Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surviving My Scattered Mind

I’m a right brained, ADD person in a left brain world, and thus my life offers me plenty of stories to tell. There are times when I can’t seem to hold a thought in my head and my brain feels like scrambled eggs. Lists, post it notes, calendar alarms, ADD coaching and my focused left brained friends keep me in line most days.
Many days I wonder if I’ll ever be able to focus on one thing. And then suddenly a story starts bubbling in my head and wham – I’m thinking about one thing with crystal clarity. Not too long ago I was working on a story for a humorous speech contest. The problem was that in the 24 hours leading up to the contest there was absolutely nothing else in my head.
Thoughts of “Skinny dipping, Cops and Clergy” raced through my mind as I drove to work. I did not realize that I was simultaneously racing down the road, until the blue lights flashed in my rear view mirror and the shrieking siren broke through my singular focus. Sixty miles per hour in a thirty-five mile hour zone could have easily earned me the “super speeder” designation; however, the trooper took pity on my scattered mind and only designated me an average speeder. For the first time in my life I was pleased to be average.
Eighteen hours after my speeding ticket I was packing to travel to Charleston for the contest.  Once again thoughts of skinny dipping and seaweed filled my mind as I packed. I arrived at the hotel to discover that I had left essential clothes behind. Somehow I figured out how to squeeze a quick run to the local Walmart into my frenzied schedule.
On an average day, Walmart makes me lose my mind and I avoid it at all costs! But on this particular day desperation dictated that I overcome my aversion to shopping in the mega-supercenter.  I managed to lose my mind before even leaving the parking lot. With less than 30 minutes to spare in the schedule and story thoughts crowding my mind, I darted inside only to discover that in this particular store the essentials I needed were spread out from corner to corner. As quickly as possible, I ran through the store grabbing what I needed and raced to the checkout area. Of course, there were only three open registers available of the twenty in the store. I got into the shortest line, which ironically ended up being the longest wait.
Forty minutes later I began digging through my purse for my keys as I walked out of the store. Then I searched my pockets: no keys!  Running back to the check out area to look for my keys I began to get the sinking feeling that I had locked my keys in the car (this happens to me on a somewhat regular basis).  As I feared, no keys were at the checkout area.
As I approached my car I pulled out my phone to call roadside assistance.  For good reason, after sons, sister and parents, roadside assistance is number six on my speed dial. Reaching my car I realized that I had not only left my keys in the car but I had left my lights on as well. I thought to myself, “Martha, you have got to get a grip on your brain!”  But as I looked more closely I realized that I had not just left my keys in the car and lights on, I had actually left the car running as well! It wasn’t locked. My car had been running in the Walmart parking lot in North Charleston for approximately 45 minutes, and it was still right where I left it! Wow! I’m not sure if that is a testament to the honest people of North Charleston or to the less than average condition of my car, but regardless, I was thankful to still have my ride back to the contest.

Skinny dipping, Cops and Clergy” won first prize and only cost me an eighty-five dollar speeding ticket, a mind numbing trip into Walmart and a humbling recognition of my scattered brain. But on the plus side, I did get another story to tell.

Stories are everywhere . . .