At a meeting last night and just before class this morning, I have noticed the ADD as a part of my conscious interactive mind:
This morning, I arrived at school not tardy but later than I wanted to, and had very little time to go over the lesson plans before class began. It turned out that the teacher only needed me for about 15 minutes, and all I had to do was start the movie and take attendance (both of which I usually like to do myself but delegated to students), but I noticed that I could only digest about half of the instructions she was giving me. The combination of the written plans I glanced at while listening, the large stack of papers on the her desk to which she kept referring while she talked, the buzz of the students coming into the room and noting my presence, and the general seat-of-the-pantsness of this particular assignment swirled around my head like cream in coffee, puffing and lilting until finally I reached a tepid equilibrium of half-understanding.
Last night, I met a friend of a friend over beers for a conversation about his field (clinical psych), and although the bar was relatively quiet and mellow, and the conversation fascinating and personal, and the sensitive guitarist singing open mike tunes to a tiny audience, I had to take more than one time-out (literally - I even explained to him that I was making a more conscious effort to understand how ADD was affecting me in social settings) to still and separate various tracks of thought and attention. I wonder how experienced ADD managers do this consciously.
Elements of the swirl: menu offerings, draft options, the guitarist's setlist and "Hey! He just strummed the opening chord to John Mayer's St. Patrick's Day, I should be on Name That Tune!", my friend's friend's life's details, my life details, my friend's life details (he wasn't there, but his details were), another friend who would soon be waiting for my call...
I do know that I would recognize certain elements of the conversation or certain facts that were shared if I heard them again, but I couldn't narrate the course of the meeting without fictionalizing it. I do know that it was a good meeting, and that I will likely have another in the near future.