I’ve heard a whole gamut of terms: flighty, ditzy, “squirrel,””thinking while blonde,” scattered, distracted, daydreamer, unfocused, undisciplined, attention deficit. And I’m proud to say I’ve displayed many of these qualities over the years. I wear them as a badge of honor. Say what you will, my thought process is challenging-even to me-but it’s mine and it enables me to feed my insatiable curiosity.
Since my thoughts change as rapidly as one changes television channels with a remote control, it feels as though my cognitive pistons are firing at a frantic rate most of the time. My thinking ability does not run to the precise and tangible; math and science are not my bailiwick. My head searches for language, history, facts, anecdotes. It’s not easy for me to focus. Deadlines are difficult.
This morning I was working on a chapter on the book I’m writing. I have a self-imposed deadline. After writing a page and a half, I threw my pen down in frustration and walked away. Yes, I write in longhand first. It works for me. While I was composing that small bit of writing, I got up at least twice to retrieve two reference books, consulted an online source, looked out the kitchen window twice…you get the idea. And what I did write was completely different than what I intended to write. It is in line with the chapter topic but took on its own life as I looked up something and then started flipping through the book, following a parallel train of thought. Instead of writing about the history of principals of one particular school, I wrote about an aspect of the character of the hamlet in which the school is located. The writing is good, and interesting, but my brain was starting to entertain multiple tangents and was overheating like an old car radiator. My version of unscrewing the radiator cap to release the pressure is to throw the pen down and walk away.
The idea is to sit down and try to soothe the fire in my head. And then I pick up the iPad and start writing a blog post. Talk about squirrel behavior! I have to laugh. It’s just the way it is. Hard to manage but it’s what makes me unique. So, the next time I see you maybe you’ll understand why our conversation may go in several different directions and why my gaze may drift away from yours from time to time. Don’t take it personally. I’m listening, truly.