Tag Archives: focus

Creativity… A most excellent clever resource!

15 Jan

Amazing site on creativity…

Great brainstorming, creativity, thinking, teamwork tools….

I think this will help not only me, but also help teach kid some new problem solving skills….

Enjoy!: CreatingMinds.Org

xo

bek

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Ch-ch-ch-changes…

26 Jun

Lots of changes happening in our little world right now…

thankfully baldguy has been asked to stay at his job for a couple more weeks to help transition one of the clients so that worry can get pushed away for more immediate concerns and changes…

Boy just does not transition well…The kid needs consistency…Yesterday I found out his teacher had been let go.  The two aides/teachers who work in his classroom are wonderful, but they are very different.  Over the past year I have been able to tell when his head teacher was out for the day by his behavior and attitude at home afterwards.  Transitions like this set him back so far.  We try to prepare and help him, but in this case he was told his beloved teacher was out on vacation last week… and Boy is home sick so far this week so I don’t even know if they have left a note in our box.   So there was no warning…No ability to help him transition by saying “see you later”… This could set him back months.  Gahhhhhhhh!

and he’s sick.  Kid on cough syrup (and they did not have any dye free cough syrup at walgreens yesterday) with a hefty dose of red dye #40.  No wonder my hair is falling out in handfulls this week.  He is crazed.  He is the kind of crazed that you see on Cops and zombie movies- hyper and lashing out, mumbling incoherently, shouting nonsense, utterly pantsless.   We see his ADHD most of the time and we have adjusted and it is only some of the time that he doesn’t self-sooth these days, but this week has been like living with an angry, illogical, drug addled strung out little man.  He is usually our family safety officer.  He will often request backup if I am plugging something in (because you always need to have a grown up buddy when doing things like that) and has frequently declared that plugging anything in must wait until daddy gets home… Yesterday, in his whirlwind he plugged the radio in by himself (during a huge thunderstorm)…This morning he found the one roll of film in our home and unwound it completely…I may completely lose my last marble in the coming weeks…

Anyway. Just home with boy trying to keep him out of trouble.  His ADHD in this sick and cough syrup addled state and my ADD (completely and utterly without the H) are extremely incompatible and frustration runs deep in both of us.

Ok. Enough of my babble. He is “watching” a CD on my TV.  He likes to watch the numbers count down.

I need to check my to do list and make sure I’m knocking things out….

In the next week or so I will be blogging about some new tools we are and will be implementing into our home to help with our rampant attention deficit issue (all three of us have it…) …

Speaking of which…Boy just hollered at me that we need to dance.

Ok. I’ll be back.

Hugs.

b

Labelmaker

12 Mar

Off the deep end….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Ok. So I was talking to someone yesterday and I was explaining the steps I have been taking, or attempting to take, in reorganizing the household so there are less distractions to send boy and me into our personal ADD spirals…. So my side of the conversation went something like this:

“I bought small plastic containers”

“They stack”

“I bought a bunch of them. Everytime I go to the store they have more in the same color. I’m not even a big green person- more into blue, which they had…Anyway. I bought a bunch”

“And I bought a label maker”

“This project has been going on for a month. I have a tower of plastic containers with green latches in my living room. I’m going to put everything in plastic containers and label it so it’s out of sight but I can still find stuff” (note: true to a life of ADD and being the creative sort I tend to leave things out because for me, out of sight=out of mind and leaving things out typically means I do eventually finish them but it also means that we have tons of visual clutter which would be distracting for a person without ADD/ADHD….Hence the reorganization)

At this point I confess the following.

“The label maker is put away. I made a label for it that says ‘LABEL MAKER’.”

And it is at that point that we both start laughing, hard.

The truth is that I have been having a hard time with my ADD and fatigue and a whole host of health issues…

And of course, boyo comes first- always. So now I’m staring at a pile of information about how to help him, how to help me help him, how to help the teacher help him, how to explain all of this stuff to his grandparents, and a sizable pile of how to help me. Because if I can’t focus at all, I can’t very well help him.

So today I went in and dug around and found some more suggestions on being a productive adult with ADD.

Those of you that know me, know that I work my arse off and I always have and I always will, it’s my nature. I do, in fact, get things done.
But what I cannot do is focus. Have a conversation with me in person and you will find that my brain likes to take detours. Trying to complete a task as simple as getting a cup of coffee in the morning can often turn into a 2 hour event, if it happens at all. Most folks have blinders that they don’t even think about- that ability to get out of bed and get the cup of coffee. They can tune out the things that derail me in my attempt at having just a regular morning. Everything has a million steps and points at which I can be pulled off of my track. I do many things exactly when they occur to me and it takes every bit of strength not to be derailed from one tiny task, and then I’m wiped out if it gets done at all…I’ve had other artists ask to come hang out- to have fun and to learn from each other,  I’d love that, but I can’t function with more distraction, and I’m a little shy about my visual clutter and my mad scientist work style…  I did function, for years, in office situations.  Surprisingly, many of my jobs in the past have involved organizing other folks.  But that was before the many things that make my ADD more symptomatic… I do manage to get my orders out on time, but instead of completing them in one simple swoop I have been finding that having more of a schedule/to do list of every part is necessary and while it only takes me a few minutes to get an order out (ready to wear pieces) those few minutes are quite broken and scattered across the day…

But as long as the label maker box has a label that says label maker on it and the label maker is in the box, then everything will be A-O.K., don’t you think….

(hubby just came back in the room and said “what’s up kid?” and that’s all it takes for me to be knocked off the track….eeeeek. I’ll post this anyway, even though I’m pretty sure it didn’t go where I intended it to….)

*hugs*
b

Magic Rain.

26 Jun

I’m busy this week trying to clean up the house. There are just so many things that are out of place these days that it’s driving me bananas. Part of it is me and my lack of attention span (ie. I take a small metalworking tool and then I wander off to get some component I need to use it and I remember something that had escaped my mind weeks ago and I’ll go tend to that) part of it is having an almost 4 year old that looks at everything as though it belongs in some strange but wonderful interactive museum. Typically I’m putting something away on one end of the large open area that comprises our kitchen, living room, and kitchen table (once an eating area, now my studio..) while he’s on the other end emptying an entire closed with ninja-like stealth.Anyways- I found this giftbag that has been sitting on one of the spare chairs stacked by the kitchen table. It wasn’t really lost so much as I though I’d emptied it and then it just started to blend. It had a giant unopened bag of chocolate coins in it (don’t fret, they are only around 2 months old)… And I wasn’t quite in the mood to just hand Alex a piece of chocolate and I also wasn’t in the mood to play “treasure hunt” with them. So I chuck two of them as hard as I could so they flew across the room and landed around 10 feet away from him. He turns, sees them, his eyes get gigantic and he looks at me all breathless and bewildered, “Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Chocolate coin rain.” He picks them up and says “One for Alex, one for mama”…It was just such a magical sweet moment…Of course tonight at the dinner table he tells Jeff all about it and it’s the greatest big fish story I swear I’ve ever heard.After dinner Jeff and Alex are in the den. Jeff is at the computer and Alex is somewhere in the room where I can’t spot him. So I figure I’ll sprinkle the magic once more.I chuck two chocolate coins in the vicinity of the glass doors that guard the den. They *whoosh* disappear into the room. I’m not the most athletic person in the world and I am known for my terrible aim. Basically if I aim for something I won’t hit it. If I close my eyes and randomly throw then EUREKA! I’ll make the basket, hit my target, etc… I can still hear my basketball coach yelling “open your damn eyes girl”…I thought I hit Jeff as the sound was that of a piece of something thin and hard slapping onto a fleshy part of the body (projection estimate looked like his right shoulder…) but he says that nothing hit him. So I go into the den and there is Alex holding a chocolate coin, eyes all big and dreamy, just vibrating with excitement.”Mama. Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Go boom on head!”Poor kid. Lambasted by magical chocolate coins falling from the sky… Of course then he needed kisses and didn’t even offer to share that chocolate coin – I guess he thinks that if he had to pay for it (by getting whacked on the head with it) then it’s rightfully his, and his alone.I’m telling you. All of us need to wear helmets.

I’m back from outerspace…

20 Jun

Ok. So not *actually* outerspace, more like innerspace (and no, Dennis Quaid was not there and I was not stuck in the 80’s :-)

June 14th, Flag Day here in the US, is always a “holiday” in our home. It is the anniversary of my diagnosis with Type 1 (“juvenile”) diabetes and each year we celebrate (Jeff takes the day off and there is usually cake or chocolate involved- kind of a way to safely give the big D the ol’ stinkeye….) . Some folks just don’t understand and think it’s sick that we’d celebrate another year of such a shitty, all consuming disease. We call it D-Day in our home and we definitely celebrate- we aren’t trying to make light of such a serious disease (although I do make plenty of corny diabetes jokes) -we are actually celebrating another year of my hard work to keep this disease from maiming or killing me. It’s a big Hip-hip-horray! for another year without complications.

This year was different.

Despite a lot of hard work after 14 years of ups and downs and strange happenings this was the first D-Day where I couldn’t celebrate another year being complication-free. In the past couple of weeks my docs have all agreed that it seems that I have autonomic neuropathy. Basically it means that the nerves that regulate my heart rate, breathing, digestion, balance, etc are crapping out. Actually, it’s not just my autonomic nervous system either. My hands shake and detailed work is a challenge- a challenge I happily take on but yeah, there are tears and a lot of frustration. I’m glad this didn’t happen when I was younger. I’m more levelheaded now. I’m also more bullheaded- but it’s a focused bullheadedness. I don’t just lower my head and strike whatever is in front of me, these days I aim and focus all that energy at appropriate (most of the time) targets.

With creating/crafting/metalwork/jewelrymaking this means that I’m modifying tools and techniques where I can. I’m using a pistol grip rotary tool instead of a traditional flex shaft. I’m learning to push myself less physically – I can no longer work until the muscles in my hands and wrists go numb or cramp up because that means I can’t even pick up a pencil for at least a week. So I’m pushing myself more creatively. I’m reading a lot more. I’m languidly playing with materials and discovering as many of their possibilities as possible – sometimes without the intention of actually making anything with a largish scrap of silver- sometimes I just hammer and play. Melt and play. It’s meditative. It keeps me out of trouble. And I’m writing down everything and instead of spending hours figuring out a new piece I’m actually keeping a sketchbook fairly regularly. That way I’m being smarter with the little time I have to fabricate. I’m learning to take baby steps again and once the initial frustration passes (and the little patches of residual frustration!) I’m finding it to be calming and centering. It’s like I’m letting go of the material (the finished product to introduce to the public…keeping up with listing new stuff on venues such as Etsy) and just enjoying the process, the experience…. The interesting thing is that by reaching this meditative point of creating I’ve also found myself to be more productive than before I got my big news… I’m also finding the materials to be more malleable and creating with metal is less a recollection of what I’ve learned in the past (I’m self-taught and learn by doing and experimentation, if I don’t do it that way everything escapes me) and more of a natural motion- as natural as breathing in and out. As natural as the rhythmic pumping of a heart. As natural as standing up without blacking out. I’m focusing on my creations to work through this but also as a reminded of what I do still have control over.

Ok now a little poll/survey question thingy:

If you have arthritis/carpal tunnel/hand tremors/structural issues- what mods have you made to your crafting tools/equipment or are there any tools and/or accessories you have found particularly helpful?  Thanks in advance!

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