I want to die a very deliberate person.
I read a book to my daughter as she fell asleep after swimming in the only kind of water you can have for the first swim of the year in an inflatable pool.
It was cold. 70 degree water 89 degree air, with a generous breeze, Charlotte splashed around for thirty minutes before she clammed up her blue lips and shivered out the word "go".
She went from cold to lukewarm to cozy on my chest when we got inside. In her rocking chair we read Little Dog About Town: An Evansville Tail written by Lanea Stagg and illustrated by Jon Fuchs.She was asleep before the story ended.
I thought that I should reach out to the author and illustrator to talk about my hometown of Evansville and to tell them how great it felt to read a book to my kid that was written about it. Then I thought about how I might not, and how I might forget, or how I might think that it's not such a good idea a few days from now. So I resolved to write something about ideas like such as that in my planner. A planner I'm not very consistent about writing in or using.
I grew up with ADHD, and it never quieted down. I did really well in elementary school so I guess it threw my parents off of thinking that I may have needed some help. My parents divorced when I was in the fourth grade. My dad stayed in Evansville, always nearby, but the level of attention payed to our academic success and any sort of coordinated parental effort to optimize that performance was lost with their union.
There was no structure at home. We'd lost our floor general. Me and my brothers exhibited ADHD behaviors that overwhelmed my mother who seemingly struggled with the condition as well.
Middle school came. Math was stupid. I could just daydream about girls instead. I would forget a book for class everyday. I always forgot my English book and my teacher gave me hell for it. I remember fear splashing me every time I realized that I was bookless while heading out the double doors towards Mrs. Streiter's mobile classroom.
The most peculiar thing about this, and many other similar but unspecified rapid fire blunders that have riddled my life, is that I hated the outcome of forgetting that book, but I never even thought to come up with some sort of strategy to keep it from happening. Or at least happening as often. You know, a routine?
It was like getting slapped in the face at a regular interval without thinking to block, or leave the room, or move at all.
We all want some structure. I definitely do, but it's so hard to build myself. I often get to feeling hopeless about it, and I'm sure a lot of other people with some kind of executive function abnormality feel the same way.
What I'm writing right now seems gloomy, I know it does, but I'm writing this because I did think to write in my planner. For the first time I'm consistently thinking about planning for life. For the last week and a half I've made a checklist of daily talks, and for the most part, I've been checking them off.
I'll tell you what I was going to write in my planner. I was going to write it there but I can do it right here instead.
Do the thing you think might be a good idea before you have the time to do nothing at all instead. That's only if it's as low stakes as reaching out to an author of a book you just read. Don't not do things only because you let time pass between when you thought you should do them and now. That's a silly reason.
I want to be deliberate. I heard from an audio book that Benjamin Franklin kept a diary with a matrix of parameters. One of the things he did in this diary was score himself on those parameters everyday. I don't know if that's a true story, and I don't care what was on his matrix. I just admire that level of dedication to spending time towards things that matter.
I want to be that deliberate and I want to die that way. With a plan laid for the next day, even though I won't be alive enough to execute it. I want to my time as efficiently as possible, so that, in my free time, I can enjoy the moment without a vague cyclone of things I should have accomplished whirring through my brain.
I'm going to email the Author of Little Dog About Town: An Evansville Tail and I'm going to email the illustrator. Because I planned to do it, it's fresh in my mind, and it's a low stakes task. Life is too short to not try to contact people who've made art about Evansville Indiana. Has anyone seen my planner?