The early morning hours – from waking till working – seem so different from work days, to weekend days, to holidays (vacation time), and holidays (the statutory 1-day kind) … I know that.
That is not entirely what I mean.
The appearance of a hundred rabbit holes of distraction come all the time – they do not seem to differentiate from relaxed low-pressure days to high-anxiety choc-a-bloc frenetic ones. Time and attention, so it seems, are driven in two directions at once. The first is the one on my list, the thing I am supposed to do, want to do, have to do …
The second is what I am interested in, curious about or momentarily obsessed with to the point of complete distraction/concentration.
When these combine, I am on fire – nothing can stop me, and nothing should get in my way because I have no time or appetite. If the building is burning, I will trust others to put the fire out, and perhaps I will type faster.
I know this about me. I have known this all my life – and mostly, I try to hide or disguise it from being seen. If clients and colleagues who think I am working hard on their work only knew that while I might appear to be doing all the right things on time and according to plan, what they do not know is there are a hundred crisscrossing railway-track thoughts, crossing in my head all the time. Some are harmonious with my central task du jour, but most are not. The juggle has been with me forever. OK, not forever, but for as far back as I can remember.
I revert to what interests me. When I drafted this piece, I was at my desk on a Friday (July 1st holiday) with a shit-load of work scheduled to do. That, the sunshine outside and the leisure that should accompany a holiday did not deter me – I had this to put down on the page, and nothing could stop me. And then, just as quickly, I was off to another task – the text, the email, the newspaper open on my desk, the top item in a pile next to it, or the next thing on the list – and then back again.
Sounds crazy …
But it is not. It is ADHD, something I am coming to understand way too late in the game (argh%%%*_%) to have an impact on the past several decades, but soon enough to empower the next few.
And then I went away from this piece to my newspaper.
As I visited the 2nd page, I saw a nostalgic item – the Globe and Mail reprinted a photo from July 1, 1908, of the Union Jack beneath a title saying, The Waste Of Daylight; it was an article about the pros vs. cons of daylight saving time.
I waste so much of it, and perhaps we all do, but my wastage and distraction have come into sharp relief lately – something to love and hate simultaneously.
Now that I’ve got my head around this ADHD element of my life, things are happening rapidly.
Not the placebo effect – but just thinking about it.
I know that drug and counselling therapy is the best way to go, and I look forward to those benefits; and from everything I’ve heard or read, the changes could be substantial. I hope so …
And, as those who know me well are aware, on the 8th of July, with confirmation of diagnosis and a prescription filled – I began a medication regimen that has altered my life. Still, it’s not changed who I am in the world, but it has changed ‘how I am,’ in terms of how I focus, set priorities, finish what I start, and have been starting to finish a lot of half-done, half-baked and half-thought adventures while disposing of too many ideas, tasks, and ventures not aligned with my priorities.
It is like being moved from an electronic pinball machine prison cell in my head to the calm, clear fast-lane clarity, with so much catching up to do – and revelling in every day.
I’m glad I drafted the front end majority of this piece when I did July 1st – to capture what I knew, what I was looking forward to, with nervous anticipation. I saw the world differently then, and I see it differently now. Medication is, in my view, not a single-tool answer, but it’s a big one, and my reading/learning/thinking curve is a busy place.