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Jones: Making the most of ADD

January 19, 2013


Next time you see me on the street, be sure to ask about my attention deficit disorder (ADD), or my spinach recipe or my dogs. I have a bike. Do you like TV? I saw a rock. Hi.  

This is the way my mind works most of the time and it’s as confusing to me as to my friends and family. My ADD has gotten so bad, I should qualify for a handicap parking pass.

I’ve suspected for decades that I suffered from the malady. A cursory trip through my home confirms the diagnosis. There are oodles of little projects in various stages of incompletion. Luckily, I have an impressive bank of cabinets where these bits and pieces can be stashed on a moments notice and where they will likely remain until the second coming of Christ.

I’m three weeks late starting my New Years resolutions because I was distracted by the number 13 in the year 2013. Now, I’m back on track and declaring each Thursday “Transformation Thursday." That gives me 52 days to get my home purged of unwanted clutter and unidentified objects so I can breathe again and become more focused. Why Thursdays you ask? Because I needed a day which begins with a "T" and Tuesdays were already taken.

This Thursday, I will tackle my kitchen utensil drawers because they no longer shut after my sons gave me all new silverware for Christmas along with a 12-piece razor-sharp knife set, each in its own tiny scabbard. (I’ll likely lose a finger this year.)

I must part with at least three can openers, a dozen other utensils which I’ve never used and cannot identify and a hodge-podge of cake decorations I thought I might want to muster into active duty again someday. That little golf cart from Daddy’s 85th birthday cake must go. Ditto for the wooden letters I was saving to write an anonymous letter I guess. Those rusty measuring spoons are getting on my nerves and one is permanently attached to the cap of a tube of super glue that leaked into the drawer.

I’m going to change beginning on Thursday. Here’s how you can play “Transformation Thursday” with me:

No. 1 — Select one cabinet, drawer or closet. Just one. And it can be a tiny one. You don't want to burn out so early in the year.

No. 2 — Remove everything and give away or toss what you don’t recognize or secretly hate. Next Thursday I’m attacking my closet and I’m pitching everything scratchy, yellow or outdated like those elephant pants I bought on sale — the ones that make me look like an elephant.

No. 3 — Move anything that doesn’t belong in that repository to a more logical location — Why is my mother’s silver coffee service in the linen closet? From now on, only linens are allowed on the linen closet. Ditto for the coat closet which contains a set of golf clubs and a fully decorated Christmas tree.

No. 4 — Pat yourself on the back if you completed your selected task for this Thursday. Trust me, once you do it you will feel great. Lighter. Freer. Fantasticer. Plus, it makes you feel smugly superior to everyone you run into for at least a week, so there’s that.

On the other hand, if you’ve been distracted and find yourself under the bed flushing out, uh, what was it you were looking for (?), force yourself to get back to your project and give it at least 15 minutes of your undivided attention.

Maybe next week I’ll tell you about “Miracle Mondays,” “Terrific Tuesdays," “Wacky Wednesday” or “Frugal Friday.” 

So much to do, so little time.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at

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