T o make sense out of life, one must also be able to make sense of time, that is, understanding one requires understanding the other. In our everyday world they are inseparable. Life requires time and time has meaning because of life. The life of the human being is understood to be “a life” because it occurs in time over time. [note 1]
If time and life are so entwined, so ontologically inseparable that the existence of one requires the existence of the other and, furthermore, if the fundamental problem of A.D.D. is an inability to understand time, then the only conclusion is that the A.D.D.er can not understand life. After all, to understand life requires one to understand time and time is exactly the concept that eludes the A.D.D.er. It is this inability to understand time that is the source of the A.D.D.ers’ problems with finances. [note 2] It is this inability to understand time that makes the A.D.D.er see life as a series of “do-overs” [note 3] where every life change is seen as an attempt to get it right this one time. [note 4] The A.D.D.er has enormous difficulty understanding that life is a linear progression that starts with a birth and ends with a death. The A.D.D.er is trapped in an infinity of “nows” and can not, except with great difficulty and much artifice, comprehend the linear nature of life. It is only based on observation of “the past” and continual repetition of the past (that repetition may be little more than a mantra spoken over and over again) that the A.D.D.er trusts [note 5] that there is causal link (however tenuous) between an action occurring now and an action in the future. But the A.D.D.er does not truly know this and, therefore, does not truly understand the progression of life.
- It is not possible to conceive of life without time since our understanding of life is that it is something that exists over time. And as we know, whatever has life also has its opposite, death. One might ask, what does it mean to die? Perhaps it means to no longer exist in our time. Can the dead exist in a time that we can not comprehend because we do not live it? The living will never know.↩
- To do well with finances requires one to understand how “now” translates into something that is “later,” in essence, a “now” that is in the future. But the A.D.D.er has great difficulty escaping the current “now” and therefore has great difficulty both imagining and, most importantly, ACTING ON a “now” that will occur in the future. Now…have I lost you? ↩
- “The do-over was one of childhood’s most powerful rites, for it exerted our dominion over the laws of space and time. The clock was rolled back, the game was restored to its exact status as before the contested event and play was resumed.” See: Do-Over ↩
- This is reminiscent of the movie Groundhog Day in the sense that each day is lived as if this were yet another chance to get things right yet, biology and chronology make the A.D.D.er painfully aware that there is a finite number of chances to get it right. Eventually one runs out of “nows” because one is simply too old.↩
- Trust: Now there is a concept that eludes the A.D.D.er. I will try to examine this concept at another time. However, let me say now that trust requires a belief of something “over time,” a reliance on events occurring at some future time. However the A.D.D.er does not understand the concept of time and therefore does not understand, and therefore often misplaces, trust. ↩