Does anyone else do some great thinking in the shower? I don’t mean compiling the grocery list. I mean mind-blowing ideas for lesson plans, blog entries and writing in general. This morning my realization was the fact that just about any mundane activity helps me think in a creative fashion. I’m talking mowing the lawn, washing dishes and daily showering. Now I have to admit it’s hard to keep those brilliant thoughts in my head since I’m not one to stop everything and jot them down. Hence my mediocre writing and blog entries :::cough::: :::cough:::. This is where my friends mught say, “But Beth, you’re more than mediocre.” Note they don’t quantify the word ‘more.’ 🙂
On a truthful note, my mind travels in several different directions at once. This happens every day, every hour, every moment. It’s a boon and it’s a curse. It renders me helpful in trivia games and contests and cripples me in terms of focusing on anything for more than ten minutes at a time. Sleep is also a challenge at times. However I like the fact that I know so much trivial factoidal tidbits of information.
From childhood on I always thought there was something wrong with me because I spent many of my waking hours as a student staring out the window, lost in a myriad of daydreams. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested because I could spit back facts and do well on tests. Put a book in front of me and I was lost for hours. Was I bored? I’m not sure. Now I know it was that I learned differently than others.
While other kids slaved over outlines and prep for tests, all of that pertinent information was swirling in my head. If it was a paper to write, it simmered in my thoughts for a few weeks until I sat down to write in a burst, never able to capture all of the best thoughts on the paper. I couldn’t sit and pore over textbooks. I had to get up every ten minutes and wander because if I didn’t then “Charlie Brown’s Teacher’s voice” paraded through my head (wah wah wah). It was why I majored in English. Reading literature was the one activity where I could focus.
As a product of the 60s and 70s, I was always made to feel it was a problem I could overcome on my own. “Now sit down and focus,” “if only you could force yourself to have better study habits,” “just bite the bullet and get it done.” These comments caused me no end of angst and rage internally as I struggled to do “the right thing.”
I’ve learned there’s a name for this situation. It’s called Attention Deficit Disorder. As an educator I think it’s too often used as an excuse for kids to blame their lack of work ethic on poor results, but there’s merit to the existence of this. I’m living proof. But I’m also living proof that one can overcome it and be successful.
Oh yeah, the shower. I’m thankful that mundane activities help me focus and think. Aside from them, the only two things that truly give me relaxation and release from some of the constant buzz in my head are reading and swimming. Thank goodness for small miracles.