By Deborah G. Kalan
Thanks Deborah for the below light-hearted guest post!
I am suffering from a condition that is affecting my writing, my reading, my housekeeping, my bills, my life. I have had this condition for many years but I believe it is getting worse. I never thought that this is a progressive condition, but with each day that I am affected by it, the magnitude of its manifestation appears to multiply.
This condition has not been diagnosed by a physician. It is self diagnosed. Many who know me and know me well might not even realize that I have it as I am an expert at keeping it hidden. I don’t know the name for this malady or even if a name has been assigned to it but here are the symptoms:
1. I start to do the dishes from the morning breakfast that I prepared for my husband and myself, but get sidetracked by a magazine that recently came in the mail and has sat unopened with its cover photo of a much admired writer staring at me with a caption advising me and inviting me to “self publish today”.
2. I start to write, but then get distracted by something that I’m thinking about and get up to take care of that stray thought - like pour another cup of coffee or water the plant that I meant to water days ago.
3. I start to pay the household bills whose reminders pop up in my inbox but get diverted when I attempt to organize and coordinate the still existing paper bills that require the old fashioned, space taking, time wasting filing system which includes a file that pathetically continues to grow which is the one that is labeled “to be filed”.
4. I start to read one of many writing advice blogs or newsletters that I receive each day. As I read I find links to other sights that I click on and then loose track of the original page that I want to finish and when I attempt to use one of the writing prompts I get lost in that one segment of my writing but feel distracted by the article that is still waiting in the back of my thoughts to be read.
5. I start to make a list of all the things I want to accomplish for the day but after writing one or two of them down, I remember that I haven’t even made my bed so I leave my list and go into my bedroom where some pieces of clothing have been left from the night before that need to be folded and put away. As I’m doing that I remember that I left a whole dryer full of clothes unfolded several days prior, so slip into the laundry room to get that mundane task out of the way.
6. I start to put the laundered stack of kitchen towels into the drawer and realize that I haven’t done the dishes from the morning breakfast that I prepared for my husband and myself.
These are just a few of the symptoms that I suffer from daily. There are others but I think you get the idea. Just as I have diagnosed this disorder, I have also given it a possible name. It might be called MDD - Multiple Distraction Disorder; it might be called OTD - Overloaded Thought Disorder; or it might even be considered SAD - Short Attention Disorder. Labeling this condition is not the important part. Finding a cure for it is. If anyone reading this article has or knows someone who has these symptoms and has been able to overcome them please let me know.
Now where was I? Ah yes, gotta go walk the dog.
Deborah G. Kalan has been writing since the last century when her children were still young and her body was not yet aging. She writes poetry, short short stories and personal essays. She and her husband of almost 43 years live with their two year old Yellow Lab Matilda, and split their time between their homes in Manhattan Beach and Calabasas California. They have two married children, two ridiculously adorable grandchildren and Deborah’s amazing 93 year old mom who is her biggest fan.