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The Windmills of your Mind, aka SSS: Something Shiny Syndrome

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I like to think of myself as a focused person.

I’m not.

But I like to THINK I’m a focused person.

I used to BE a focused person. Honestly!

One task at a time. I could zero in my attention with laser-like intensity, blocking all distractions, harnessing all the powers of my mighty brain to focus on the task at hand.

Behold the powers of my of my laser-like focus of days gone by.

Those were the good old days; days when I didn’t have to buy monthly contact lenses online for my poor vision.

Before the advent of children.

Children became the Bone Spur in the Achilles Heel of My Attention.
(Which is either a really, really CLEVER play on words…or just wrong. And I’m pretty sure it’s wrong.)

Anyway, suddenly, rather than listening to the fascinating account of a disgruntled music client that my husband was recounting, I was able to tune in to the fact that my toddler wanted more carrots. And that my baby was rattling the rail of her crib. I could take care of these things AND listen to my man, am I right?

And suddenly, I was a multi-tasker. My MamaEar was attuned to the cry of my kids. And it was good. To everyone but the adult trying to talk to me. But I figured, the adult could deal. The baby and the toddler had to be attended to. Or a ruckus would be raised, in my honor. And frankly, while I appreciated the effort involved, I could do without the ruckus. Who needs one more ruckus?

The baby and the toddler grew up, and became teenagers, capable of getting their own carrots, thankyouverymuch, and of climbing out of bed all on their own. Taking down the crib rails was liberating for all of us.

And then, came the depletion of my estrogen supply. (That sucking sound you hear is my uterus, begging my shriveled ovaries for one. last. egg.) And we all know what a waning estrogen supply does to the memory.

But at least, I then had the time, and the technology, to begin dabbling in social media. And blogging/writing started to become more of a potential gateway (???) to a post-child-raising career choice. (A girl can dream.) And before you know it, there are a thousand social media things to attend to, (Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter) and a million ways to improve your blog, and then: it hits you.

You start out in the morning, determined to have your quiet time.
Or… you’ve made a resolution to get going on improving your blog.
Or… you’re writing an important or difficult post.
Or… you’re going to fill out that application for…

You think you’ll quickly check your email, the red light of which is glaring at you like the lone eye of a drunken Cyclops. So you’ll just help yourself focus better by getting rid of that red light. Or the red light at the top of your Facebook page has 21 replies, and you decide you should quickly respond to a few of the kind people who took the time to share their precious thoughts with you, and so, you’ll just make that red light go away so the thought of people waiting for you isn’t a  distraction, and then…one thing leads to another…

and before you know what’s happened to you, you’re sharing a LOL cat with the rest of the world….

and you realize…

you don’t have ADD.

But you have come down with a rip-roaring case of SSS:

Something Shiny Syndrome.

The History on your computer is a swirling vortex, a testimonial to and a record of your own personal distractibility.

I’m sorry you had to see this. But to hold your attention, I thought you might need a visual aid of a swirling vortex in my mind.

Today, just for today, my friends: today, I offer no solutions.

Today, I open up the floor for commiseration.

They say admitting the problem is the first step to finding the solution.

Can I get a witness?

Am I the only one? Surely not!

Tell me all about it.

And please: try not to get sidetracked by how much it must have hurt my nose to take that picture.


Monday 18th of July 2016

In above post, I meant ignore Shiny objects!

Susan Williams

Monday 18th of July 2016

It is also a great life rule to ignore all whiny objects. :D


Monday 18th of July 2016

I am seriously thinking I have it too! I just made a note to try to make myself conscious of it. For the last 10 years I start a new week thinking I will focus and accomplish XYZ and while I have made accomplishments I am still far from where I would like to be. I start off good and disciplined then my mind gets sidetracked by people usually and I completely toss my goals to the side and follow their "roll."

Thereby staying up late, or falling into the stresses THEY create and I get involved and blah blah blah. I try to isolate cause I get so much more done and feel better but then I feel like weird cause I have to isolate to feel good! I love people but I just want to focus on making my coloring book sell and resting and feeling healthy. Such a catch 22 life seems to be and trying to balance! Thank u tho tremendously for this article. I think giving it a name somehow could help me stay conscious of it. I never realized it is just like my brain sees a bone and off it goes dropping everything and "I'm gone" lol. I'm making a note of SSS and keeping it hung up and will learn to tell my brain no bone today my dear.... Lol. Ignore all Whiney objects!!!! Lol.