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Word Of The Year

January 1, 2019

2018: FOCUS
2019: . . .

I’m not sure I make resolutions. I have goals, and the beginning of the year is a time to reassess my goals. Just as the end of the year is a time to reevaluate my goals. I write them down. But, I’m not sure I’d say they are resolutions.

However, I do choose a word of the year. It’s as close to a resolution as I get. I started it in 2017. The word was RESOLVE.

2017 – RESOLVE

In 2017 I felt like I had several goals that had drug on for too long. Some I’d worked at, some I’d just considered. I found myself drifting. I was reacting instead of acting. I decided to make a conscious effort in 2017 to RESOLVE things.

I don’t know that I accomplished any more of my goals in 2017 than I did in previous years, but I certainly was more deliberate in my decisions.

Last year the word was FOCUS.

2018 – FOCUS

Why FOCUS? I found that as I was working more deliberatly in 2017, I was struggling to stay on task. I have Adult ADHD. It’s popular for people to talk about having ADD or ADHD. In a similar way people joke about having OCD.

I don’t joke about either. Both are a mental condition that can be debilitating. I fortunately don’t suffer from OCD, although I have friends who do.

ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyper-activiety Disorder, is a condition that prevents people from focusing on a single event. That’s awesome, right? It means that ADHD people are phenomenal multi-taskers. . .doesn’t it?

In a word, NO. Imagine you were baking a cake. You really need to get this cake done and in the oven at 2:00 so it will be done by 3:00 when you have to leave to pick up your son at school. You start off just fine, gathering the ingredients. As you go to get the eggs out of the refridgerator, you notice that you have some spoiled lettuce that got forgotten in one of the drawers. You pull out the pack of black, greasy sludge that used to be lettuce. No way are you putting that in the inside garbage. You quickly high step it out to the outside garbage to keep it from dripping on the floor too much. But, the kids didn’t bring the can in from the street last night. You go out and put it into the can. On your way back you pick up the paper. (Yes, I still get a paper, I’m old like that.) Not going to read it now, but if it stays out here it will get run over. On the way back through the garage you start to put it down on the workbench, only to realize that yesterday’s paper is already sitting there. You pick up both and decide to take them inside. You notice that your son has been working on his bike and has “forgotten” to put the wrenches back in the tool chest. You set the papers down to quickly collect up the scattered wrenchs and move them back to the tool chest. That reminds you that the doorknob on the main bathroom door is loose. The screws are coming out and you keep forgetting to tighten them. You grab a phillips screwdriver and while we’re on the subject of bathrooms, the master bath door squeaks when you come to bed after your wife is in bed and it disturbs her sleep. You grab a can of spay silicone. (No, WD-40 is a TERRIBLE choice, but that’s another topic.) The main bathroom door only takes a moment. Good to finally have that task done. The master bath has towels hanging on the back. You have to move those or the silicone spray will get all over them. The spray works, but it does mix with the existing oil on the door and makes black streaks down the door. You clean it up and collect the can and remember to not forget the screwdriver and return them to the garage. On the way back to the garage you walk past the kitchen and wonder why someone left the refridgerator door standing open and there’s water drops leading to the garage? After all, you’re the only one home.

Welcome to “multi-tasking” with ADHD.

Drugs help. Ritalin and adderall are the perscription strength versions. You can also use caffeine. All three are stimulants.

But, in addition to drugs, it’s important to actively train you brain. To attempt to notice when you are getting distracted.

In other words, FOCUS.

I FOCUSED much better at the end of 2018 than I did at the beginning.

For 2019 I’ve chosen the word ACT.

2019 – ACT

In addition to ADHD which I’ve coped with for years, I noticed issues with anxiety last year. Once I was FOCUSING on issues, I would still sometimes be moved to immobility. Sure, I was FOCUSED just fine, but I had trouble taking the first step of a task. More drugs and therapy and dealing with some issues that have been stressing me for the last few years and I found it easier and easier to move. This coming year, I’VE RESOLVED to FOCUS on deliberately ACTING.

Like I said, it’s the closest I get to a resolution. Hope your coming year is wildly successful and happy.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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