Monday, May 05, 2008

My First Steps at Managing Multi-Irons Syndrome

When project creep has taken over, it is important to isolate which projects are truly the most important

While I prune and whittle away at the colossal To Do List of Doom that is my life, I have reaffirmed three main goals that I want to spend my free time on:

  1. Music:
    Music is well in hand. I have no professional aspirations for my pennywhistle playing and so I am content to plug away at it when I can carve some time out of my schedule. I also play the fife a little bit - just enough to keep my embouchure in check. It's not a problem because they share the same fingering and are in the same key. I strive for daily practice, but never spend more than an hour between the two.

    Although there are many, many instruments I'd like to play, I am forcing myself to focus on just the two. It's torture, but I'm determined and the results speak for themselves. My skill grows in quantum hops, skips, and leaps.

  2. Drawing:
    Drawing is still something I keep meaning to write about here, but never find the time for. There is an ache in my heart for drawing, but when I became disabled I lost much of my ability. I have discovered I have to start from scratch to fill in some holes. This, too, is torture and I don't fare as well at it. It is one goal I want to spend more time on, especially considering I am spending almost no time on it.

  3. Writing:
    Writing is the last goal, and specifically, I have a children's book I want to finish and a juvenile fiction novel I want to start. I am not working on this daily and often shove it aside for other "more important" activities. I especially find that blogging interferes with my writing time, so there is a conflict there that needs straightening out. I have a few ideas on the matter that might prove fruitful.

Painterly Camera TwistOf course, setting out to complete these goals is not an easy task. I still struggle with Depression, ADHD, and Chronic Motor Tic Disorder. I manage the Depression, but the ADHD is busy showing me new instruments I want to play (today I pined to replace my long lost student clarinet), and the tic disorder is busy fouling up my playing and drawing.

There are two other aspects of my life that take up my time. First and foremost, I am a full-time Dad - the stay at home caretaker of my girls. That must be number one priority. The other thing I ALWAYS seem to forget to factor in is that I need time to just let my mind spin - or in other words I must allow for distraction time. There's no use pretending it isn't going to happen. My mind is compelled to be distracted like my lungs are compelled to draw a breath. I might as well just face facts and factor it into my schedule as best I can. In fact, as soon as I've learned to manage my Multi-Irons Syndrome, I will be turning my eye towards reducing this spin time.

With so many things pulling at me, how shall I organize this mess? Since many of you have expressed an interest in how I handle this particular ubiquitous ADHD hurdle, I'll share my experiences here and write an article about it at the end that will summarize what I discovered. Feel free to pipe up and lend your advice if you've had experience in this area. I'm very open to suggestions.

In the meantime, I've decided to take a break from the blog for three weeks or so while I work on a solution. I've prewritten some articles and scheduled them to publish automagically every Monday. If I have time, I'll post an update on Fridays. (That post will be an excellent time for you to share your progress with your own goals or comment on mine.) I'll also reply to comments on the most recent posts.

With this haitus my goal is to finish my "Benjamin Fudge" book and pour my attention into my assignment. By making these goals paramount I hope to bump up against all my ADHD weaknesses that get in the way of achieving goals, which will force me to come up with some life-lasting solutions once and for all. Otherwise, I must resign myself to cyclical failure, and I don't much like the sound of that outcome.