A saturation point arrives and the consequence is that I shift out of my usual, finessed, perfectly choreographed ballet of multi-tasking that is the epitome of all intelligent adults with attention deficit disorder. I drop into linear mode. Linear mode is how non-ADDers function. It is rather precise, efficient and soothes the list-done-check tendencies of one with a bit of compulsion. I like my lists. I make my lists so that I create a false, linear construct, like one of those transparent encyclopedia pages with the skeleton and muscles. I lay it over the normal operating system in my brain and force my thinking and tasking to behave like a non-ADDer. I know I am far past overwhelmed when I cannot make a list. I can always make a list. The List organizes. The List is like the two stone tablets. It sets the rules. Write all the shit jumbling around in my head onto a List and then tackle the list.
The List gets out of control when it cannot be a List, when the list has sublists. The List should look like a palm tree: one stalk. The List should never look like a crepe myrtle with 50 suckers sprouting around the base and knobbly upper branches and spindly off shoots. When the List cannot be pruned into anything remotely looking like a palm tree a strange phenomenon occurs. My brain just drops out of ADD mode and I can only do one thing at a time.
All week – nay, for two weeks – when I am asked about a project or function or meeting that is supposed to happen 2-5-14 days away…..I have said, I can’t think that far. I can only do now. And I can do now. I can kick ass in the now, but yesterday I couldn’t write a shopping list for tomorrow night’s graduation party ’cause I can’t write the list of the menu I am cooking. The List begets the List. Now that today is ending, I can see and formulate the List for tomorrow night’s party.
I am neutral in my opinion about this Linear operating system. It’s foreign and absolutely NOT my brain but it is fascinating. I suspect that now that a few major life events have passed (one son graduating 8th grade and the oldest son graduating high school) I will be able to shift back into my default operating system. I just need to egt through his graduating party tomorrow night and then get us all to Tallahassee for freshman orientation on Wednesday – although he doesn’t leave for college until August. I also need to get my act in gear getting our itinerary and couture ready for London. All of these things are stuffed around actual WORK, the doing of a job and a running of a business.
For now, I think I will just go take a long, hot, tubby and go to bed. I think.