Crowded grey matter

Posted: February 22, 2010 in Life
Tags: , , , ,

“You’re not paying attention!”

She was right.  I knew she was right but no way did I want to admit it.

“Sure I was.”

She frowned.  “Ok what did I just say?”

“Something about ….”  I gave up.  “Something about our Prime Minister having the itchy disgruntled face of a woman with PMS”

She slapped me.  “I knew it.  I can always tell when you’re not listening.  Your eyes lose focus. ”

“I know.  Sorry.”

Seems I’ve said sorry for stuff like this for ages.  People think it’s a male thing.

I finally figured out just this morning that it’s not.  And it’s not that she was boring (she wasn’t).  It’s that I was bored.  There’s a difference.

You have to factor in this seeming inattentiveness with some other factors.

Like, for example, the fact that in the time it takes me to walk to work – about a half-hour – I can pretty much write a novel in my head.   It’s not a *great* novel, mind.  In fact, if I were to put it down on paper, it would just seem like the ramblings of a crazy man.   The topics would be myriad.

In short, my head is a very crowded place.   Lots going on up there.  All kinds of neat shiny things that pop in and out of my consciousness.  I’m the human equivalent of a dog with a waggy tail, just waiting for that shiny ball to go racing across the grass so that I can go chase it.

Consider too the fact that in my early years as an IT technician they had us attend some courses.  It’s a good thing there were no tests because I know I would have failed.   It’s not because I’m stupid either – I know I’m not.  It’s just that I can’t sit that long and not go off into the corridors of my mind, opening interesting doors and basically plundering every errant thought that ever occurred. 

Problems with concentration; problems with losing things like keys and things I just put down, damn it!  More excited and invested in my imagination than in what’s going on around me.  Unable to focus on simple tasks at work.

Does this any of this sound familiar to you?

Well these are the bits and pieces I began putting together today, when the local Breakfast Television show discussed  ADD/ADHD this morning.

Before, when I thought about each of these personal characters, I considered them separately:

  • Not paying attention when someone’s talking = “just being a guy”
  • Not able to absorb long speeches or classroom training = “might be a tad stupid”
  • losing things/words = “absent-minded” (whatever the hell that means)
  • unable to focus on tasks and finish them = “disorganized; undisciplined”

When you put them all together though…. well that’s a different story isn’t it?

We may talk about this more a little later.  I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts though.   Particularly from those of you who are able to hold everything together, focus a task to completion, completely absorb hours-long lessons and lectures.  I have no idea what that feels like. 

Must be pretty cool.

  1. Nadia Chyme says:

    Hahahahahahaha! You’re a funny writer! I like that! I have to go read more of your posts! I don’t know if I’m one of those who is able to “hold everything together..” but, I think because I have so manyoutlet for all my imagine-ings that they don’t get so cluttered…. Or, maybe I’m just fooling myself and I just don’t have as many great ideas as I’d like to think? Maybe there’s just not enough up there in my head to clutter anything at all? Hmmm…. I say just keep being you — it’s always greener on the other side, isn’t it? …and now i find myself a little jealous. I want my head “filled up” too! Ha! ;)


  2. I appreciate your comment! :) You know – you kind of pointed out the positive side to all of this: I really like being this way (to a degree). Don’t know if I’d ever want to not have these totally neat shiny things floating around in my mind all of the time.

    It’s also kind of fortunate that I’m my own boss, sort of. My boss works in Ottawa and I work in Toronto. It’s a good deal for me. Stuff that truly is urgent and needs to get done, gets done. Other stuff…well, that can wait until these shiny whiz-bangs settle down a bit.

    Thank God we have the internet, huh? :) :) :)


  3. herndonjw says:

    As I was reading I thought to myself, “I have to comment because I can completely relate to A LOT of this”! Unfortunately that means I can not offer any advice as someone who has it together, but I can offer reassurance as some one who is making it with similar problems!

    I endorse (for you and me) equal parts fighting it and embracing it. Fighting to make sure that we can pay attention (’cause it turns out that is a valuable skill for all kinds of activities including dating) and embracing the…creativity that absent mindedness can induce.


    • I never thought about the creativity angle but you’re right. In fact, one of the things mentioned on a TV spot about ADHD/ADD is that a lot of people who have it tend to be artists (he said actors but interpreted that as artistic temperaments). The bottom line though is that I can’t imagine taking a pill for this and removing all of the vibrant energy that this brings. No way. In a weird way, even though it might make me a little counterproductive at times, I like who I am. Really enjoy those bright shiny rubber balls in my mind. :)


  4. Pypre says:

    I can offer you no help. I am all those things you mentioned and messy to boot. My disorganization know no bounds.
    Recently I was accused of eaves dropping while I was practicing taichi. I had to laugh. It was a compliment really. I have trouble, at times, focusing on people speaking to me, nevermind ones that aren’t while focused on something else.


    • I know what you mean. It’s almost embarrassing isn’t it, when you have to ask the person you’re speaking with to repeat himself. It makes you look as if you’re rude or disrespectful, even though you’re really not.


      • Pypre says:

        and worse yet when you say, “I’m sorry, one more time please.” Luckily it has only been my family that gets the “third time is a charm” fun.


        • Still – it’s much more fun having all of these errant thoughts wandering around isn’t it? I don’t think I’d ever want to give that up. It keeps me alive and involved somehow – even if it doesn’t make much sense to anyone else.


  5. Roger's Place says:

    I go in and out of this kind of thinking. When I get interested in a lot of things at once, I create chaos in my mind and life. At some undefined moment, I notice this and become organized. I get my life totally in order. Then I am bored, my mind begins wandering. And BOOM, off again into the exciting world of Chaos.

    I actually like this way of doing things, but it drives the Sputtering Spouse crazy.

    Whats wrong with her? 8)


    • *laughing* Poor spouse.

      You know, when I’m talking with a loved one, quite often my mind will explode with several different avenues of thought, and so I’ll just stop and explain that to him or her. It’s helpful and they generally understand and will wait while I rummage around and find the most shiny thought to present.

      Like you, I really kind of like it. If nothing else, those runaway thoughts are actually kind of interesting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s