What Was I Thinking?

I, like I am sure we all do, get my fair share of emails with jokes that require scrolling down to reach the punch line, home loan solicitations, viagra ads, and images of kittens doing stupid things with stupid captions that only amuse the same demographic that kept “Full House” on the air for so many years. But every once in awhile something comes across that is actually entertaining, insightful or moving. And this week a very good friend of many years sent a “Joke” email that was not only funny, but frighteningly familiar. As I was reading it, chuckling, I started to recognize my own actions. I started to wonder how the author knew. I started to search the house for hidden cameras and microphones.

I’ve lamented before about a fading ability to stay on track, remain focused, and just frickin’ accomplish one task. I use the metaphor of being the guy on an old Ed Sullivan show that’s doing the ‘spinning plates on sticks‘ bit.. and it’s unbearably frustrating to find myself running between five or more ‘spinning plates’, trying just to keep them balanced, and having more plates stuck in front of me along the way…. I do the best I can to keep them all going, but sooner or later there’s ones that never gets started, and some that crash and shatter from my inability to keep on them all at the same time.

I have to admit that much of this is my own doing, as I’m usually prone to being easily distracted by the bright shine of some new gadget, new software, ideas for this website, setting up and managing my video library, or any other wide range of ‘optional’ choices that I make and undertake. So in reality, the person handing the plates to me is…. me. Life’s got it’s own case of plates to hand me in the realm of work, home, family, and all that goes with it. And then I’m going off and getting more out of my own inability to reign in my desire to be doing anything and everything all at once.

I remember once, at Confoti, when I was struggling to really communicate why it was taking so long to complete a specific task, taking a pad and paper and making a list of every single task that came my way that took me “off task” during a full day. The list was two pages long and had a detailed hierarchy of interruptions that each had their own subsequent distractions or sub-issues… it was “crazy making” to just read. And it read very much like the following list does.

When I read what JF sent me, I felt a sense of comfort and kinship to know that there’s others our there are struggling with the same condition. To quote Steven Wright, when referencing that jarring sensation of falling one occasionally feels as they’re going to sleep…. “… I feel that way all the time“.

Read this. Follow the sequence of events. Then please let me know that it’s not just me. :-)

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my lawn. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide my car needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Diet Coke that I had been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Diet Coke aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over. I see that the Diet Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye – they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the living room where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day, the lawn isn’t watered, the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers don’t have enough water, there is still only one check in my check book, I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, I don’t remember what I did with the car keys, and my neighbor called to tell me he turned off the hose that was flooding the driveway.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail.


Written by gsm

04/27/2007 at 2:05 pm

Posted in  Humor ,  Journal 

One Response

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  1. Geoff – for your kids, if you haven’t already picked up the “If you give a Pig a pancake” and “If you give a Moose a muffin” series of books, you will understand why someone wrote these…. take a look.


    04/29/2007 at 8:02 pm

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