Now Hiring: Executive For My Brain – Apply Within
The first step in getting help is admitting you have a problem… I say, “Hi my name is Perky Parkie and I have a Type A personality. The last time I forgot to sleep because I was deep into organizing my photos on my computer was Tuesday.” You say, “Hello Perky Parkie”.
When I say Type A personality, I am not talking about how I like my life to be in order. What I mean is that I’m immensely ambitious, usually take on more than I can handle even when I have a full plate, rigidly organized, impatient, I want other people to get to my point, I’m proactive, obsessed with time management (I have multiple calendars that I carried with me on a daily basis), I have perfected the art of multitasking, I live for deadlines and goals, and loathe both delays and ambivalence.
Some people think that having a Type A personality means I am very productive and efficient, which is defiantly true, but with this mindset comes anxiety and a deep feeling of failure when I don’t live up to my own expectations. Now enter Parkinson’s disease. With the loss of dopamine, not only do I get movement issues but also have problems with the part of my brain that is responsible for executive functioning.
Now you might ask, “Who is the executive in my brain and what happens when he takes his expensive sports car out for a drive but never comes back?” I run into trouble when I try to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, or managing time and space. It is a personal emotional hell when your body is not allowing you to do the one thing that makes you feel somewhat in control of your life.
But as the Perky Parkie, I challenge myself to find modifications that I personally can accept as a success. First I need to find motivation. There are many articles, pictures, books that describe how to unclutter your life. I mean, just type in the word “Organization” in Pinterest and you are swimming in pictures of things alphabetized, labeled, arranged, assembled, grouped or categorized.
Setting your motivation
Pick out a few ideas that interest you, like cleaning up your desk or closet. You can even cut out pictures from magazines and post them where you can visually see them to keep your goal in mind. Kind of like when you wanted to get ready for swimsuit season, you would tape pictures on your refrigerator of a model with an unrealistic, unachievable body. That way you would be reminded of your genetic failure that forbids you to look like Gisele and that in turn would make you eat more…. Don’t act like I am the only one who did this…
With your motivation set, take your goal and break it down into do-able sections. This way, you are more likely not to get overwhelmed and give up. You could even commit to just 15 minutes at a time. So organize your movie selection for 15 minutes, take a break and come back to it. You can do anything for a short period of time; it just takes focus and determination to achieve your goal. Now if I can find a way to coax my executive back into his job of functioning…