Saturday, August 06, 2011

My Only Moment of Solitude

I am an admittedly ADHD person. I simply cannot sit still or slow down; it's always moving at 100 miles an hour and making sure I do as much as I can in every hour and minute of the day. When I run, I have to listen to music to catch up on what's new while I GPS map my route and track my pace against previous runs. When I work I have Google Reader open in a browser window so if a report or something I'm working on takes more than 30 seconds to run, I can fill that time with reading up on articles I want to scan through. When I read books, I don't just read, I have to have music going so I can multi-task. Walking the dog I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Even now I can't just write a blog post, I have to have Turntable.fm open in another tab while I babysit application installs on a computer I'm putting together for my dad. I simply can't slow down or do only one thing at a time.

Well, that is until the last couple of months. I've been making a strong effort to bike places when I can. If something is within about 8 miles of home and I have the time, I'll opt to hop on my bike and go instead of driving. Part of this is because I feel like I've let myself get too out of shape this summer. Another part of me feels bad I haven't used my bike as much as I thought I would. And another part, which was unexpected, enjoys the quiet time it affords me.

Initially I thought biking would be simply a necessity for keeping me in shape, offsetting the lack of running I've done this summer and wanted to figure out a way to listen to music or do something while I'm biking, but on the wife's insistence, I don't wear headphones when biking. What this means is that when I'm biking, I'm not multitasking at all. It's just me, my bike, and getting to where I'm going.

This singular focus I've found gives me some time during the day to give my brain a break. It's not being forced to decipher multiple inputs, keep track of a bunch of activities, and keep me somehow entertained. I have a half hour or so of simple, relaxing, thoughtless time as soon as I hop on my bike and even though I may be physically tired after a bike ride, mentally I feel refreshed and ready to tackle my ADHD lifestyle again.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when winter gets here, but for the time being, I'm enjoying actually having some quiet time to myself every now and again. It's not something I ever thought I needed or wanted, but turns out maybe I do (I'm still on the fence...).

1 comment:

Erik said...

This is one of the reasons I love biking so much. I do ride with my headphones on sometimes but I generally have a better, more enjoyable ride if I'm just focused on the ride itself.

Its good to unplug sometimes!