Several years ago, I decided to confront something that was inevitable: I am the source of my kids' ADD.
I've always sort of known I had it, even when I was a child. I enjoy multi-tasking, which is helpful when your thoughts drift like the winter wind. I also enjoy the occasional benefit of hyperfocus, which allows me to tune out everything around me while I work to complete a specific task.
Still, as I've gotten older, my ability to pay attention to things for sustained periods of time — aka when the deadline is not on top of me — has become progressively compromised, so much so that I'm taking meds to combat it. For the most part, the meds work pretty well, but sadly, as with anything pharmaceutical, some days it feels like I took a placebo.
And that, my friends, is incredibly frustrating. Today is one of those days.
Instead of being completely unproductive, I thought I'd give you a look into "The Saturday Morning of a Middle-Aged Man with ADD."
Hope you enjoy it.
TIme: 8 a.m.
“Which story should I work on today?”
• One of the three freelance assignments due next week.
• The essay I want to write about childhood trips and Stuckey’s.
“Hey, I’ve got laundry to do.”
“Maybe I should work on...”
• The essay on taking in an older foster dog, incorporating how that relates to my grandmother’s cats and my sibling’s inability to “check the tail” before assigning names.
• The book proposal I’m working on about parenting lessons learned, most of them the hard way.
“I can do Jill’s laundry and my laundry. She'll appreciate that.”
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Said older foster dog, who is deaf and mostly blind, needs to go outside.
Standing outside in the cold while serpantining with said dog so he doesn't hurt himself:
“Of course, there are photos I could edit.”
• The photos from our visit to Hamilton Pool in Texas last month.
• The ones from Nutcracker now that I’ve got MSA’s selections.
• The photos from Summerton, S.C., the place where I’m writing one of my features on this month.
• The photos shot during the 1,000-miles of driving from Virginia into and around South Carolina.
• The photos I took this week at the Library of Congress.
"I wish we had a dog like Doug. We have a lot of squirrels."
Time: 8:40 a.m.
“I haven’t heard this Jack Ingram concert from 2005 yet. Should I play it?”
“If I play it, then I might not be able to concentrate on writing.”
“I’ll play it anyway. After all, I’m doing laundry.”
“I’ll tweak the parenting lessons for a minute. Maybe start editing some photos.”
Time: 9:30 a.m.
“Wait, what about that line for the Summerton story that I thought of in the middle of the night?”
Middle of the night: Another middle-age male reality.
“I need to send out a few emails for the third freelance piece.”
“Did I take my meds this morning?”
“Well, shit, I did.”
“I really should update my website.”
Time: 10 a.m.
“What do you mean the dog needs to go out again? OK. I know I heard him bark. That’s a sign that something is about to happen either way.”
Second outside serpentine with said dog so he doesn’t fall into the bushes. Back inside.
“Boy it’s cold out there. Should I get some coffee to warm up? "
Time: 10:15 a.m.
Ingram concert over. “That wasn’t bad. Not great, but I'm not a fan of his more popular stuff."
"Now I can move from photo edits to the freelance writing.”
“But wait, I can do Stuckey’s research. After all, that place was iconic when I was a kid.”
Time: 10:30 a.m.
“Time to put the first load of wash in the dryer. Hold on the Stuckey’s research.”
Time: 10:40 a.m.
“What do you know? I didn’t find any change that fell out of my pockets in that load. Wonder how that happened?"
Time: 11 a.m.
“I really should be writing.”
Time: 11:30 a.m.
“Wait, did I put the second load of laundry in the wash?”
“Well, shit, I didn’t. I wonder if there will be any loose change in this load.”
“The meds aren’t working. Maybe I need to get some lunch."
"Perhaps I should take a nap. I’m tired. Maybe that will allow me to reboot.”
Postscript: I finally finished the Stuckey's around 9 p.m.