Many years ago right after my two children were born I noticed that I couldn't remember many things, particularly my short term memory was weak. I would place things and then forget where, go into a room and not remember what I was going to do there, I even started writing myself notes and would lose them. I got concerned because I could realize it was happening but I didn't know how to make it stop. I had two newborns less than a year apart, I was 38 years old and mostly responsible for their wellbeing. Their dad would go to work and come home too tired to spend much time with the babies who were usually asleep.
The drawing above is one I did trying to describe with a visual image of how my mind thinks. I decided to go get some help so I thought of a psychologist who deals with these types of challenges. He gave me a very long test that lasted for about 5 hours. It was torture because I had to focus and think through every question or task and maintain concentration for a very long period of time. I have always had a hard time doing only one thing for a long time, I have to be actively changing my activities so they don't become overwhelming. In other words I rather have changes than keep everything the same.
I don't remember exactly all the results of this test but I do remember two things the Doctor told me. One that my intelligence was above average and two that my ability to concentrate gets in the way of me wanting to follow through with a task and that when I adapted to this weakness or strength however you want to look at it, I force changed a part of me. That I had to learn how to take advantage of the way I process my information and act on it so that when I like something I keep the interest in it without feeling that I have to do it in a certain way or it won't work.
Apparently what this does is that say you want to be a sculptor and in your mind you already know what you want to sculpt and how it's going to look, but you sit down in front of that clay and you can't make it look the way you want to so you need to learn ways of how to do that. Someone who processes information the way I do, would KNOW that one day you're going to do that figure in your mind, but right at this moment you don't have what it takes to focus all your attention on learning how to do it, you want to do many things and jump from one to the other.
Now that I work in Education and mostly in Special Education I see the importance of knowing how everybody learns because we are all different. The resources available nowadays in the schools for children who need to be taught a different way are amazing and what these educators are doing is teaching each child the way the child can learn. I could have benefited from this type of education, but there wasn't anything like that in my days. I was just an average student who had mediocre grades and went to study a career that my dad chose for me so I could start working right away and he could stop having to support me.
I decided that if I couldn't stay with only one thing I would take advantage of the fact that I like changes and learn to do things the way it works for me. I'm always actively learning something, writing, doing a craft, working, learning a new language, teaching, anything but cooking, that's my husband's department ;)
I would say that in the past 10 years of my life I've learned much more doing it my way than I did the first 50 years trying to do it the way it works for most people. I'm just glad that I did something about it instead of resisting the way it works for me even at a more advanced age.
There's no denying "Parallel Parked in a Perpendicular World".
Well it's time to get ready, " The Jungle Book" starts in less than an hour.
Shabbat Shalom everyone....