Friday, July 1, 2011

An Unscheduled Afternoon

I had a very ADD afternoon yesterday.  At least, I think what I experienced was due to my ADD-ness.  I was very efficient with my morning chores and my hour of de-junking the house; even walked the dogs before lunch.  And then...

And then: an unscheduled afternoon.  I didn't have any appointments.  No errands I had to run.  Nothing pressing that *had* to get done that day.  Yikes!  I panicked.  Yes, truly, panic.  Where other people would have stretched their arms to the almost-sunny sky and rejoiced, I was at a complete loss for what to do.  Not because I didn't have things to do.  Au contraire, mes amis, my To Do list is always full.  It is a thing to behold.  Why, Superman himself couldn't accomplish in one day what I usually put on my To Do list for an average afternoon.  No, the problem is prioritizing: how do I decide what to tackle next on my task scroll?  I spent an entire half hour imagining myself spending the afternoon, or at least big chunks of time, on various things on the list.  I was paralyzed with indecision.  I auditioned and then rejected various options.  Too much choice is a bad, bad thing for little ADD-stricken me.

So here's how I understand the brain battle in Attention Deficit: either I can't focus enough to pay attention to one thing, my brain keeps derailing its train of thought, and I get little accomplished or feel overwhelmed/stressed/instantly tired.  OR (and this initially surprised me) I go into hyper-focus, where the one thing I am doing becomes the only thing that matters, and the world could crumble all around me and I wouldn't notice.  (Attention Deficit = hyper-focus?  Who knew?)

I think a little of both of those things happened to me in my unscheduled afternoon.  I got 3 things done in 3 hours. 
1. Went to WalMart to look for one item (too much stimulus, makes me very uncomfortable to have to look around; much better if I know the exact location and item ahead of time).  Didn't find the item (Easy-Bake Oven replacement pans), but found three other things to buy.  In an hour.
2. Went to Buffalo Exchange to look for a new pair of Dansko clogs.  (Have decided the old pair is just too big--tired of wearing them with two pairs of socks!)  Spent almost an hour.  Did not spend money.
3. Went to Goodwill to look for a t-shirt.  Found three t-shirts, two pairs of shoes (sadly, no replacement clogs, Dansko or otherwise), and lost way more than an hour.  Talk about hyper-focus: those t-shirts, man.  Don't know why a rack of t-shirts should make me go into a trance, but there you have it.

An unscheduled afternoon in the life of my ADD brain.

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