Those of you who’ve been following this blog for a while know that I have attention issues, as per my revealing, but dizzying, post Hocus Pocus written almost a year ago exactly. You will be relieved to hear that nothing has changed, and you may live out the rest of your life knowing there is always someone more unfocused than you are.
Though I have made no dramatic strides in treatment, I may have figured out certain triggers for my unfocused behavior.
So, I go out back to pick an orange and pass my patio table and see the packet of sunflower seeds I was going to plant and didn’t. I begin scratching the earth with my garden thingy. I move around in the yard, sowing where I think they’ll get the most sun. This task takes hours due to a destructive aphid, a frightening spider, and a combative wasp. I don a mask and set out to exterminate. I work my way around front and remember I didn’t get yesterday’s mail. I sort through the mail and take it inside and notice the dishwasher door is open. Oh, yeah, I was loading it when the phone rang and while on the phone I gazed lovingly at my orange tree and wanted to pick an orange, which I now remember I never did.
I go back outside to pick an orange and remember I forgot to water the seeds that I never finished planting. I get the watering can and notice the wind chime my mom gave me and want to hang it. I go to the garage to find a hook and see the snail bait I’ve been meaning to spread …
Today is a 10 on the 1 to 10 unfocused scale. Normally I clock in at a 9, and I remembered my Hocus Pocus post after I began this one and went back to re-read it. I notice a couple patterns. 1: Somehow, if the phone rings while I unload the dishwasher, all is lost. 2: Springtime is a trigger. Springtime after a long cold, wet foggy winter in Fresno prompts all kinds of distractions. Cooped up all winter, I only had the indoors to send me from room to room wondering why I was there. Now I have the outdoors too. A compounded disaster.
So, anyway … what was I talking about? Oh, yeah. A few months ago, I was able to focus long enough to write an article on Aromatherapy Gardens for Simple Joy (I’m on page 23). Carol Benedict alerted me to the sister magazine that she wrote for called Girlfriend to Girlfriend. What I like about this magazine, and others that do this, is they have a menu of topics you can write about and submit.
I lean to being a prompt writer, I think. I would not have submitted if not for the topic menu. Same with other magazines. If they say they are looking for a compelling story and great writing, they may never meet me, or worse they will, and I will send them everything I’ve got. If they say they are looking for one great pet story or describe a day you ditched from school, I’m on it like bee on an orange blossom.
This is not to say I can’t create without a prompt. I do all the time. But my success rate is higher with prompts.
How about you? Does the dishwasher-answer-the-phone combo ruin your whole day? Are you a prompt writer or a write-it-first writer?
P.S. I’ll return to my regular one-topic focus posts starting next week
P.S.S. What my article doesn’t say is that aromatherapy does not work for advanced cases of attention deficit, such as myself (actually it doesn’t talk about ADD at all because I was trying to stay focused—go figure). But if you are curious: three drops each of lavender, sweet orange, and lemon essential oils on a cotton puff will scent the room you’re in and delight your senses to an energetic and not focused state of well-being.
P.S.S.S. I never did pick my orange.