Thursday, April 7, 2011

Attention Deficit Dis... look at that!

I have always had a very difficult time concentrating on any one thing for very long. School was always horrible. I eventually had to give myself my own brand of education that catered to my erratic ability to concentrate.
As a kid, without ADD drugs, and lots-and-lots-and-lots of whippings, with black-n-blue whipping marks never healing before new ones were laid down for at least 10 years straight, I learned to concentrate. Getting into my groove is not easy, plus I'm not a morning person. The process requires that I force all distractions out of my mind, including internal mind-wandering distractions (I'm totally schizo upstairs). The end-result resembles a robot. I frown, I ignore, I talk to myself - and I can do the work of ten people.
The frustration that goes along with my wandering attention has driven me to work extra hard, but also to play extra hard. Running, hiking, climbing, winter trekking, have all been required Yin to my in-my-groove technical Yang. I need both.
My job is extremely stressful. There's so much work and they act like it all has to be done last week. Sometimes I come home so fried I'm lifeless. All I can do is sit and watch Netflix. But I love the work I do, the job I have, and the people I work with and for. When I go to work, bleary-eyed and still tired, I don't dread the journey.

Before I got into technology, I was a machinist. I loved the work, but the stress was worse. Most of the stress was from management. Blue-color workers are generally treated poorly, and the part tolerances in the tenths-of-thousandths of inch for satellite, computer, and airplane engine parts was stressful to achieve with extreme-rate production. Plus the hazards made the career not worth it. I knew guys with missing fingers. One guy lost his entire right arm. I was born deaf in one ear, and the noise of a machine-shop was degrading the hearing in my only good ear. And who knows about the chemical solvents and lubricants we work with? The labels said they were safe. Remember how they said DDT was safe? And Agent Orange? Ha-ha.

I miss machinist work, but I sure am glad I switched to technology. For one thing, I've doubled my income and cut the hazards. As a machinist, I dreaded going to work so much, I sometimes couldn't sleep well.

Running has saved me. Running 10K's and half-marathons just couldn't cut it. Job stress isn't the only source of stress in my life, after all. I had to run more, and further.
My friends say I'm crazy, and I know they're right. I'm not dangerous-crazy, but certainly I'm "different".
Sometimes I wish I was normal. I have a few gay friends, and I think it must be much the same for them. It's not that they're "wrong", but sometimes the differences can make life harder. My differences make me a frickin' moron half the time. When I'm in my groove, I can be brilliant. So depending on when people see me, they may think I'm either a moron or a genius. When people say I'm a genius, it doesn't go to my head because I'm so very frequently retarded to such an extent that I sometimes wonder if I'll someday be institutionalized. I'm really incredibly stupid - I just try so HARD to make up for it. Sometimes people see how hard I try and instead of being impressed, they become dismayed.
I've tried to be balanced, but so far no one has used the word "balanced" in any of the myriad descriptions of me.

I guess I feel pretty lucky overall. Things could certainly be worse. Being a retarded doofus isn't easy, but I hope to do the very best at it that I can. You know all those books "...for Dummies"? I could write the book, "How to be Stoopid for Smarties". Maybe people could learn to be more like me.


  1. Entertaining read, Jeff! You going out to DRATS next weekend, by chance?

  2. I'm not registered, but I might show up to volunteer, jeer, and drink beer. I'll probably log my own biking and running miles.

  3. Hi Jeff. Meghan, responding to my comments, mentioned your response to my comments on her previous post (gosh this is getting complicated). So of course I had to check your blog out and guess what, I will be following.
    I think you should write "How to be Stoopid for Smarties" book. I know I would read it. :)

  4. Ewa! Welcome to my blog! I can't promise to write anywhere as well as Meghan, but who can? Like my running, I'm just glad if I can start and finish.

  5. Don't hype yourself up, Mister, you are no crazy or weirdo...because then it means lots of us are, and I refuse to think so! Those who are not - are! Well, you know what I mean:) May be I should check out Moab, I got walking legs working better than running legs. And isn't Canyonland beautiful??? Vast, crazy vast. That's crazy!

  6. Olga, you're nutz! Certifiable. But you have a good point.

  7. I always have a point. You just got to figure it out, especially when I can't:)


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