Monday, September 12, 2011

Lost in an ADD Fog on the Information Super-Highway

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

Today was a good day. Unless you count the fact that it is tomorrow already, and my day is not over yet. To a writer, an audience is like a god to whom we have to keep making sacrifices. Gotta keep your brain fat and happy lest you go off and find someone else's blog (and no....I'm not mentioning Ree-You-Know-Who today...) to read. Gasp in HORROR!

I haven't posted in over 24 hours. I tell myself you are getting restless for more. (It is your turn to nod in the affirmative...and do it with conviction. I'm watching!) So, here I am at 1AM trying to meet my self-imposed deadline. I hope you appreciate all this free, sleep-deprived labor you are getting. I'm not even charging a Coke and a candy bar! What a deal!

Today, I realized that, as I write my way back to God, I am writing my way back to a more productive life. Yea, my friends will tell you (mostly because I pay them to) that I am busier than an ant trying to move a rubber tree plant. What my friends don't know won't hurt me. Last year this time, I was descending into an unproductive pit the likes of which I've never known. It has been a stop and go process reversing that trend and climbing up into the light again. It's been 1 step forward and 5 to 10 back depending on the day. But, I keep moving forward bit by bit. 
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

I can measure my recovery using days like today as a measuring stick. Mind you, I didn't re-grout the bathtub or rope and brand 20 herd of cattle (which I imagine You-Know-Who did today). What I did was just the basic stuff. True confessions, I mostly did it because my washer has been on the fritz for about a week, and the repair man is coming tomorrow which is now today. Used to be, I didn't need impetus like that to get me fired up and going. Now, I do, but once I'm moving I can “get 'er done” as some comedian or other has been known to say.

Since I posted the entry about the “I did it” list, I've been thinking a lot about the old me and the impossible bar I set for her. For example, I should have listened when older mothers told me to nap when my kids napped. Did I? Nooooo! Mostly because Son #1, NEVER napped more than about 90 minutes. Between his undiagnosed asthma and his undiagnosed sensory processing disorder, I was stretched tighter than a balloon about to pop. It would take me 90 minutes to wind down enough to get sleepy. Soon as I'd close my eyes, he'd wake up. I got tired of that torture and just gave up by the time he was 8 months old.

Courtesy Christina Jones Hooker
I guess that was like a domino dropping because one thing led to another until I just couldn't keep up with myself anymore. It was bad enough that I didn't get enough rest, I made another really bad mistake along the way and kept on making it. I never stepped away from my responsibilities to take care of me. Unless you count a cup of hot chocolate I'd have every night somewhere between 10p-2a depending on when my day finally wound down. My only other breaks were trips to the grocery store without anyone in tow. What was I? Crazy? (Ok, no audience participation needed; that was rhetorical.) I never did my nails, went for coffee with the girls, or took a long weekend away to recharge. Looking back, I wonder if I might have been more resilient had I put myself first more often than I did. Well, duh!

When I broke my leg almost 2 years ago, I was mostly a prisoner in my own knee-to-toes cast since we live in a tri-level. I found I was too antsy to read, so TV and computer solitaire became my drugs of choice. Yea, I was bored OUT of my mind, but it was what it was. I can't say those drugs are addicting, but 2 years out.....I can tell you they are hard friends to break up with even tho' they have relatively few benefits.

It hit me sometime in the last week. I was in a in a total fog that day. I mean, I couldn't think my way out of a wet paper bag. Yet, here I sat on the computer while watching cable news. (If that isn't information overload, what is?) I was riveted to both, but ripping back and forth between computer links and breaking news. That's when it hit me. And, I don't think I'm alone here. Information is coming at us from everywhere. It is coming faster than we can absorb it. (I know...try to pretend you are shocked at my stunning revelation.)

You share your link with me on Facebook walls, and I return the favor. You tweet me, and I wonder what I'm supposed to do with it, but promise myself I'm going to tweet right back at you before I turn 63.5 years old. You grab a magazine to take home when the grocery store line is too slow and throw it on top of the other 56 million you have accumulated but not read yet. I know...I counted mine today while I was cleaning.

Society is changing to meet the demands of ADD brains juiced up on info overload. Magazine editors tell us not to write more than 400-800 words on average because society at large is too busy to read more than that. (Obviously, none of YOU have ADD or info overload!) Teenagers rarely call each other anymore. We learned that the hard way when we tried not to add texting to our family cell phone plan. Who has time to talk when you have 3 IM screens, a facebook wall, homework, and email screens all going on your computer simultaneously? Smart phones are glued to our hands as we wait on the next email, Facebook update, or text message and hope they don't interrupt our riveting game of Angry Birds (or solitaire).

I'm not a recipe hound altho' my family would probably pay big $$ to see that happen if it improved our menu rotation. I am, however, a DIY nerd. I get so lost in the information about what I COULD be doing around here, that I get bogged down and stop making progress in what I've already started. I keep hearing about this new-fangled thing called Pinterest. From what I hear, it is a virtual bulletin board that you can pin items of interest to for your friends to see. Heaven, help me! Just send me to Betty Ford's clinic NOW via her ER department!

At certain points, our brains just shut down and leave us in a fog on the information super-highway. We know a little about a lot of stuff but not enough to know how to put much of any of it into practice. Or, is it just me?
These revelations may be old news to you, but somehow, they set my heart to singing. I felt a little bit more free than I had 5 minutes before my great awakening.

So, what am I gonna do about it? I considered yanking my blog again. I mean...what kinda hypocrite am I to add to your information overload? Well, I'm not sure yet. Dr. Phil in all his TV wisdom has said you can't change what you don't acknowledge. So, I'm hoping acknowledging that I have an ADD brain and am lost and wandering in a fog on the information super-highway will be enough to get me started on the road to info overload recovery. I'll let you know how that works out tomorrow...which is, as I pointed out earlier, today.

Hello, my name is Carol Anne. I'm a fraidy cat who is addicted to information about random stuff...especially if it has to do with a DIY project. It's been about 4 hours since my last tumble off the wagon. I blame it on a leg I broke 2 years ago. What do you blame yours on?

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Love you long and strong....try to focus long enough to find your way back to me via the information super-highway, ok? If not, I might come looking for you...after the fog clears, of course! ;-)

Proverbs 4:5 (NIV)
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!