Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Importance of Routine, or Why I Will Not Research "Terra Nova" Any More Today

Again it is Wensday and I am looking at the sands of the hourglass piling up against me. My shift starts in a few hours, so of course this was a perfect time to get distracted researching whether "Terra Nova" was renewed for another season or not. I was depressed; I needed the distraction. Right?

I've been working on a review of Apple iOS 5's Reminder program. I've run the app through its paces and come up with a list of strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, I've been swamped with life, work, &c. and found myself missing that self-imposed Wensday deadline every week. When was the last time I wrote here anyway? 1998? I can't recall.

So, obviously I'm not writing. What have I been doing?

Right now I am dealing with the disappointing news that my Christmas employment comes to an end next Friday. Apparently, my kids' schedule limitations were a factor. I've worked something out with my former wife and updated my availability, but the few scant jobs have already been offered to the lucky few. I don't really stand much of a chance now. This could be a blessing in disguise. So much exposure to random strangers is giving me a cold every other week, and I've been so busy working and recuperating that I haven't had much time to think forward to my future. Working in retail shouldn't really be the only event on my horizon.

Well, I've been thinking about my Depression lately. I'm divorced. I'm celebrating my birthday this Friday without my family of 23 years. I'm laid off. I'm lonely. My bosses are twenty years younger than I am (and trim & beautiful in all the ways I am not). I can't drown my sorrows in my favorite Cream o' Weber eggnog because Darigold bought them out. And my kids have the Wii with them at their mother's. These are truly tough times.

Maybe it's time to live for ME during the two weeks I don't have the kids instead of surviving as a zombie. Maybe I need to blog and write and draw and create to help offset the crushing disappointments of my life. After all, just because I can't watch Wii Netflix from the comfort of my couch, should that be a reason to stop living? If I'm not careful I'll end up watching all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 again.

So for now on I will post something on Wensday whether it is an in-depth post or not. Even without photos if I have to, as I am doing today. With ADHD, we need structure and routine to stay productive, even if our distractibility fights at that structure. This becomes difficult when we, the distracted, must provide our own structure, but since the alternative is low self-esteem due to gross unproductivity and wasted years, I'd rather bite the bullet and plod along. Already I can feel a small shift in my mind as I forced myself to do this today instead of twiddling my thumbs metaphorically before my shift started.

Routine creates habits, and habits, more specifically the good ones, help us offset our absentmindedness. Without structure, we can do a lot worse than spend twenty minutes researching TV shows. We can flit from distraction to distraction for hours and piddle away our precious time.

One way I enforce structure is with a barrage of alarms on my iPhone. The same calendar is shared on my Mac and iPad, so all three devices start booping, beeping, and humming every time I have an event come up. It's overkill, but it helps keep me on my toes. How do you like to rein in your distractibility and establish a routine?

Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing progress over at @DouglasCootey. I also explore iPhone photography with Instagram as douglascootey (peek). And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well. I've been quiet on the social networking scene lately, but I expect that to pick up after the holidays. Lucky you.