The title seemed so innocuos until I added the parenthesis!! Thought you were going to get a list full of common sense tips and maybe a few hacks? No no no. To an ADDer, How to Keep a New Car Clean might as well be, “How to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.”

This is my first new car since I moved near the ocean. It is also the first vehicle that I’ve owned since I finally accepted my diagnosis of Adut ADD, after almost a decade of denying it. So now, at least, I know what I am up against. My scattered mind has moments where it feels like a skip in a record. This is how it SO easy for me to lose things. I will be so focused on not scratching the keys against the paint of my new beauty, (hyperfocus I guess) that my mind misses the steps it took to get out of the house and into the driveway. I locked the door, clearly, because my keys  are in my hand, but did I take my phone? Do the dogs have water? I always wondered why I hated the actual act of walking out of the house. I always had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something, and if people rushed me, which they invariably did, I would. Hell, I do anyway.

So now, I am standing by the car, thinking things through. I have a caramel rice cake in one hand and a bottle of water in my purse. That seems harmless enough, ah but no plate or napkin. This is not my old car. This is not even my old life. I am trying to stop and think and develop patterns that combat the twisty turny thought paths in my brain. It’s like starting from scratch. This must be sort of how my mother felt when she was recovering from her stroke and the occupational therapist brought her baby toys to click together. She threw them at her, yelled and the women went scampering out of our  house to the safety of her car. It feels ridiculous to have to approach things like you are learning them for the first time when you are in your fifties.I feel bad my mom had to go through that. I try not to feel like an idiot, rather, I take a scientific type of approach to it. “How can I conquer this bitch?”

OK, so I have this new car which will be driven on the beach, and used for various other things. I went to the beach today for the first time. I’ve been putting it off. I know me. My old Jeep had enough sand in it to fill a small childs sandbox, no kidding. But that was PRE diagnosis. I don’t want to do that anymore, always on the fly, everything messy, I want to gain some sort of control. The truth is I clearly have no idea how I am going to keep this car even moderately clean, but I want to. I guess my title should have been formatted as a question!!

I figured out with the rice cake that I need wipes and paper towels. Always. I also need some sort of garbage bag. I have a nice plush bath mat in the hatch, in case something wet or dirty needs to go in there. I need a plastic box for reusable store bags and other items that go in the trunk. OK..all reasonable. But why do I have to think things out like I am twelve years old? I am a grown woman for God’s sake. It’s a fact of life for me now, it just doesn’t come naturally, my brain will always wander, and it’s important to me that I at least try to have a plan, instead of just going willy nilly like I always have.

Now for the beach. I need a brush to brush sand off of chairs, and feet and bags when I am leaving the beach. I went in search of one – my OCD ex -husband was a fanatic about the sand when we went to the beach.. It was so unpleasant, I hated him for it. A person can take things too far, and when you have kids, some things are just not a priority, but, I have to give him his due. He was a very good housewife, and if he were alive now, he could have written a blog about cleaning tips. He used to have this great brush and as much as it annoyed me at the time, it was a great solution for the sand. I went to look for such a brush in Dollar General today. I am describing the brush to the young man in the store when I realize I am describing a brush that dusts snow off a car. I am in Florida. I am clearly an idiot.

I love my big red Jeep. I never thought I’d have another new car in my life, so I feel very fortunate. I didn’t want a red car ever, but that’s what they had in four wheel drive. I didn’t want ADD either, but that came as standard equipment with my brain, so I guess I will have to learn to love it as well.