A little bit of this…a little bit of that

Let’s see if you can keep up….

My daughter regularly reminds me that I like to “multi-task” too much.  If you’ve taken any of my classes, you probably recall me talking about perception concepts where our brains focus on one stimulus at a time.  In many instances, we alternate between stimuli, sometimes rather quickly.  I also hammer home the point that our brain cannot….CAN NOT focus on two or more things at once.

When my girls were little and one of them would (minorly) hurt themselves, I’d usher them to a safe place and then pinch them. Yes, PINCH them.  Not hard, but just hard enough to distract them from the pain that they were suffering from.  It works, try it.

As I was saying, our brains have to alternate between stimuli.  Here’s a little NPR story to illustrate my point: my brain....Bad at Multitasking?  Blame your Brain.

Ok, back to my daughter…..

She reminds me that I like to stray away from my focus quite a bit. As a kid, I was constantly frustrated. I would start homework and then end up baking a dozen cupcakes! Usually it was from a boxed mix.  I always became super inspired from my algebra word problems that asked how many cupcakes Jan took to her dance class IF, she baked 17 cupcakes and (for some reason) gave John 10 and (like a smart girl) took 6 from Samantha before serving 5 (how sweet) to her little sister’s kindergarten class….AND THEN giving 6 away at the homeless shelter (like a true humanitarian) on her way to her class! Yea….you get my point.

Reading about all those delicious mini-cakes makes a kid want to find a friend like Jan, but in the meantime, make some cupcakes of their own!

Ok, back to my daughter….

She teases me about how quickly my attention can shift.  I really didn’t think it was odd. Remember, I have lived with it for MY WHOLE LIFE!

The other day, we were getting ready to go somewhere.  She had come home to spend the night.  She asked me to wake her up at 10 so that she could shower and get ready by 11.  I woke up early that morning and was just tinkering around (doing a lot of this and that).  Before I knew it, it was 10.  I grabbed a towel (to show intent) and woke her up to tell her what time it was and that I was going to jump in the shower super quick. I ducked into my bedroom for a second…but I forget now for what.  As I was about to head to the bathroom, I just happened to see an old camera in a box on the bottom self of my bookcase.  I remembered how I had wanted to learn how to set my camera to selective focus (look it up).  So, I dug out the camera and start tinkering with all the knobs, dials, buttons.  I went through every one of them…apparently for about 20 minutes!  My daughter came around the corner and said, “I thought you were in the shower?!”  I felt like a kid caught swiping a finger full of frosting off of a daffy duck cake (<- story for another day). Well needless to say, we were late, as usual.

Being late is another problem that I’d like to somehow link to ADD. I have a strict attendance and tardiness policy in my classes. I am happy to say that my innate tendency to be tardy is not a problem in the classroom.  I am never late to teach.  Probably because I love my job.  Not that I don’t love my kid…oh never mind! Lol

Ggrrr…ok, back to my daughter….

She has been a blessing in helping me understand a part of myself that I hadn’t paid much attention to.  I suffer from ADD.  I’ve not been “officially” diagnosed, but I align quite squarely with the symptoms…really, I do.  Have you been reading this logorrhea plagued piece?  I’m here, I’m there I’m everywhere.  What is interesting is not that I skip from one thing to another.  It’s that I jump in to my distractions HEAD first.  I become hyper-focused (reread camera story).

So, my daughter’s playful chides remind me about the coping techniques I’ve devised up to this point in my life.  I’ve been on this earth for a good number of years.  I’m successful.  I’m smart. I’ve obviously learned some tricks along the way.  So much so, that most people…maybe even you…have never.  even.  noticed.

How have I done it, you might ask?

A lot of patience and tons of lists.  I cannot fully accomplish anything without lists.  I purposely did not make a list (outline) for this piece.  I believe I’m two pages in and have to keep scrolling back to the top to make sure I’m still writing about the same I started out writing! So why am I even writing about this?  Well, honestly, I wanted to tell you about my camera story.  It still makes me and my kiddo laugh.  Then I realized that I wouldn’t make sense without understanding a little more about me and my self-diagnosed ADD.

But, most importantly, we have to have remember that people who deal with ADD in their lives, or in the lives of their loved ones need support and understanding.  It’s just as frustrating for them as it is for you (and yes, I’m talking to you Mr./Ms. teacher!).  We’re all in this life together.

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