Is adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) for real? Or perhaps a myth…or dare I ask – an excuse? I’m not a mental health professional so I won’t expand anymore on the technicalities of it but I have to wonder.

When did internet browsers start allowing multiple tabs per session? Sorry, there’s no prize for the correct answer – and I’m not going to look it up either ’cause I’m on a roll in here. I am a card-carrying Internet Explorer browser user all the way. The difference in IE 8.0 which now allows multiple tabs when browsing likely kicked any potential ADD-like behavior here into overdrive. This post is not about debating various browsers or which is better or worse either. Hell, I live in Microsoft Ground Zero Land and would likely get a hit put out on me if I said I used anything other than IE! [That’s a joke, by the way. Sort of.]

Freeze it! Right now I have six browser tabs open:
– This Blog
– The handbag discussion forum I’ve written about earlier
– The tab to claim my weekly unemployment benefits online (which I repeatedly have to refresh until I can get in due to overload – yay.)
– Facebook
– The company where I’m working part-time/for free to help a colleague get underway
– Google maps (sshhh, don’t tell the nice people at Microsoft)

In extreme cases I would also likely have a local or national news tab open, a job searching site, wikipedia and maybe one of my favorite online shopping sites. But given my Money Diet mode of late I keep that one shut down to avoid temptation.

I swear I could flit back and forth between these tabs all day and then “all of a sudden” it would be 4:00pm and I’m still camped out here in the home office in my old leggings and a flannel shirt – or my Snuggie on cold days. [Side note: the Snuggie rocks. Yeah, I used to be a hater but I got one for Christmas and I’m a believer, people. And no, I don’t work for the company.]

It seems like the art of focus and quiet reflection gets brushed off and forgotten these days. Call me crazy but we’re expected to multi-task whether at work or play and make decisions at lightning speed. Anyone else feel this way? The speed of life, automation, choices on demand in TV, movies, music, advancements in technology – all of which are amazing and fascinating to me, but I have to remember how to keep myself grounded and not mentally spin out of control.

Thankfully, the gift of self-discipline gets refined over time. Years and years ago in high school our choir director – an absolutely brilliantly gifted man – told us over and over that the most important thing you can have in your life is Self Discipline. Boy was he ever spot on or what. As a 17-year-old you THINK you know what that means but the truth is most barely have an idea of this concept – the brain strains to grasp. Fast forward a couple decades and you “get it.” Hopefully much sooner, however.

My most focused time of week? It’s Sunday mornings. They’re typically very, very still…and sensual. There’s minimal street noise outside. Right now it’s a little drizzly with grey skies and it feels like a comforting blanket. We’ve had a mild winter – crocuses are already poking up in my neighbor’s yard. I open the front door and the newspaper sits all wrapped up tight in plastic on my doormat like it does every Sunday.

Self-discipline is an ongoing journey for sure. And when the idea of it was introduced to me and my fellow choir members in high school the internet, email, cell phones and all were still 10-15 years out. We were just getting into Call Waiting and VCRs as a reference point. Meaning, nowadays there’s so much more “noise” out there to challenge our focus and self-discipline.

What are these multiple browser windows sometimes referred to? One of my friends nailed it the other day. A Time Suck. Meaning, they can suck up your entire day before you know it. So true!

So, last night I practiced self-discipline by not going out with a couple of friends but instead staying in to finish my taxes. Yes, another browser window to open, ha! I knew if I didn’t finish them I’d likely procrastinate and then “all of a sudden” it would be early April and crunch time. It felt good to finish. And it will feel even better when that refund hits my bank account. I remember the days I would go to the library to grab a couple extra 1040s, go home and light a couple candles on my kitchen table for ambiance, find a pencil and calculator and do my taxes by hand, plopping the paper in an envelope for the snail mail. Now I can go to a secure website, do a few clicks, verify my info and presto – taxes done and refund on its way in a couple weeks. Wow. Guess that saves a lot of paper and postage for millions of us out there. And, for me…reduces pencil and candle usage.

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