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The joys of being neurospicy
Stuff 'n Nonsense 6-12-24

Typically, I get the best column ideas when I’m showering. This morning, post-workout, I hopped in the shower, had a brilliant idea, and then — surprise! — my brain ran off like a cat chasing a shiny object. Welcome to my neurospicy world.

I thought about detailing my deadline process, which is a delightful mix of creative chaos and sheer panic. But let’s be real, you’re probably tired of hearing about my manic process.

So, I moved on. While munching on a bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries (living next to the best fruit stand in town has its perks), I was instantly irritated because my favorite spoon was missing. Yes, my favorite spoon. It’s a big deal, okay?

For those scratching their heads, let me explain. For the neurospicy among us, the absence of a favorite utensil can ruin the whole meal. Recently, I learned that most of us neurospicy folks have texture and sensory issues. We have our favorite plates, bowls, and yes, spoons. We also tend to fixate on one food for weeks until one day — boom — we can’t stand the sight of it.

Take frozen burritos, for example. I loved them until I didn’t. The same thing happened with chicken, salad, and eggs. After a few months, my aversion fades, and I can eat them again, but the clock starts ticking as soon as I do. And there’s always that moment when chicken suddenly tastes too ... chicken-y. It’s an instant gag reflex, and into the trash it goes.

Hello, ADHD.

But it’s a decent trade for the wild, untamed creativity that keeps me bouncing from project to project with zero chance of getting bored. Nothing is for free, right?

Ever tried finishing a task only to find yourself staring blankly at a wall, wondering how you got there? Welcome to my life. Here, distractions are a way of life. One minute I’m writing a column, the next I’m jumping up to do laundry.

ADHD means my brain is part squirrel, part supercomputer. I can hyperfocus on a project like it’s the only thing in the universe, but I can also forget where I put my keys while they’re in my hand. Life is a collection of quirks, like needing my favorite pen to write. No pen, no productivity. Period.

People often say my brain is like a browser with too many tabs open. Some tabs are playing music, others are important, and a few are just there because I forgot to close them. It’s chaotic, but it’s my kind of chaos. And in the midst of it all, there’s a sort of magic.

Some days, I feel like a superhero, zipping through tasks at lightning speed. Other days, I’m more like a cranky toddler, distracted by toys and in desperate need of a nap. It’s a balancing act, and sometimes I fall, but I always get back up.

In a world obsessed with conformity, being neurospicy is a reminder that different is awesome. It means unique, vibrant, and full of potential. It means seeing the world through a kaleidoscope, with all its colors and patterns.

So, here’s to the neurodivergent brain — a source of endless frustration and infinite joy. Cheers to the chaos, the creativity, and the never-ending supply of ideas.

Because let’s face it, life would be pretty boring without a little spice.


Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide a monthly column. She can be reached at