Saturday, January 02, 2016

Too much of a good thing

On Christmas day, it’s a cliché, but one of my dreams came true.  I woke up, had a decadent breakfast in my pajamas with all four of my kids at the same dining room table with Chuck and I, and then stayed in those pajamas, all day.  I fantasize of days like this.  Christmas day I read, I puzzled, I conversed, I played a board game, I noshed on Maurie's turtles and cold ham and brioche rolls.  Candles were burned, new soft throws were involved.  So stress free.  So obligation free. So free.  I had a warmth in my chest that could only be described as deep contentment.  And very pointed gratitude.

Fast forward to New Years day, when I somewhat recreated this scenario.  Well, not exactly.  First of all not surrounded by my kids.  Second, no good leftovers.  But it was another glorious day with no plans or obligations, and I stayed in my pajamas….until about 3pm when I broke out of jail.  Where was the contentment?  Where was the warm feeling?  Instead I was plagued with the need to do. Be productive.  Put away Christmas or work on my novel or establish some goals or buy new pillows.

My first thought is the old 'too much of a good thing is not a good thing'.  Even though I covet free time and would happily quit my job and fill my days with projects and trips and reading and writing and ‘rithmatic, the pajama fantasy is limited.  I was cracking good at one solid day of it. 

I am not good at doing the same thing twice in a row and have written about this before.  That is why I have chosen to work in a workplace where in the same forty-five minutes I might help the volunteer in the gift shop reboot her credit card machine, notify the Peds providers they are missing Meaningful Use due to measure 17, and jot out an implementation plan for transitioning our 50 or so live interfaces from eGate to Intersystems interface engine. In most IT shops this would be three different people if not three entirely distinct teams. 
This is why I have three separate Pinterest boards for houses: new construction, flipping, and remodeling ours.  If I just focused on the one I would die of monotony. 

This is why I have unread books on my bedside table, in my kindle, on my upstairs bookshelf, on my phone, in my car and on my to-be-read shelf in Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon.  Reading is a classic ADD soother. You can be in Witchita, KS as a sous chef and the same day be a 60-something private detective in Nova Scotia. Variety is built in.  Who would settle for less? Heck, maybe reading incessantly since 5th grade is the cause of my self-diagnosed ADD. 

This is why yesterday I watched four episodes of a video series on writing well, I colored in my adult coloring book, I surfed vacations for June and real estate for retirement.  I perused my high school yearbook reading some of the tributes. I also did take down the tree, shop for a calendar and fill it out, invite people for lunch tomorrow and put an old pillowcase on a new pillow. 

OK, I’m getting that quite familiar sensation that I have what others call 'issues'.  It isn’t medically-diagnosed ADD because I’m able to focus.  It is probably a more superficial inability to be bored.  Boredom intolerance.  Variety junkie.  I would say ‘spoiled brat syndrome’ but immediately my internal defender can point to hours, weeks, and years I do perform tedious repetitive tasks, I just don’t chose to write about them.  I mean I make my stupid bed every week at least.  

The thing is, today, just 24 hours later I don’t feel that way.  I feel like sitting here staring at my blinking cursor, angst-free, is a reasonable and appropriate activity.  I might do the dishes. Or not. I guess since I invited people to lunch for tomorrow I will. I 'suffer from' some watered-down variation of bi-polarity, which my theory is everyone has to some degree.  We’re all on that ‘spectrum’ as they say. 

I should end this with a nice resolution for the new year, but that could be a dangerous path for a variety junkie.  I might overdose and suddenly it will be 5pm, my fingers sore and color-stained.  Instead I’m going to breathe. That’s my resolution for 2016.  Breathe and accept. Breath and accept.
Who am I kidding?  I'm going to go make a color-coded chart of my goals for 2016.  The dishes will wait.



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