Have you ever had one of those days where you just couldn’t keep your mind focused on the task at hand whatever that may be?
I am having one of those lives. I have always had trouble with organization and staying focused. When I was younger it was just a quirk. Well, it still is but there is a reason, maybe two for it now and that makes it a manageable quirk. Most of the time. If you can name it and own it, you can manage it. Medication and awareness help.
Today did not qualify.
I was fairly motivated this morning even though I slept poorly (red flag) and I wasn’t quite sure of the date when I woke up (red flag). No need for alarm, it is not the same as when an elderly person can not remember their name or what year it is ( I can only keep telling myself) . Just my frenemies, bipolar disorder and ADD, aggravated by lack of sleep.
The best way I can describe it is; similar to a computer that doesn’t ever get turned off, my brain does not have a chance to process all the information it has moved around all day, or 2 or 3 days if I am heading towards the manic side of life. I don’t reboot and like a continually running computer that just stores information willy nilly and is in dire need of some form of ordered maintenance, I become a little confused and information takes longer for me to find. So when I was thinking to myself is it May or Autumn, I should have just gone right back to bed.
The longer this goes on, lack of sleep etc, the more disjointed and silly my thoughts are, although at the time, I tend to think they are pretty profound since I managed to catch them pinging around in my head at a high rate of speed, translate them into english and speak them aloud or write them down. I have no doubt I could go back and delete about 200 extra words that you are reading right now just because I can’t quite gather myself in and contain it.
In my defense, if defense is needed, where I live it is not so hard to think that the middle of October might actually be May in a moment of confusion. It is still 100 plus degrees more days than not. And the past three morning I have awakened to the High School marching band practicing right down the road at an ungodly hour. They aren’t too bad though. Just not a super choice of an alarm. Also, I seem to remember thinking I have heard that the newer computers don[t actually need to be shut down to put their information in order anymore.. I don’t have clue if that is true or someone told me that because my gullible nature makes me an easy target for bored people.
A boyfriend from days gone by (you know who you are and also that I tell this anecdote fondly and hope you still get a laugh out of it even all these years later. In fact, I told my daughter the same thing not so long ago…just for fun) told me once when I ran a stop sign accidentally that I need not worry because it had a white border around it and those were optional. I won’t even tell you how long it took me to figure that one out. True Story.
So for the purpose of my purpose, let’s just say we are talking about the archaic computers that for sure did need to be shut down
I get grand ideas to do something and I don’t want to just do it a little, I want to do it BIG and full speed and I used to also want it done perfect which as anyone who is a perfectionist can tell you, sucks. So at first I thought it was the perfectionist in me. I didn’t discover that I was one until my junior year in high school when I finally pulled my head out of my butt and decided to apply myself to school and there was no reason I could think of that I could not achieve straight A’s to compensate for my carefree lackadaisical sophomore year.
And really, there was no reason. Except I got a teacher for English that just did not like my writing or my opinion. And I ended up with a 3.8 GPA, an all out eating disorder and depression. I assumed after that, I gave up on ideas of grandeur mid action because I somehow failed the perfectionist test. If I had to put money on it, heck if I had any money and could make some with a wager here, I would say that is the year at some point I had an episode that would have classified as fitting Bipolar Disorder diagnosis.
I muddled through the morning and got down to the business of forming an insightful and educated blog post about….something or other. It was starting to shape up nicely too when I will be damned if I didn’t see a butterfly. And that was all she (and I ) wrote. It sure was pretty but for the rest of the day, it flitted into every train of thought and derailed every plan of action I could form.
The butterfly is of course a metaphor for a short attention span, whether from stress, ADHD, disorganized and disordered thoughts from bipolar disorder, medications that make you feel goofy and out of sorts or any other of a number of reasons one might not be able to stay on task. The occasional butterfly can actually be a good thing, as sometimes a distraction can help your brain come up with the solution to a problem or get over writer’s block. In those cases, most people’s cases, it’s a butterfly.
For those of us that are required to put forth a greater effort to start and complete any given task, to include following a train of thought to its logical conclusion and taking whatever action necessary, who start doing the laundry and forget to put the clothes in the washer even though it is filling with water, because something else caught our attention and then something else interrupted that, butterflies are disruptively captivating. Their beauty can knock whatever you thought your were doing right out of your head. The simple wonder of them wiping clean the order of the day.
My sister-in-law was the first one I ever heard use the term to very simply say, “I got distracted”.
It was several years back. probably 2 to 13 years ago – when ADD and ADHD were the new scapegoat for children that were misbehaved and parents who did not discipline, as in there was a high rate of misdiagnosis and over-medicating as seems happens upon the discovery of each new mental health issue. I am in no way dismissing the validity of ADD and ADHD. My 11 yo son has it, possibly my 7 yo daughter and who knows about the 5 yo yet. I’m just saying….. Anyways if I remember correctly, it was an emerging theory that kids don’t just grow out of these disorders, thereby making it a probability that it existed in adults. It sure explained a lot for not only me but my sister-in-law related as well as my brother. When my sister-in-law lost her train of thought and couldn’t think what it was she planned to say, she simply blurted out ” Oh look, a butterfly!”
And that has been my day today. I got completely lost looking at all the cool themes here on Wordpress and deciding I want to change mine. While pressing the preview button for at least 80% of the available choices, I occasionally went to Facebook, which then led me to another site because I thought I was going to get a Supernatural sticker.( I’m still bummed about that)
Afer muddling through some of that, I came back to the theme previews then got immersed in the frustrating world of technological issues with my computer. I forgot to make dinner and generally felt lower as every hour passed and I realized I completely lost my focus for today as well as any plans for productivity, such as cleaning the bathroom or putting the clothes into the water filled washer.
I did have some successful endeavors though. I made cinnamon rolls for my kids and didn’t burn them and macaroni and cheese for my pregnant daughter and it wasn’t mush. I completed these things because my kids recognize when I am not on it and make sure I remember that there is something in the oven or on the stove. That makes me feel good that they can recognize and accept my disorder and go out of their way to help me. It is probably something more along the lines they recognize that when Mom can’t finish a sentence and stares blankly off into space repeatedly, if they want to eat at all much less decent food, they better keep tabs on me.
I decided that I am indeed going to change the layout and look of my blog so that when you return, it will be new and different. I decided I would write a post tonight about how I couldn’t get it together today and apologize for not showing up and I actually sat down and managed to pontificate on my loss of focus and disorganization enough to form a semi- coherent thesis of over 1600 words when at the mere count of 32 words I again found myself drifting towards the different themes and layout possibilities and feared all was lost. Oh, all in less than 4 hours too.
However as I near the end of my rambling thoughts, I am struck by the realization that I can’t quite shake and makes me feel a bit queasy to say the least. As if it is possible for me to say the least. It didn’t have to be this hard. All it had to be was something along the following lines:
Despite my best efforts to produce insightful, entertaining and possibly humorous material for your enjoyment today, I have been sidetracked at every turn and have decided to simply apologize and take this opportunity to tweak my blog appearance and settings as i am wanting to see the possibilities and think possible a change will get me back on track. Please do visit again tomorrow as I have every intention of…. of…. every intention of…..I am intending…hoping you…..
Oh look! A Butterfly!
Wow. It is so pretty. Huh. ……. where was I ? The clothes need to go in the washer.