Deadlines, Distractions & Accountability

I have ADD.

Attention Deficit Disorder.

Well, I think I have ADD.

I self diagnose all of the time and very rarely am I wrong. Except for that time I thought I was dying. I felt deathly ill and got tiny red bumps all over my body. I researched all over the internet and concluded, “I’ve got Scarlet Fever. Yes, I’m going to die.” I, however, did not have Scarlet Fever. I was having a delayed allergic reaction to medication I had taken weeks prior and my immune system was shutting down. I guess I was dying…kinda.

Anyway, typically, when I go to the doctor I’ve already assessed my symptoms and come up with a diagnosis. For example,

Doctor: What brings you here today?

Me: I think I have strep throat. No, I’m sure I have strep throat.

Doctor: What makes you think that?

Me: Well it feels like I…and when I swallow I…

Doctor: Oh no no, if you had strep you’d…

(Doctor takes swab of my throat and drops it into a test tube of some sort)

Me: (waiting anxiously in pain)

Doctor: Well, it seems you have strep throat.

This scenario has taken place many times and as such, with great confidence, I am sure I have ADD.

A friend of mine was diagnosed while away at grad school. She’s a master at doing way ‘too’ many things at once, has been very successful and has received many accolades, all the while not knowing she had ADD.

While at teachers college, my first mentor teacher disclosed that he was recently diagnosed with ADD as an adult in his 40’s. How was this possible I asked…he explained he must have been high functioning. He had no alternative to getting things done.

Knowing about these experiences of my friend and past mentor teacher, along with my success rate in the doctor’s office leaves me at peace with my self diagnosis. There’s no need for me to seek official testing. I wouldn’t want to take medication anyway. And so, I’ve self-diagnosed that I have ADD. I’m high-functioning of course, as I’ve made it to 35 years old without it getting in the way of my education, work and extra-curriculars (excluding writing of course).

Well, that’s not completely true. I can and I do write. Just as long as there is a deadline looming over my head. For example, recently I had the opportunity to get another piece published through a former professor at UT-OISE where I’m a part-time MEd student…(currently on hiatus because of having of a baby.) I was notified about this paper, sometime in November of 2017…it was originally due on January 31, 2018 but was pushed forward to the end of February. In true last minute form, I submitted the paper minutes after 11pm on February 28th.

Clearly, I like to work under pressure?! I thrive under pressure, it seems. Or do I? I could have been a doctor. Hence my high success rate in self-diagnosing. Oh, might I add, not only do I self diagnose more accurately than not, I can diagnose others as well. Whether or not they would agree with this, I do not know. My point is, diagnosing aside, like a doctor I solve problems, I’m pragmatic and I stay calm under pressure. Ha! I guess that’s why I became a teacher. And now a mother.

The problem with this is, teaching has always been a distraction for me. A distraction from personal writing. It is a labour of love, for sure. But a distraction nonetheless. My role as teacher, has always consumed me, thoroughly. Despite being extremely adaptable, resourceful and having multi-tasking skills that are out of this world (at times), teaching along with my other passions; dance, school, travel, family & friends, have always taken me away from my desire to write. By the end of the day, or week, or month. I was simply, always too tired. I could never get my writing going beyond the jotting down of ideas, as previously mentioned in ‘Why 12 raisins?’

All of this brings me to my current challenge. I no longer have deadlines. I no longer have the ‘distraction’ of teaching, dance or school. It’s just me and my baby, learning and growing. Developing. Writing.

What’s there to keep me accountable? What’s there to ensure I write? When it comes to my personal writing, this has always been my biggest challenge. My biggest problem. Everything else came first. Everything comes first. There’s no deadline attached to my personal writing. There’s no one, outside of myself to keep me accountable. No one pushing me, encouraging me, waiting for what I create.

With this time I’ve been given, I am going to honour the universe. I must honour the universe and all of the signs I’ve been given and hold myself accountable. For the first time ever I am going to hold myself accountable.

Friends and family are there; they will always be there…but everything else is on pause. Let’s see what momentum I can get going. Let’s see what my baby will allow me to get going. Because to be honest, he dictates my day. So I won’t pinpoint an exact day when I must write, nor will I dictate a day that I must post. But, once a week is the goal…whenever my lil guy allows it.

What are your distractions? What keeps you meeting deadlines? What or who holds you accountable? I’d love to hear your thoughts, your strategies, and about what drives you to…write.

Resolutely yours,

12 Raisins

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