I think I must be the prototypical ADHD adult – the Queen of Scattered attention. It isn’t just that I have a multitude of interests (everything from world politics to tango to astrology to corporate culture to holistic medicine and Islāmic art and … and ) , and that my mind gets enthralled for hours in one diversion or another, but I have a low tolerance for boredom, and being forced to do one or another activity. I am the child of the illusion of choice – that I don’t have to do a thing – unless I choose to do so … which is a bunch of malarkey, because there are plenty of things one has to do, without wanting to – It is part of growing up, or just living on the planet, if one never grows up, like yours truly. But I still like the challenge of creating an existence that feels as “free” and as “committed to the moment” and as “intentional” as possible – all based on that American mythology of “choice” and “freedom”. (The child who was nursed upon 60’s tv – when cigarettes were cool and alcohol was a beverage used in the office)
But the dark side of freedom, which the world has been witnessing for nearly a decade now – is that a companion of freedom to freely go against convention – whether they be cultural mores attached to sexual relations or social niceties attached to returning phone calls or correspondence or political participation or non-participation (Shall I attend the revolution this evening?) … the dark side is that we start to losing grasp of any sort of structure at all.
And let me tell you, as one who has had a phobia of structure, which to me signified a loss of my personal freedom and control of my own life, that it has taken me a LONG time to understand that a beautiful structure depends upon certain rules of construction. I remember about 9 years ago, being ENTIRELY confounded in my first design school program – where I was introduced to the idea of RULES to be used in designing a solution to a thing. I remember muttering to my classmates – RULES, the nerve of her … why do I need RULES to create something beautiful? I mean I wasn’t totally ignorant of design principles which were, as I understood, guidelines one followed more often than not … but rules. Let’s just say – I am not a big fan of “rules” unless I make them myself. How very American of me … just a spoiled bratti-americana.
Anyway … I can go on about how I felt oppressed by having to force fit myself into one social culture after a next, just so that I wouldn’t be socially annihilated by my peers in one new school after the next; or how my mother taught me the conflicting values of independence and social-autonomy, while insisting that I not question or challenge the big decisions she made which often disrupted my life; or that my past years of dealing with years of chronic depressions which interfered with me following normal schedules … I could go on and on about this – but what it comes down to is … that I evolved into a creature of NON-Habit, and my biggest Habit to break is my phobia of Habits and routines.
I KNOW this is a problem … how does one build something lasting, like careers, relationships, etc. if one doesn’t adopt regular habits, routines, schedules and so forth? It isn’t that I am flakey, or irresponsible, but just that my life rhythm, rather than being a well-structured symphony, is more of a interpretive jazz session … So in my effort in creating a sense of order in my prismatic perspective …. I have started using TODOist … and making order and prioritize my many interests and activities.
Todoist – is basically a glorified Todo list which is succeeding in harnessing my scattered attention, and prioritizing my day’s activities which are free-form unless I impose some sort of structure. Check it out –
I wish I were getting a kickback for this promo, but I am not … take it from me … from a person who hates routines and rules, but appreciates the importance of a TO-do list.