The Longest Day is Still Too Short…

Posted: June 28, 2014 in Writing Prompt
Tags: , , , , , ,

What do today and the fourth Thursday of November have in common?

They are both days of giving thanks; I have proclaimed it.

Make yourself comfortable; this may take a while...

Make yourself comfortable; this may take a while…

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”  Sometimes when I sit down to write, I have a geyser of verbosity that I attempt to wrestle under control.  Today is not one of those times.  Instead, right now my thoughts are all gnarled up like a tangled knot of string, and I’m struggling to find a loose end to pull on and start teasing the string into order.  I actually have a vague image of what I want to say hovering just beyond my fingers, but I desperately need that first loose end to start, which is why I quoted Lewis Carroll at myself.

I’ve written before about the quirky nature of my thought processes.  My train of thought is often more of a runaway roller coaster, and the thoughts I’ve been pondering today erupted from a particularly quirky inversion.  That shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Even before I knew I had ADD, I recognized that my ADD-symptoms are much more pronounced and active when I don’t get proper sleep and I haven’t.  I worked double-shifts on both Thursday and Friday after sleeping poorly Wednesday and Thursday night.  When I finally was permitted to pass out last night, I had no intention of waking up before mid-afternoon.  Instead my bladder woke me up at eight on the dot and after an hour of trying to get back to sleep, I gave up and came down to write instead.

"Wait 'til I get going!  Now, where was I?"  -Vizzini, The Princess Bride

“Wait ’til I get going! Now, where was I?” -Vizzini, The Princess Bride

When I sat down, I had no topic in mind.  I hadn’t planned to be conscious, much less writing.  And it occurred to me that it’s been too long since I responded to one of WordPress’s daily prompts and that I miss that.  A quick check of my reader revealed today’s prompt was about the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year: Today’s Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). How are you taking advantage of the extra hours of light this time of year? Do you like it, or do you already miss earlier sunsets?  The words ‘longest day’ clicked my mind immediately to my on-going persistent gripe: The days are not long enough for me to do everything I want to do, everything I have to do, everything I ought to do, and everything I love to do.  Priorities must be set, and one of the simple fundamental truths of my ADD is that priorities are a discontinuous function.  I’m using math jargon, but all that means is that my priorities in a set, specific, snap-judgement moment- (my ‘instantaneous’ priorities)- do not necessarily match my priorities over an extended time interval (my ‘average’ priorities.)  More bluntly, ADD absolutely fucks my time management and money budgeting skills, because the way I spend my time and money reflects my values and priorities at the instant of decision rather then the ‘true’ values and priorities that are more measured over time.

An example.  I already mentioned my ADD symptoms are more pronounced if I don’t get enough sleep.  Likewise, I manage my ADD better, and accomplish more with my day if I have an appropriate breakfast to kick start my metabolism and if I take five or ten minutes of ‘stillness’, set some goals for the day, and visualize how I will achieve them.  (For the record, an appropriate breakfast has some proteins and has more good carbs than sugars.  A peanut butter sandwich, some scrambled eggs and cheese, even an Egg McMuffin, are all breakfasts that will improve my day.  Mountain Dew and Pop-Tarts, which occurs more often than I like to admit, is an epic fail breakfast.)  It is a priority for me to get to bed early, well, early by server standards which is still quite late by real world standards, because if I don’t I will either not get enough sleep or I will not have time for the morning rituals or both, and my ADD will probably kick my ass all day.  Last night, I was dragging and dead on my feet, so it was an even bigger priority to get to bed.  Instead I sat on the couch with my room mate as she watched various brain-sucking reality shows she had DVRed.  My true values were to get sleep and avoid watching shows that high light the lowest common denominator of humanity.  Each instant, however, my priorities pointed out that watching a little more of the bright shiny idiot box, even if it was a show I would normally avoid like the plague, kept me away from the ordeal of climbing to my feet and going upstairs when my personal gas gauge was somewhere below zero.  My instantaneous priorities clashed with my real priorities.  I regard this as a central truth of ADD, because when my ADD is acting up, I have more moments when instantaneous goals clash with real goals and the real goals are more likely to lose any given clash.

One benefit of living mostly inside my own head: I don't need chalk or slate to find a chalkboard...

One benefit of living mostly inside my own head: I don’t need chalk or slate to find a chalkboard…

So I as I sat down at the computer to write this morning, I was mentally kicking myself because I meant to sleep in this morning, and I didn’t.  And I kicked myself about some other things that I am falling behind in… an ever growing stack of library books, the way I am filling up the DVR because I can’t get to the shows I actually want to watch, how hard I’m finding it to blog lately, the fact I’m a bad ‘words with friends’ friend because I leave games hanging, etc.  And then I kicked myself some more because I wasn’t even feeling guilty about any of the actual important things I have hanging over my head, but because I was falling behind on things that are supposed to be fun.  So I was going to write about how oddly my brain operates that I can feel guilty about not relaxing enough.  Seriously, how effed up is that?

Time passes, as it generally does whether I’m ready for it or not.  (Usually NOT.)

… So, it’s half a week later, and I finally have some solo time to finish the post I started Saturday afternoon.  I tried to work the post a bit on Sunday afternoon and on Tuesday morning, but mostly I spun my mental wheels and did some very nitpicky editing of what I had written on Saturday.  There are different flavors of writer’s block, and the block I’ve been trying to lift is particularly frustrating.  As I began to hit my stride on Saturday, I only had the vague image of what I wanted to say, but I did have three important goals for the article.  One, I wanted to end on a note of thankfulness.  Two, although I’m fascinated by how my own mind works, I wanted to only describe my thought processes briefly.  Three, I wanted to keep my focus positive.  Ultimately, I believe that most, if not all, emotions are active choices rather than mere sensations or moods.  Happiness, love, forgiveness, hope, mercy… these are all volitional acts.  Even though negatives- guilt and frustration and fatigue- laid the foundation that shaped and prompted this post, I don’t want to write (and can’t imagine that you would want to read) a litany of whining and complaining.  It’s true, I don’t always get to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.  It’s true, I have to budget my time and my funds and my emotional energy, and ADD, unfortunately, makes it very easy to go over-budget on all of those.  However, happy people do not whine and bitch about the cards life deals them; they smile and play those cards the best they can.  I refuse to dwell on guilt or frustration.

Working my soul muscles (and my bump)...

Working my soul muscles (and my bump)…

At some point Saturday as I was writing, my fancy was captured by the phrase ‘whine and cheese.’  Whine and cheese is the shadow that looms over every blog I post, particularly when I choose to deal with the murky and ill-defined overlap between my firsty and I.  Picture, if you will, a soul-muscle.  We are all familiar with our physical muscles, the ones we use to run and to lift weights and to toss the caber and to have wild mad passionate sex and various other sweaty exertions.  We define muscular fitness in various ways… how powerful our muscles are, how much stamina we have to continue using them, how quickly they recover after we exhaust them.  Similarly, we use our soul muscles for emotions.  (Remember, emotions are active, volitional choices!)  Being happy, being upbeat, being forgiving… these are all actions I use my soul muscle for.  When I don’t use my soul muscle- either because I’m being lazy (it does happen) or because I’m weary and burnt-out (being physically sick, not getting enough sleep, or just budgeting my emotional energy poorly)– I get negative.  I’m rarely hateful, but I’m definitely prone towards caustic bitterness or insecure self pity.  Either one makes me whiny.  Likewise my sense of humor gets darker when I’m negative.  I’m generally amused by the world around me, but when I’m in my dark place, I’m cattier and coarser and more judgmental in my humor.  In a word, cheesier.  So ‘whine and cheese’ is a danger sign, an indicator that either I was lazy with my soul while I was writing or that I let myself get burnt out, and in either case, it’s time to turn the car around and find a way to get back on path.

More time passes…

I swear, for my next post I’m going to find something shallow and trivial to talk about so I don’t spend so much time weighing my thoughts and deliberating how to best express them.  It’s Saturday morning again, one week after the Saturday morning on which I started this post.  Once again, long workdays and short sleep nights, so I’m definitely just as tired as I was last week, but I’m not nearly as negative.  Thankfulness and gratitude are the antidotes for negativity and bitchiness.  I’ve been trying to work out my soul-muscle all week, and I’m enjoying the resultant rush of spiritual endorphins.

All right, let's bring this post home...

All right, let’s bring this post home…

So what am I grateful for?  Let me start by looking at the half-full side of my most common gripes and whines.  My perpetual gripe, to which all my other gripes seems to return, is lack of time.  Yes, my first life alter ego works two jobs, and we both wish he spent less time working… but he is meeting his financial goals, paying off debts while stashing away a tiny nest egg, and still has enough extra that I am a comfortably kept woman.  Yes, my time to ‘waste well’ is being cut into by other demands upon the firsty’s time and even a few on my own, but those demands- some prospective ‘serious’ writing projects, firsty and Mrs. Firsty managing to get some regular time together, doctor’s visits because there is a Firsty, Jr. on the way, etc- are all opportunities and blessings that I have not expressed enough appreciation.  I whine a lot about being an ADD child, because the toll it takes on my time management is grim and brutal.  But there are many blessings within my ADD story as well.  My ADD need for stimulation is what drives my voracious learning style.  ADD also contributes to my happy-go-lucky, live-in-the-moment enthusiasm, (which is ‘child-like’ or ‘immature’ depending on how you feel about Matthew 18:3).  It also fuels my imagination, gives me incredible energy when properly channeled, and encourages a generous and giving nature.  (…if you have good impulses, poor impulse control isn’t necessarily  a bad thing…)  Meanwhile, the discovery and diagnosis of my ADD last year has been an incredible burden lifted from my shoulders.  I’m still disordered, forgetful, and distractible- but it’s not because I’m lazy, undisciplined, or uncaring, so I have less guilt and shame.  (Although less is not none, particularly when I let myself run down, as the start of this post highlighted so effectively.) I’ve also formed some connections with peers I wouldn’t have otherwise, because as I’ve learned and shared about my ADD, co-workers have also, and I’ve formed an ADD bond with some of my coworkers.

And, because it’s a convenient segue to where I want to finish my post, I’m also grateful for all the pretty clothes…  Seriously, the time I spend bouncing around, writing for Grumble, trying on outfits, shopping, exploring, writing about whatever tickles my fancy, is the best way to recharge my mind when it is feeling run down or stretched thin.  I cannot thank WordPress and my small handful of readers enough for giving me this forum to air my views and my laundry.  With no more ado, here is the style card for this post…

  • Shape: Teen Katie (Week 16) by cukabebe
  • Skin: WW Bimbo Skin (Source unknown) (I got it out of an RLV trap.)
  • Hair: Arousal Potion Hair (Source Unknown) (Same RLV trap.  Cute hair but it also holds the RLV lock- once you don this hair you cannot change your outfit for half an hour.  I had to hide in my apartment buck naked until I could finish dressing…) 
  • Dress: Izzy by Dreamz Designs
  • Shoes: Mesh cap toed pumps- beige/brown from Grumble, Grumble
  • Accessories: sculpted neck scarf out of the perfect sunshine outfit from Envious, pumpkin sunglasses from Old Dirty Bastard, Tattoos from Prozak
  • Jewelry: Apache earrings from *JStyle, nose ring source unknown
  1. […] my last post- two thousand words plus, over a week to finish writing- I swore I wanted a simple, shallow subject […]

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