… and I still do. And I probably always will. I’m now trying to wile it away more productively. As Ben Franklin once said:
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Actually, I’m hoping to accomplish both. See, even though I really enjoy writing, I may or may not but probably do have an undiagnosed case of hardcore ADD.
I can live with it. I’m functional– I’ve gotten this far. University degrees, marriage, kids. But there’s always been this something lingering in the periphery. Like an aura that disappears when you look directly at it, I can never really grasp at it while maintaining my reality, I can easily name this Something: It’s success, achievement, accomplishment. Fulfillment. The problem is that I can’t see it’s actual, definite form. For all I know, the mystery just out of sight may be several different Somethings.
Now let’s use career-speak and call those things goals. We all know that goals are things you have to work towards; but that’s where ADD drops it’s big, shiny hurdle. Following any path at all towards any sort of goal is hard when OOH is that a new e-mail? My package has been shipped? A link to the USPS? Why isn’t it tracking?
Sorry. What I meant to say was that (darn, why didn’t I bring those almonds up from downstairs. I need to nibble at my desk. ) it’s really hard to direct yourself down any path whatsoever when there are so many BIRDS! DIY websites! Dirty dishes! Let me just take five minutes to pay that bill! between you and point B.
Yes, I did just think all those thoughts. Pretty much in the span of two seconds. That, apparently, is what it means to have ADD. It’s wonderful and terrible at the same time, depending on what you have to do that day. * They say that taking ADD medication is like putting on glasses for the first time and seeing how clear the world can be. I get that, because besides attention deficit, I am also slightly nearsighted in only one eye –call it vision deficit. I haven’t worn glasses in years, and I get along fine (am I sensing a pattern here?) but I did once get a contact lens prescription filled when I had the insurance to cover it and all of a sudden, I realized how clear and brilliant the world could really be, and how vibrant my surroundings are when they are in focus. (Ultimately, the burden of wearing contacts lost out over the convenience of not wearing them.)
Fear, and not convenience or insurance, is the reason that I am not turning to medication to ‘treat’ my ADD. Medicine is a blessing when you really need it, but I am afraid of becoming dependent on drugs while closeting a vital part of what makes me Me. Will drugs stifle my writing? All the great ideas I have? Also, I am not convinced that I can’t achieve my goals without drugging myself. I’ve done it successfully before. For instance, I sat myself down, I wrote a thesis. I had to employ some relatively extreme strategies to get myself there, but it worked. The trouble is that, these days, I am no longer a master of my own time. I have deadlines in the form of carpool times, not to mention the day-to-day obligations of running a household. I can’t stay up all night working on a draft of something because my family demands attention at literally all hours, so I can’t rely on that awesome focus-momentum that hits at somewhere after 9;30pm.
Enter Michael Macaw. He’s my new ADD coach. It’s his job to help me find my track and stick to it, and to introduce or reintroduce these strategies that will have me writing something even Ben Franklin would want to read. Even if Ben Franklin is a kid in my son’s class, and what he’s reading is a short novel for early readers.
Hey, I think I just identified one of the dancing shadow Somethings? A goal?
Today I need to journal. Blog. Whatever. It’s my assignment from Michael and also one of the first steps towards living in harmony with ADD. I was going to do it anyway because, as I said, I like writing and I think I’m good at it. MIchael thinks it’s a good idea because it will help me to know how far I’ve come, assuming I get anywhere.
*I answered a phone call in the middle of that last sentence and, while the conversaton took under five minutes, it took me close to 40 minutes to get back on track and recover the focus necessary to finish this post. In fact, I started this post three weeks ago.