I believe I may have discovered a new medical syndrome. I may even be the first person to suffer it. But probably not. Nonetheless it would be cool if it became known as Freshwater’s Syndrome. A more scientific terminology would be Obsessive Displacement Activity Disorder. ODAD.
I am not sure if it is associated with depression, pain and discomfort, old age, or just plain laziness, but it manifests as a chronic inability to get on with tasks that need to be done by diverting one’s attention to less important but somehow more appealing activities.
I have a pile of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. I also have a growing pile of soiled laundry because my washing machine has broken down and I have not got around to opening it up and examining it to decide whether I can fix it or must replace it. In order to do that I must tidy out the laundry so as to make room to lay the machine down and dismantle it. In order to do that I must clear some space in the garage to relocate the pile of motorcycle saddlebags waiting to be repaired, craft and screenprinting materials, spare electronics and gadgets, and miscellaneous items that were temporarily stored there a year or so ago. In the process of sorting out the stuff I found a half completed model and sat down to complete it.
While waiting for the glue to set, I could have gone back to tidying the laundry, or I could even have vacuumed the house, which has not been done for a couple of weeks – I was leaving that until I had put away the washing. But instead, I sat down to put my character details into the D&D app I have just downloaded to the iPad that a friend gave me for the purpose. While doing that I stopped to make a cup of tea, from which I diverted to preparing seafood soup in the slow-cooker. It was at that stage I suddenly realised what I was doing. Or not doing. Displacement activities. What is driving me? I have gone from an almost obsessively tidy housekeeper with a place for everything and everything in its place, to lazy SOB. I determined to immediately take control again of my life, prioritise the tasks that must be completed, and get on with them.
And here I am, blogging about it.
Time for another cup of tea. Then I might just take a nap.