Showing posts with label paying attention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paying attention. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Short attention span

Oh look out, trouble ahead for the likes of me.  I have always been fidgety, I guess today they would diagnose me with Attention Deficit Disorder.  My relatives lovingly referred to it as having ants in my pants, I fidgeted, especially when in church--mass was in Latin or Polish, and a child like me paid little attention, sitting still and absorbing was not something I practiced. Back then my grandma never would have thought of bringing along a book to distract me or a toy, no sirree, I was to be at mass and that was that.  

Today, I can get easily distracted, for example when I set out to tackle a domestic chore and navigate to the computer, or even my tablet, checking Facebook or any number of things. Or when I am trying to sort out old photos, discarding most because why keep them?  I find I can begin to browse, thinking about when this or that happened.  Pretty soon hours have gone by and I have accomplished little outside my head.  This was supposed to be a project for me this winter when we did not snowbird, I would sort out the room wide mess I have downstairs to discard old photos.  I have made very minimal progress.  Fortunately this room is downstairs and not needed so not used and that allows me to keep the mess out.  I used to search for photos for something on Ancestry, to post or whatever so I began to just leave them spread out, why have to pack away and unpack.  So there is the mess.  



Just today I was catching up waiting for a load of laundry to finish and went on to reading on the Elderly Blog, 
http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2016/04/crabby-old-lady-and-the-internet-of-junk.html

There was a comment about attention spans growing shorter, that a gold fish has a longer attention span.  Wow!  One of my bosses once told me I had the attention span of a cocker spaniel, which had me bust out in laughter, but he was right.  It served me well in career days, multi tasking worked to my benefit then.  Not so much today, I start and can wander off elsewhere especially if the task I began is not appealing to me. Here's the blog writer's comments:

 "The Telegraph reported earlier this year:
"According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer.

"Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms.

"The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds.

"Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds."
Did you get that? Goldfish for god's sake"

 Reading this statistic and relating because I enjoy using my smart phone or tablet and posting fast to Facebook, I could see trouble ahead.  For someone like me, with a life history of attention span shortages, what is next?  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Senior slips or fidgety blips

The phone rang as I was checking one last thing on the computer, right  afterwards I'd  venture out into this grey dreary day for a walk.  I  have nearly conquered this cold that has bothered me a  few days and am really  missing my physical activities while my body demanded a couple days rest to recover.  We are waiting word from a roofer and the contractor  who did our addition in 2007 about a seeping in the roof line over the guest bedroom,  that happened some time ago, we are not sure when but noticed a spot on the ceiling when we had the windows washed this month.  Lots of things going on, but I am used to juggling  many things at once, being a multi tasker driven sort while Jerry is a one thing at a time no rush kind of guy.  I might have known it would be this kind of a day when  I immediately began to gather clothes for a washer load, as I walked out to the kitchen this AM.  Usually I first get a big glass of water, take my meds, and  make a cuppa, but with the cold and sore throat I've  resumed hot tea instead,  likely I am lacking caffeine alertness. 

As soon as I answered the phone and heard Barb, the dental  hygienist who cleans my teeth every six months say, "Pat I expected to see you an hour ago?", I shreiked "OH NO"   I completely forgot my dental appointment  which might not sound like that big of a deal but it is bugging me.  I had to call their office to confirm this appointment a couple weeks ago; it was on my calendars on my  tablet and smart phone, neither of which I use much or look at  while at home and it was on the kitchen calendar which I walk by mindlessly entering the kitchen.  Jerry sits right near the calendar reading the daily newspaper with his morning coffee and usually looks at it and can remind me of things but he said nothing today either.  Well Barb laughed to hear I had just flat blanked out and said, "senior moment?" Because I never miss my appointments, she called to be sure I was alright.  We rescheduled for a couple of weeks from now and I circled the day in red on the kitchen calendar....now I have to look at it.  

I  Googled and reaffirmed what I  have learned that such things can just happen; here's a  link to interesting info on  a Psychology today website.  http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/p/forgetting.htm

Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve and Study
Forgetting like this or being absolutely mindless may seem no big deal, but to me whose Mom had Alzheimer's, I  worry.  I think many of us aging pre and  baby boomers worry about dementia, memory loss, and certainly the big A more than other generations.  We have seen more of it and are more aware.  Jerry shrugged and counseled, "well it's not fatal, no one died, go on about your day, be happy."  I did leave for my walk, out into the misty grey to clear my cobwebs and I started to hum  "don't worry, be happy" the old Bobby McFerrin . Released in September 1988, it became the first a cappella song to reach number one on the  Billboard 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks. It was a philosophy I never quite adopted but here it came back clear as a song.  

Maybe I shouldn't worry about my senior moment so much or is it a blip from my fidgety?  Must I begin to pay better attention, one thing at a time?  Certainly  I must look at that calendar each morning first thing.  Here in retirement I make my own schedule but live a rather uncomplicated routine.  Deliberate forgetfulness or mindlessness?  I have  heard that simply forgetting is nothing to show concern  about unless it becomes routine and or unless one does not immediately recall when reminded, as I did in horror today.  That's my Halloween fright 2013 style.