I wonder if it’s possible to develop an Attention Deficit Disorder even as you approach completion of your seventh decade on Earth. Don’t scoff, because I really think it’s happening to me. These days I flit from one activity to the other to a degree I can’t remember ever doing before.
It seems as if I can’t concentrate on a single activity for much more than ten minutes at a time, and that most often, I’m trying to do two or three things at the same time. I can read for maybe ten minute straight – sometimes longer if a passage really grabs me – but then I start wondering what I’m missing on the news, or on Facebook, or on Twitter, or on…well, you get the idea. And because there are only so many waking hours in a day, and I don’t want to miss anything, it’s either multi-task or decide what I have to give up for the day.
I started noticing the problem around November when my pages-read-per-day numbers began to nosedive, a trend that has continued right up to this week and may not have yet bottomed out. That means, of course, that I’m reading fewer books than in the last bunch of years – and that means that I’ve got fewer books to review and talk about on Book Chase. Part of the drop in books completed results from the fact that I read and review two short stories a week now (one literary and one of the time travel variety), but the short stories are only a symptom; they are not the problem.
So where does all my time go? In no particular order, these are my regular daily activities: the gym, Facebook, reading, writing for and maintaining Book Chase, Twitter, watching news and commentary programs, talk radio, and running errands. Throw in the every-few-days activities like Netflix, Amazon Prime, PBS shows, listening to music, and I think you see the problem. Too many temptations. Period.
And it’s about to get a whole lot worse because my two favorite seasons of the year are just about to kick off simultaneously: Baseball and Bluegrass Music Festivals. The festivals only claim two or three weeks a year of my time because I have to drive quite a distance to get to any of them, but baseball (the way that I do it) takes a ton of hours every week. I follow high school, college, minor league, and major league baseball; I try to see as much live baseball as I can get to; I follow the players closely and I am a statistics nut who crunches his own numbers; and the baseball season is every bit of seven months long, so I don’t stand a chance.
Oh, well…First World problems are not really problems are they? They are mostly just a bunch of lucky-as-hell people whining about how tough they have it. I admit it.
But I swear I’m ADD afflicted like never before.