Wednesday, January 19, 2011

...the stomach has a limited capacity...or it should...

I was at a loooong meeting at work today. It's important to clarify that I was really enjoying the meeting...but, if you've read this blog long enough, I'm sure you know what's coming next: I always have a hard time sitting still for a long time, and this very productive, valuable and really inspiring meeting was 5 hours long.

At a certain point I had to start finding strategies for either keeping still/paying attention while in my seat, or simply giving myself acceptable reasons to get up and move around.

I do this thing sometimes, where I just rotate my ankle. You can do it under the table, it's not noisy, and I enjoy feeling my brain shift from white noise to comprehension of the conversation at hand, as I begin to circle my foot. It's literally like flipping a switch and suddenly I'm enjoying the conversation because I can HEAR it! And follow it!

Opening and closing my pen cap was another good one (it's a quiet cap).

My other strategy may have been less, um...grown up, but it helped: I kept getting up to go grab a cookie off of the plate of cookies on the other side of the room. I was able to move in a direction that wasn't disruptive to the conversation...I ate about...5 of them? (Large ones...) And 3 brownies. This strategy might not be the best for everyone but I still have weight to gain back after my Christmas-era explosion of illness. I knew I'd gone beyond the realm of normal cookie consumption however when the Executive Assistant happened to be at the table with me and said, with a genuine smile "you CANNOT eat more of those cookies". I took one more. And I know how I roll, I know that when my brain is in that mode, I'm going to hear more and be a more productive participant if I can get up and move around.

And MMMMMMM cookies! (I have no shame...)

Enjoying this blog...

...check it out! Another perspective on the search for answers with a unique brain...

Wine, Cigarettes and Stilettos

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I suck at Ping Pong

This morning, I rolled into work with a "Ritalin, I don't need no stinkin' Ritalin" attitude.

And I didn't.

Until there were two people having a conversation on either side of my desk and I couldn't follow it at all.

I took the Ritalin.

How far is too far...

...I've become my step-daughter's designated homework helper, at her request. And so, after her brothers are in bed, we camp out at her desk and do what must be done.

Generally, she needs the most help with her math assignments, and of course, third grade was the first of many years of math nightmares for me. I'm a better tutor than I thought I would be though...

One evening last week she tells me "I figured something out. If I do something with my hands while I'm working, it's easier for me to think.". I told her this was great, that I often have to do the same thing, and that she could pick something to "do" with her hands while we worked on homework. She chose the squishing of Squinkies. If you don't know what a Squinkie is, all you need to know is that they are tiny and rubbery and satisfying to pull and squish with your fingers.

It seemed that her theory was, indeed, correct, HOWEVER...she is 8 and she is discovering this for the first drawing the line between productive fidgeting and just plain messing around was not yet clear.

I tried being instructive with my reminders, letting her know that "you have to remember, when you pick a thing to do with your hands, and other people are around, you have to pick something that will not bother other people". Or "you need to pick something to do, it needs to be something that is not distracting to you". And of course "you really need to pick ONE thing to do, NOT FIVE", after she began SPINNING in her chair.

Finally it came down to "doing something to help you think better, and just plain messing around are NOT the same thing".

Line drawn. Homework was completed...eventually...