ADHD Gratitude

By: Peggy Willms


(4 min. read) 

First, I am a grateful person. Second, I am a bit of an outlier as I don’t often walk the same path as others. Third, I embrace all that I am, which includes the fun trips I experience with mania, OCD, and ADHD. A mentor once told me, “Peggy, YOU are your own brand. Don’t try to fit in.”

Unsurprisingly, my mold for seeking and experiencing gratitude might differ slightly from others. Take a trip with me as I share my gratitude pings and sparks. Being grateful for the people, places, and things in this Universe isn’t an “intentional” process or practice for me. Gratitude is unintentionally thrown in my lap. For example, you won’t find me with a leather-bound journal in hand, sitting on a park bench writing down a list of 10 things I am grateful for. Graciousness finds me, and I have learned to stop, look, and listen as they stab me like little needles gently teasing a water balloon. “Hello…Hello…Hello,” I often hear.

Sure, I am grateful for the sun, food on the table, a job I love, surviving a hurricane, my children and grandchildren, the beach…and the list goes on. But I stumble upon random sparks of gratitude. That’s the playground I stomp around in.

As an outlier, a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set, I welcome the little gratitude messages I receive when I can be doing the simplest of things. Laundry…I am apt to stop and repeatedly shove the Gain detergent in my face and roll my eyes back in my head while the luscious scent consumes my nasal cavity. In that moment, did I experience gratitude for my washer and dryer? No. It’s the random, little things

It is natural for all of us to be accepted, wanted, and understood. I may have been president of that gang back in the day, but as I have aged and began working with thousands of people, I have come to find strength in my differences and willingness to venture out with ideas that often took a decade to blossom. Corporate America often shared, “Great idea, but you are about ten years ahead of us.” These push-back responses chirped in my ears for decades or, frankly, were screamed to me from across board room tables. I now embrace my willingness to step outside the box, walk my own path, though it can be lonely, and wear the crown of an outlier. This includes being a bit of an outlier on how I appreciate life.

The corporate constraints placed on my creativity and passion were deafening and defeating. The constraints and recommended process to seek gratitude bound me as well.

I have ADHD Gratitude.

As I wait for the sixth day for Amazon to “approve” my All Things Wellness journal and workbook, I have been smacked upside the head with the “be patient” baseball bat. Years ago, I would have bucked the system and asked why it was in a holding pattern when all of my other book formats were approved in less than 24 hours. Today, I find gratitude that it is coming to fruition at all. I realize timing is everything. I stared at Amazon’s “In Review” words this morning and smiled while I gazed at the artist who created the magnificent cover. Ping—I love my new unicorn pen on my desk because she bought it for me. Amazon to unicorn pen. OK.

When grabbing coffee this morning, I noticed the Christmas gnomes in my kitchen and felt a sadness they would soon be packed away, which pinged me to how grateful I was that the hurricane windows they lean upon got us through a storm a year ago.

When I looked out on the lanai this morning, knowing that my routine would be disrupted due to the dip in temperature. It was 49 versus 70. I wasn’t irritated my routine would change. As I stared at the sunrise through my screen, I pinged to my heating pad. While digging it out of the closet, I became very grateful. If I were sitting on the deck, I might not have noticed how achy my spine was.

As I looked at the vegetables I needed to prepare for a party tray tonight, I didn’t think about how grateful I should be that I had vegetables at all or the wonderful friends we would spend time with. I was grateful for the workers who crouched daily to pick the perfect red peppers. I could almost see their eyes scanning them for bruises. I look down at my feet. Ping—who wore the first pair of slippers? I am so grateful for these warm, fuzzy things.

Walking by the battery-operated candles in our hallway, I stopped to look at the dancing flicker and how it bounced off the walls. Ping—I am grateful for learning about Facebook Marketplace and the people who sold us their credenza. I wonder how many other people used this masterpiece. History is so cool.

I grabbed my phone to check emails. Ping—I am so grateful for my thumb surgery so I can move it without experiencing immense pain. Gratitude for having a phone escaped me, but having one less thumb joint brought me joy.

Many of my gratitudes come from things that do not work or do not go my way. Graciousness in things that don’t go my way! Several times over the last few years, I have battled with technology. It crashes and loves to hurl years’ worth of work into cyberspace. Ultimately, I realized these are opportunities to slow down and appreciate things in the moment. Technology issues ALWAYS come when I need a chill pill. When this happened this past week, three times, I stopped and deep belly-laughed like Hannibal Lecter waiting for conversations with Clarice. But in the moment, my inner voice shouted, “Go for a walk,” and as I swung around in my office chair to do so, ping. “I am so grateful for my family heirloom collection, which includes my grandfather’s WWII flight plan and B-25 plane manual. I will mail them to my son, who has expressed great interest. Why wait until I die for him to inherit them? I am so grateful he cares. 

The point is simple. Peggy’s show-up-when-you-want-to gratitude is a “normal” occurrence for her. Ping—I am so grateful for the doves building a nest outside our window. I love them.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

The information provided is the opinion of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice: diagnosis or treatment. The author, the business, All Things Wellness, LLC, and its owner Peggy Willms, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this article or website. We assume no responsibility for tangible and intangible damages such as physical harm caused by using a product, loss of profits or loss of data, and defamatory comments. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.