Somehow (hah!) I'd got stuck reading email, following links, looking up Google Translate to see if there really are three T's in the middle of the German for "fitted bedsheet" -- and what about Invernessshire? -- washing my hair (it's long so washing it is a palaver), and so on.
And I needed to get dressed. (Yup, that surfing all happened in my PJs.)
And the clothes were all in the wardrobe.
And I suddenly remembered that, the night before, when putting away laundry, I'd had the fleeting thought, "wouldn't it be good to get out all the clothes I need for tomorrow right now? wouldn't that save me time tomorrow?".
And the thought fled.
It left me with a warm glow (I'd just come up with a great idea) and the half-glimpse of a feeling that went something like this.
This isn't the right time to get out my clothes for tomorrow. This is putting-the-laundry-away time. There is a right time for getting clothes out. That is getting-clothes-out time.
The time now is not the right time!
(Obviously, the clothes stayed in the wardrobe.)
This feeling of "the right time"
I've been becoming aware of this "this isn't the right time" sub-feeling for a while now. It's almost subconscious. Just a sort of cloud of awareness that dissipates quickly.
- This isn't the right time to empty that pan of yuckiness (ancient dahl) that's lurking in the fridge.
- This isn't the right time to go and wander around the new Apple shop.
- Or answer that email.
- Or throw away the tens of packets of chopsticks and fortune cookies (gluten :( ) in my cupboard.
- Or write this article.
- Or investigate that pile of paper to see what might need to be done to get rid of it.
It's as if there's this notion that, one day, I will present myself at my computer (probably at 7am, having sprung up out of my bed at 6, done yoga, and drunk wheatgrass) and will feel, know, that NOW is the time to write my article. And if I'm unsure, I can look in my calendar and see, there: Tuesday morning at 7am, article-writing time. It will feel right, it will sit with me perfectly.
Really? Is this ever going to happen?
I wonder. Is it non-ADHD-life envy? Is non-ADHD life like that? Some of me hopes it is, most of me guesses it isn't.
I can't fathom it (yet) but I do know that it's surely not serving me.
This is what I've started to do about it.
Whenever I catch this sub-feeling -- and that is the trick, of course -- how do you become aware of a mostly subconscious occurrence? -- I ask myself some questions.
- Is that true?
- If not now, when?
- Why wouldn't you do it now?
Not in an accusatory tone, but curiously.
And I ask myself, how will your self tomorrow feel if you do this for her now?
I might not want to do it now. I might be doing something else and this would interrupt. That's OK. At least it's explicit.
And sometimes, especially if it's a quick task, it gets done.
The last few nights I've got out my clothes for the next day. They go onto a pile on the floor (nothing fancy). And they're ready for me when I get up. It's fantastic!!
At that point, I reinforce the whole behaviour by really luxuriating in the fact that I did this and it's made my life easier.
And then send my past self a heartfelt thank-you and a great big sloppy kiss.
What about you? Ever get that feeling? I would love to know -- drop me a comment!
PS. The dahl pan was growing some very interesting microorganisms, is now stained yellow from prolonged contact with turmeric, but is clean and in service again. Ooh, look, two o's in the middle of "microorganisms"! Wonder if there's a word with three?