The Reason I Never Accomplish Anything

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This e-mail from Christa arrived in my inbox last night, and it so epitomized how I spend every day of my life, I had to put it into here:


Dear Friends, if you have been secretly wondering what is wrong with me, I now have the answer...

Recently, I was diagnosed with C. A. A. D. D. (Child Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)

This is how it manifests:

I decide to do the laundry. As I start toward the basement, I notice that there are Cheerios all over the floor and my car keys are in the cereal bowl.

I decide to pick up the Cheerios before I do the laundry. I lay my car keys down on the counter, put the Cheerios in the trash can under the counter, and notice that the trash can is full. So, I decide to take out the trash.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash I may as well pay the bills first. I take my chequebook off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left, my extra cheques are in my desk in the office/playroom, so I go to my desk where I find a sippy cup full of juice. I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I decide I should put the
sippy cup in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the sippy cup a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered. I set the sippy cup on the counter, and I discover baby wipes that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back in the bathroom, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the wipes back down and splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I get some paper towels and wipe up the spill.

Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the laundry isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm cup of juice sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't find the wipes, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favour, will you? Forward this message, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.

Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming.


Just a few days ago, I re-instated my habit of writing lists of things I want to accomplish in a day. The only problem is, with kids in the picture now, I should really only put about 2, maybe three, items on a day's agenda. But it just looks silly to make a List only 2 items long. So of course I put more things on there, but then at the end of the day, I'm lucky if I've completed any of them, instead of wandering from task to task, working on each for a few minutes before getting distracted by the next.

The List has helped in that if I do notice myself roaming vaguely around, it can ground me by reminding me of what I actually wanted to accomplish that day. Perhaps with a few more days' use, I will find that the habit of working on the List will overcome the habit of being distracted by the Now, and at the end of the day I will once again be able to look with satisfaction upon the check-marks of several jobs-well-done.


While I'm dreaming, could I have a pony?

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  1. That so sounds like one of my weekends. Sunday is the nanny's day off and before we know it, it's 6 in the evening and we still haven't bought the week's groceries and we have no idea where all that time went!

  2. I'm glad you posted this! I'd read something similar to this years ago and so related. If I'm like this already I can only imagine what adding kids to the mix will do!


  3. Hey glad you liked the email! We that have many children can very much relate to this! I find my self running down stairs for somethimg and when I get down to the bottom I can't remember WHY??? I'm down there!! C

  4. Rohini - Welcome to my life! One of the pluses about having a day job, I guess--a little bit more structure. (Look for those pluses wherever you can find them!)

    Colleen--I can't wait to find out!

    Christa--So there with you. Baby, do I know what you mean!


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