The Camera’s Focus

I take a ton of pictures. I mean, really a lot. For example, I received a new camera for my birthday in March. It keeps a running tally of the pictures and numbers the photos accordingly. We are getting really close to 9000. I thank my lucky stars that somebody invented the digital camera. I would not be able to feed my camera addiction without it. Aside from the prohibitive cost,film cameras from shot to print was always too many steps for me to get done. I will say in my defense that a lot of those pictures happened because I take a lot of pictures of Child C playing sports. I set my camera on continuous so it will keep taking pictures as long as I hold down the button. That way I can maybe get a shot of the action. But I get a lot of extra shots, too. The ones right before or after the one good one. But I was always frustrated by missing the shot and this way I don’t nearly as often.See?

What you don’t see is the seven more shots of the splash that continued after this. So I claim the 9000 number to be an inaccurate portrayal of my picture obsession. (Let’s not bring up the fact that I also take photos on my phone, ok?)

Having a camera, for me, can help me to bridge a gap that I might feel in a social setting. It’s gives me something to be doing besides making small chat. Or, it can give me something to chat about so I don’t have to think up something else. Occasionally, it gives me an excuse to offer an invitation to friend someone on Facebook when I otherwise might not have the nerve to ask them. It can give me a little breathing room as well. Offering me a filter through which to view things when I need a little space. I’ve known that the camera I carry is more than just a picture taking machine for me for a while now.

I just realized last week, however, that I also use this device in another way. Last week I forgot my camera at home (the horror!). I found that it was really difficult for me to keep my attention on the game the whole time. It was just too long and there were too many other things going on for me to keep from being distracted. When I was younger, I always had a book in my hand in case I needed something to do. Now I carry a camera or (and) a smart phone to fill the same need. (Scrabble for Android, I’m talking to you.) I realized that I borrow the camera’s focus so that I don’t miss the game. I know that sometimes I don’t see everything when I’m looking through the camera lens. The world is a wide open space and the viewer box cannot see all of it. But I think it’s a fair trade to put on some blinders to be able to see what I need to focus on.



There’s No Such Thing as Casual Reading

At least not for me.

I checked out a book from the library the other day. I haven’t checked anything out since Spring Break because I can’t afford to spend homework time in a book. And, of course, I know I will. So, I’m reading this book and it feels nice to just sit and read for a change and it’s been so long…

My son came over while I was engrossed in reading to try to get me to do something with him/for him. I resisted and found myself getting snappy with him over having to stop. That’s when I remembered why and when I stopped seriously reading. It was when he was a little guy and I realized that I was capable of postponing all sorts of important things in order to just finish this chapter, which would lead to another chapter, which would lead to–well, I’m sure you get the idea. So, I stopped. Except for the occasional brief foray back.

One of my big ADD symptoms is difficulty with transitions. Stopping what I’m doing to do something else is really difficult for me. Much like little children often need a preparatory countdown (Ok, Johnny, we’re going to be leaving in 10 minutes, then 5, then 2, etc.) to ease the surprise of having to quickly change gears from playing to leaving, I need similar warning. My son and I have unofficially arranged something like this. I’m not sure he knows we do it.

But, I’m not sure it would work with reading.

Because I don’t read casually. My standard operating procedure with a book is to sit down and read it until it’s done. I devour books. It turns out that they devour me right back. I read quickly. So quickly it’s kinda ridiculous. Most books take a day for me to get through. Maybe two if I try to pace myself. So I’m effectively out of commission for two days if I get a new book.

It’s funny, a lot of people with ADD don’t read very well. In fact, I was reluctant to believe that I had ADD because I do read so well. Then I came across one book that mentioned that some of us, especially with inattentive type, use books, TV, and the internet as escapism in much the same way that others use dangerous, high adrenaline producing behaviors to get a rush and fire up our sluggish brains.

For me, reading is not casual and neither is my son.

I traded books for him because sometimes I know exactly where I should focus my attention.


Oh, it’s an agonizing slow day when you have homework to do and can’t seem to focus in on it. Worse, I’m trying to do it so I’m spending my weekend staring at the blank page. Trying to work up the motivation to get it done. Somewhere, I must be able to find it.

I probably should have just stopped and done something else for a while. Maybe something so fun that I would feel guilty enough to return to my assignments and get a move on. Instead, I spent the weekend in what my friend calls gray time. That place of should where you should be doing homework, but you aren’t. There are other things you could be doing that would be more fun or more useful. But, to stop would be to actually play hooky from your school work. So, you spend your time in a distracted time filling stupid place. Watching movies or tv you didn’t want to watch just because it was on, noodling around on the internet doing nothing, or maybe “research.” What a terrible waste of time and energy. Not to mention the other members of the family who catch some of the blowback. Not really fair to anyone.

I learned a lot about Attention Deficit Disorder in my research for one of my assignments. As a matter of fact, I could (and did) spend all day reading articles to find one to do a write-up on.

I did eventually pick out an article. Yay.

The only other productive thing I did this weekend was get registered for my fall classes. whoopee.

And here I am moaning on my blog about it. This is a gray time blog post. I’m posting it because I feel like I want to post something, but I don’t feel like I can really stop and take the time out from (NOT) writing my papers for class to write a meaningful and well developed post.

Well, I think I’m going to quit whining and go eat dinner.