Saturday, August 18, 2007

Productive Day

I've had a very productive day, but it is drawing to a close before I'm ready for it to. I could use a few more hours in each day.

Blissfully, it was much cooler today. It looked like it was going to rain all day, but it never did. I brought some things out of the garage that need to be washed off - I was hoping the rain would do that for me, but it looks like I may have to do it myself. But it was nice to actually go outdoors and still be able to draw breath that didn't feel like it was scorching your lungs.

I met my new neighbor today. Alex and Nicole and their family moved out and sold a couple of months ago to a gentleman a few houses down, who turned their house a rental. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about that. But, the lady who just moved in seems really nice. Hopefully all will go well. We chatted over the fence today - the same way I met Alex when I moved in 5 years ago. I had gone out to the garden to pick something for lunch and met her. I gave her some tomatoes and herbs and we talked a bit. All seems good, which is a relief.

Since I've been painting so much lately I've noticed something very interesting - it's one of the few times when my brain can focus. I have ADD - in a major way - I don't consider it a negative, however. I've never taken any medication, and don't intend to. I function quite well, although the impulsiveness is an issue for me. It has gotten me into some trouble of various sorts over the years. But, it has also led to some great adventures and a lot of life experience for someone my age. But, I digress...

I always describe my brain as being like a wheel. The front of it is like the hub of the wheel and the thoughts are all spokes off the wheel. Each of those thoughts may spark another thought process at any time. Then it continues on it's natural path, as well as the original one, etc. etc. etc. I can literally have hundreds of thoughts going on at a time. When something occurs to me that I need to deal with or remember, it jumps up to the front part of my brain - I write it down - and then the thoughts can continue. I'm quite happy this way most of the time.

However, one of the things that just irritates me to no end is loud noise - particularly unexpected noise. It makes every one of those thoughts come to a crashing halt. I physically jump when there's a loud noise. It takes me a long time to get all those thoughts going again. It's incredibly disruptive to me.

So, all of that said, painting is one of the few things I do when more of my thought process is focused on the task at hand. It's one of the few times I can actually get lost in something. That just doesn't happen for me.

I think the way my brain works is why sleep has always been so difficult for me. I have to get down to about 12-20 major thought processes going on before I can relax. It's why I don't go to bed until I am absolutely exhausted - so I can go right to sleep. It's also why it's easier to sleep in - getting sleep on the other side of the sleep process - my brain has to wake up, so as long as it's still a little sleepy, it's easier for me to drift back to sleep than it is to actually get to sleep.

In my younger and wilder days I did some "self-medicating" that worked amazingly well to help me focus. I know because I've kept journals most of my life and in the last few years ran across an entry written the day after being with my friend, Brian, and engaging in some of that self-medicating. I wrote about how I could focus. Interestingly enough, medical science - 25 years later - has come to realize this is true.

But, on an average day, I like being able to think about a lot of things at one time. Frankly, I'm not sure how people who think about only one thing at a time ever get anything done.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah... that's another ADD thing... and an ENFP thing... so... what was I talking about????

Oh yeah... painting... and how it stills my brain. I'm not sure how that happens or why it happens, but it does. In some ways I find it refreshing and in others at the end of the day I feel like I haven't had accomplished much planning during the day.

All of life is a trade off, huh?

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