As I poured the boiling water over just the right amount of sugar to make more nectar for our flock of hummingbirds, I was struck again by the similiarities between hummers and those of us with ADHD.

While butterflies float, hummers zip, dart, scramble, dive, whiz, zoom, jet – you get the picture. They’re fast. And they like it that way. Even when they screech in for a quick dose of energy, aka sugar nectar, their little heads look here and there between sips, taking in all the scenery (and probably monitoring danger signals), then tending to their hunger again.

It’s really comical. And it’s really ADD.

A few years ago, I held a teleclass on “Butterfly Tasking” for ADDivas. To get the full idea, imagine a butterfly casually landing on an attractive flower, working it’s delicate feet and long probiscus (how’s that for a synonym for ‘nose?’) into the petals, finding the sweetest juiciest selection. Then, seemingly bored, it abruptly takes flight and lands lightly on another, apparently MORE attractive flower and begins the process again.

It occurred to me that’s how I flit from task to task. A little taste here, some forward progress there. Never quite enough to FINISH any of those tasks, but just enough to keep me interested and to triage whatever urgency or emergency brought me to that flower, er, task in the first place.

The trick, of course, is to return to the first flower/task so you actually get to my favorite four-letter word: DONE! Easier said than…um .. done.

I do have some ideas about that but I’ll save them for another post.

In the meantime, as I talked about Butterfly Tasking and its implications for ADD adults, several people mentioned to me that the butterfly was definitely the ‘inattentive type” of ADD. The hyperactive type was much more like – you guessed it – hummingbird tasking.

They nibble a sample of nectar, then get distracted by something more interesting and zip away, rest a minute on a tree branch, then bomb straight into a flower or a feeder. Without much forethought, or so it seems.

It all came back to me

as I dissolved the sugar crystals into hot water. Those hummers take really good care of themselves. They race around all day long, but they come back again and again for nourishment, renewal of their energy, sustenance. What a good lesson for us —oh, excuse me — I mean for ME.

Sometimes I am really good at giving support and encouragement. And too often I forget to “pay myself first” by nurturing myself, taking time for renewal and respite.

Today, I listened to my own wisdom (that’s how it works, you know– the wisdom bubbles up and then you PAY ATTENTION!) and took my salad outside on the deck, listened to the excited chirps of the birds and the sound of leftover raindrops dripping from the leaves.

Then who buzzed into my space, hovering suspiciously before settling in for a fast-food fix? My hummer, of course. Syncronicity at it’s very finest. Ah. I think I need more nectar….