Holly Henry: Paying attention is highly overratedFor years I referred to my inability to focus on one thing as multi-tasking. Not once did it ever occur to me that I might actually have a problem.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
For years I referred to my inability to focus on one thing as multi-tasking. Not once did it ever occur to me that I might actually have a problem.
Then recently I was discussing the possibility of running Grandma’s Marathon when a colleague pointed out that I would never be able to complete it because it would require me to focus on one thing for more than five hours. She pointed out that should I see a good shoe sale along the way, I’d simply wander off to shop and never come back. Later, she said, I would wonder what I was doing in Super One in running clothes.
OK. She had me there.
See I get up in the morning and go downstairs to make coffee. Along the way the dog has to pee so I take her for a walk. Upon returning I go downstairs to start a load of laundry and see a wall half-painted so I get out the paint supplies and start in.
And then, I move all the furniture in the family room and pick lint off a towel.
When I go back to the kitchen I am astounded that the coffee isn’t made.
What??? No coffee? I know I made coffee. Wait, that was yesterday, right after I vacuumed out my car.
So this is why I don’t knit, bake or read large novels. Focus. It’s highly overrated.
I think it’s pretty common for folks like myself to then end up in the newspaper industry. We write part of three stories and then find another story and start that and then we come back to the first one. In between we work photos, lay out pages, edit, talk on the phone, take rummage sale ads, greet visitors, make coffee and take out the garbage.
At around midnight we wake from a fitful slumber to realize we forgot to do something really important. Then we get up to write ourselves a note to remind ourselves to carry out the forgotten task and notice the bathtub needs cleaning. So we go check our email ‘cause somehow this makes sense.
It’s frustrating to be like this. At times maddening. And even though I secretly harbor fears that I have ADD, I have been reluctant to go to the doctor and have myself formally diagnosed.
Turns out ADD is contagious. Riding with a colleague recently she said “Did you see the price of gas went up, what time are you coming here in the morning, oooooh I just love that red car.”
She told me she learned that from me.
And so, I am going to make an appointment and address my issues.
Right after I balance my checkbook and go to the bathroom.