinon.  So the way I see it.  I am still responsible for my behavior and must take measures to take symptoms.  If you look back at all my resolutions.  So many of them are geared towards tackling a symptom of ADHD, well before I even thought I had it.

Time to “fake it until I make it”, as the old saying goes.  This month I will focus on making sure I am mindful of my facial expressions.  Break the ice where necessary, and appear to me more friendly than I was before.     I know I don’t make it easy for people but for those few that have broken through this icy exterior you will find a warm and nice person.

dont forget to smile

 

 

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ADHD at 31: The Diagnosis Process


If you have been following along.  Earlier this year we learned that our youngest son was both Autistic and ADHD.  

We also learned that both ADHD and Autism are extremely genetic.  And most likely passed along by the father.  

I decided to leave it be.  I’m 31 now and if I wasn’t diagnosed when I was younger there was no way I had either of them.  

But while doing research about ADHD for Liam I recognized alot of the symptoms as things I struggled with every day

  • Inability to sit/stand still
  • Inability to focus in conversation
  • Starting something and not finishing
  • Focusing too intensly on certain subjects
  • Saying or doing things without thinking
  • On the go, driven by an internal motor.  

I also learned that ADHD is the most reseached mental illness in the world.  It’s also the most treatable, also the most misunderstood, and also the most ignored.  

I will cover what really goes on in the ADHD brain in another episode.  

I mentioned some of my thoughts to my primary doctor during an annual check-up.  

And he suggested we do a simple screening.  

After the simple question and answer session he said that he strongly suggested that we move forward.  

He explained that getting diagnosed with ADHD is easy when you are a child.  Very difficult as an adult.  

He wasn’t kidding.  I had 7 sessions with a pyschological specialist before he was confident it was ADHD.  

The first couple sessions were just basic interviews.  He asked my about my childhood, home life, work life etc.  The second time I remembered to write some stuff down.  I always tend to clam up and forget what I want to say.

Then it was three trials of computer testing.  Where it tested me for attention deficit, hyperactivity, and impulsively. 

Then it was on to written testing where we dove deeper into my past and daily life.  

Then at the end he was ready to give his diagnosis.  

Now it’s up to myself and my primary where to go from here.  

 There’s a lot of emotions that come out when you are diagnosed as an adult. 

All the “what ifs”.  Would my life be different if I had known earlier?  

Right now.  I’m just glad to have a better understanding about myself and ADHD in general.  

Stay tuned for more

Staycation : Turning Stone Casino And Resort

I had hoped that when I grew up,  I would be well off enough to just say, “Screw it, let’s just relax and stay at a hotel tonight.”

Well, I’m grown up now and I still not quite there.  But thanks to a gift from my mom and her partner, Elle, we were granted that privilege for a night.  

Just East of Syracuse, you can find the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in the small town of Vernon.    You can see the 22 floor Tower from Rt.90.

I spent a lot of time here as a young adult.  Casinos are a popular place for newly 18 year olds to go.  Just old enough to gamble, not old enough to drink ( legally).  I saw a handful of shows here and it was even the sight of my first half marathon back in 2012.  

I used to bring my Grandma up here for the afternoon.  We would hang out at the buffet and then she would play Keno, while the Black Jack dealers happily took my “donations”.  

Play poker people.  You are playing against other humans…not  in a system where the odds are never in your favor.  

This was our first time staying as guests.  We did have Liam, but that didn’t damper the mood.  We enjoy taking our kids places and giving them memories.  

We spent the evening eating, playing (in the arcade), and exploring the grounds.  Then I think we all had the best nights sleep we have had in months.  

The resort is beautiful.  In a place that is visiting by thousands a day, there are some isolated sections that make you feel like you are in the movie, The Shining.  

I took lots of pictures.  Check them out. 

“Hi Lloyd …a little slow tonight”.

Stairway to The Lodge

See…the Shining

52 Cards : Core Workout Card Game

I wanted to do focus on Cross Training this month as one of my resolutions.  Which was very successful.  I rode my bike 3 times a week as opposed to running.  Giving me knees a much-needed break.  Fall is just around the corner and there is nothing better than a jog in the autumn air.

However, I also wanted to refocus on the core.  I will admit that during the summer months, I don’t go to the gym.  Too many outdoor activities to take in before Central New York turns back into a frozen tundra.

Late in July, I stumbled across a TedEX Talk by Ray Lewis..

He spoke passionately about how, when he was growing up, he would have to watch his mother be physically abused by his step father.  “Her face would be so battered at bruised, that she would wear sunglasses in the house for days.”

Ray didn’t have the muscle to defend her so he took a deck of cards.  He flipped the first one and it read “7”.  He went down and did 7 push ups.  Flipped the next card “6” , six push ups.  Then so on and so forth.

When he would reach the end of the deck the would shuffle them up and start again.  But this time he would do sit ups.

Now I don’t have an as compelling  and heartwarming story as he does.  But what I do have is a busy mind and a busier body.

So in August, in between my so to-do list each day,   I played the card game.  I would do them until I couldn’t do them anymore. or I run out of time.  Some days my arms would not have the strength to push my body up one more time.

Day 1 push – ups :  I started with 62 push ups.   By 8/24  I had reached 164 in a day

Day  1 crunches:  Started with 116 crunches.  By 8/25 I had  reached 420 in a day.  (drawing 3 cards at a time)

At the end of the month I can differently feel it in my chest and abdominal muscles.

But the most important thing I am learning from the year all together is…I’m not 18 anymore and I will never look like that again.  The “Dad Bod” is here to stay.  But that doesn’t mean I need to let me conditioning and strength slide.  Just the work that I do won’t have as many noticeable effects and I can live with that

Here’s a link to Ray’s TexEx Talk here.  Truly a motivational story.

 

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Great New York State Fair : Preview Day

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I can’t actually explain why I love the NYS Fair so much.  It’s probably related to the love I have a busy cities.  The crowds, the stimulation, always something to see and do appeals to me.  (I will always regret not living in a major city at some point in my life.)

This year the fair opened at day earlier than it’s usually twelve day run.  “Preview Day” is what they called it and with the $1 special admission price we were off to get our own preview of the end of summer event.

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Preview Day was an accurate depiction  because there were a great deal of vendors and attractions not fully set up or operational.    Lots of vacant spaces to be found that I am sure will be filled by tomorrow.

This didn’t deter us at all as we were more than content taking the first day to walk around and get the “lay of the land” so to speak.

You see the sand sculpture taking shape.  This particular side will be highlighting Women’s right to Vote in 1920.

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I have brought Lucas here every year since he was born.

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All Liam wanted to do was check out the animals.  He learned that if he yells at the turkeys that they would gobble back at him  Literally the funniest thing ever.

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Liam spots the train and it was on.

 

Not trip to the fair is complete without stopping by the Dairy Building and checking out the Butter Sculpture.  Don’t forget to grab a cup of fresh milk.  Still .25 cents.

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Many more visits to follow.  If you have never been and are able you should totally check it out.   The food, the Midway, the exhibits all have coverage to follow

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Walking Tour : Wescott, Syracuse

Wescott is an awesome neighborhood located not too far from the Syracuse University Campus.  

Home too many students, professors, alumni, and all ranges of income levels : it is quite the melting pot of culture. 

Home of the best Mexican Restaurant. 

Alto Cinco.  Stop in an have a real margarita.  

Syracuse Bacon Fest … Needed More Than One Day

When they announced the first Annual Bacon Fest in Downtown Syracuse’s, Clinton Square I was like “Yes!!!!”

When they announced it was only going to run for one day I was like “What????”

Clearly they underestimated CNY’s love for pork.

Hell, the Middle Eastern Fest is four days long.  

So I parked my car down at the Inner Harbor with Liam so I didn’t have to pay or fight for parking then strolled up the Creek Walk to the square and let’s say I wasn’t surprised.  

Each vendor line was easily 30 people deep.  Some we’re just lined up to get lemonade.  

So let’s just say they were a little overwhelmed.  

But I did get to sample a few delicious items in between Liam’s requests for M&Ms. 

Bacon Mac and cheese from MacaRollin

Chicken bacon ranch Gyro from Byblos Street Grill

And a ground beef and bacon Pazzerotti (FriedCalzone) from Pascarella’s

Nice idea for this event.  But it needs more time.