Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At the Risk of Sounding Like Richard Lewis

Why am I making sure to get 1 tsp of cinnamon a day? I can't remember. Clearly not to enhance memory. Calcium, Vitamins D, C and B-12, baby aspirin, niacin- I know most of these, but I can't remember why I snarf the cinnamon. I really can't imagine who's paying for pre-snarfed capsules of the stuff, but there they are, between 5-7 brands of cinnamon tablets available, even at the grocery store, where you can buy real cinnamon, garlic and maybe even an acai berry (though I suspect there is no such thing).

In the land of information overload, it's become impossible to tell if we saw something in a Yahoo pop-up ad, or on CNN. It's also increasingly difficult to tell which of these may be a more reputable source for information. Paid advertising and media-hype has lead to a plethora of what used to be sortable information. If I saw it in Good Housekeeping and it was a recipe, it may have credence, if I saw it in Esquire and it was a recipe, it probably involved whipped cream and nipples as two of the ingredients. What if it was in the Lancet? Reputable publication, but do they know from cream cheese or neufchatel? Yeah, I don't either.

Is Attention Deficit Disorder a measurable neurological dysfunction, or the state of mind one enters when looking up "homes for rent" on the Internet and winding up downloading Mahjongg while simultaneously defragging their computer with a load of whites in? Someone, somewhere is going to say, "So, what did you do today?" and you'd damn well better have a really long answer and some questionably retrieved facts to back up your whereabouts!

Today, I did four loads of laundry, picked up a few things that weren't in the right place and righted them, read a few chapters in a book due to self-imposed deadlines for reading lots of books, defragged my computer 3 times because I wanted to keep doing it after I decided to delete things so it was "fresh", wrote 3 blog articles that people may or may not read, but I consider myself published, (regardless of lack of monetary compensation or fame), drank a pot of coffee, watched what I ate (it's weigh in night), let the dog and cats in and out and threw dog balls (balls for dog, not balls attached to dog) 100 times (dog requirement for peeing), and I feel bad that I haven't put the clean sheets on the bed or gotten out of my pajamas. I haven't showered yet and it's stressing me out. If I shower and dress, then I will feel like I didn't finish this blog. It's an endless circle of how much can I get done today and feel good about myself afterward?

When writing, I like to look up words- the thesaurus being my favorite tool. This also takes time and often leads to looking up other words that I don't need a synonym for, but am suddenly curious about. Then a word will remind me it's someone birthday, so I sign into email to compose a birthday message, but wait, there are 14 new emails... this won't take long, I'll just read them really quickly and then write the birthday email. Oops, one involves cutting and pasting and putting down what color socks I have on where the previous person supplied her answer, but that's fun, right? It'll just take a minute. Ahh, my bank statement is available; I'd better open a new window and make sure there aren't any problems with that. Oh! I have a charge bill from the mail yesterday, I'll go ahead and schedule that payment while I'm in the bank website... and so on and so on and so on. Hours later (and I've long since forgotten to say happy birthday to someone I consider a friend, but who should consider me inconsiderate) I am putting the sheets on the bed, which will remind me that I should set the coffee up for tomorrow. Then I'll feel bad that I haven't done that yet, which makes me feel rushed as no one should feel while still unshowered and jammied. I have done 25 "things" but since they weren't on my mental list, they don't count. Now I'm angry with myself and feel like a procrastinator.

Now, I know that in my case some of this is faulty wiring. I know this because doctors will not let me out of their office without prescription medication to try to calm me down, make me concentrate and quell my desire to call all utility company employees and political candidate volunteers in the middle of the night and ask them to give me some money or change their mind on an issue they feel passionately about. The good news is, on the rare occasion I do answer the phone, I am usually so gracefully (not.) adept at insisting they remove the number from their list, that they generally do not call back. Not because it's illegal to do so, which it is, but because they have now written "Mad Bitch" next to our phone number. Like SPAM, I assume that if I keep doing this, one day I will achieve an uninterrupted state, at least by others. Meanwhile, my mind will continue to think of 60 simultaneous things that I should, could or would be doing if I wasn't doing the current thing, whatever it may be. What's worse, is that whatever I'm doing must be procrastinating because it's not on the list! There are no meds, not even the neat ones with the raised seal of "controlled medicine" I get, that will quell information overload.

So, what to do? Kill the Internet? Would I wind up next to Hinckley because of the six degrees of separation thing? Hinckley shot Regan, Al Gore invented the Internet, therefore anyone who wants to kill the Internet should bunk with Hinckley? Maybe he gets better stuff than I get. We could share.

The question is posed and not answered. How, in this world, with gadgets (Black Berry), programs (Facebook), chores (sheets), jobs (got two), kids (share 3 with other people), pets (don't ask, don't tell- 8?) and sheets on the bed (still balled up in the middle), do we control our thought process and slow ourselves down long enough to be happy for what we've accomplished?

My answer? Retrospective lists. I'm going to write down everything I did today, then cross it off my list. Ahhhhhhhh. I may even nix the Klonopin/Valerian Root/Vodka salad before bedtime. I have achieved the achievable today!

Copyright Suki Eastman 2010

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