Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Senior Attention Deficit Disorder

Note to self:  select a topic for a new blog.  Possible topics are:  organizing the attic, learning to throw away items to which you're emotionally attached, was the weather prediction by the groundhog accurate, cooking, paying taxes, Winston Churchill, digging up the garden, cooking, going to Asheville, Estep family history, and cooking.

Have I lost every smidgen of my ability to focus?  I believe I have.

I am just about three months out from my last day at work.  I'm beginning to take this retirement thing seriously.  My hair stylist told me last week that most people she knows who've retired spend the first year doing all the house work they've neglected over the last 30 years.  That's not true in all situations of course.  A friend of mine who retired about five years ago immediately went on a trip to Scotland, and even today she seems to have a good time.  She supplements her income by painting "primitive" landscapes that she sells through an antique mart, and she just bought a cabin in the mountains.

I suppose I've taken the route of cleaning out all the detritus we accumulated in this house since 1991.  I haven't exactly given up on that project, but I am taking a break. Big jobs are more easily accomplished by breaking them into smaller jobs.  It takes longer, but it's an effective mental game to play on yourself.  "Today I will do this one thing.  Then I'll go to Wal-Mart."  I'm still waiting, of course, for better weather to clean windows and carpets.

Those things that I thought would make retirement worthwhile have somehow been pushed to the side.  All of the genealogy I was going to write up is sitting in a stack on the floor of our home office.  The painting I planned to finish reclines on the easel.  I'm still cleaning house.

So I've determined that I'm not exhibiting some kind of old person "nesting", but rather I'm afflicted with a syndrome called Senior Attention Deficit Disorder (SADD).  It's commonly found among new retirees overcome with all the possibilities of things to do each morning.  Instead of selecting a course of action for the day that is enjoyable and productive, SADD sufferers lose calendars and misplace cell phones as they drift from one possibility to another.  This isn't a memory problem; I don't forget to do things, but I am having trouble finishing what I start.  Just like one famous Georgia girl (and many other retirees), I can always do it tomorrow.

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