Monday Blog of Accountability Part 4 – Being Held to Account

  • On June 10, 2024 ·
  • By ·
Sheet of paper in a typewriter with the words "Write something" typed on it

Where Have You Been?

Sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. I’ve been trying to write them on Sunday so they publish on Monday. My wife’s job bumped her schedule ahead several hours, which has been rough on her sleep disorder. (We suspect it’s something like Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)) Then we went on a weekend trip to the states. That, coupled with a tight deadline to submit immigration stuff, basically torpedoed my attempts at routine.

If I’m being 100% honest, “routine” is a rather tenuous term. On a good day I’ll get up at 5 AM, shower, then spend a few hours in my office while the house is quiet. Eventually it’s time to help Solange wake up and bring her coffee. By afternoon I tend to grab a nap. Evenings we’ve all been trying to clean and organize the house together. Some days are better than others. We live in a neurodivergent house where all three of us have our own particular blend of ADHD. (Remember I’m not a doctor and am only sharing my experiences dealing with neurodivergence. If you suspect you may need help please seek out and speak with a professional)
We Live in a Neurodivergent House via adhd_love on TikTok

As the lone housemate on the Autism Spectrum I’m learning how my AuDHD differs. I’ll often quote Red from the Shawshank Redemption (1994) because of my reputation as a man who knows how to find things. I remember where we put stuff, can usually spot lost items at a glance, and sort like objects together. These are the upsides when properly rested, medicated, and on schedule. When things are off balance for me I feel a bit like an NPC walking into a wall.

Alan Wake NPC GIF via Tenor

Routines keep a lot of us on track due to simple inertia. For me they can be a sequence of tasks I perform. Having to remember too many steps or being out of sorts leads to me trying them out of order, missing some, etc. I’ve had to warn people not to overload me or else I might show up forgetting to put on pants.

I’m often of two minds on things. There’s the logical adult who thinks things should be straight forward. Then there’s the impulsive ADHD kid who comes out and wants to do something other than what the adult planned. Sometimes he can be placated by allowing him to daydream, playing a YouTube video on the diversion while doing the day’s work. Sometimes we lean into the other thing if it’s productive or need a break. Other times he makes the adult doubt himself. Am I certain this is the right thing to be working on today? Absolutely certain in my ability to deliver? Better be or he’ll sow that seed of doubt. Add into that my troubles shifting gears when I’ve been doing one thing for an extended period of time and it’s easy to throw a monkey wrench into plans.

I’ve been on Vyvanse since my doctor suggested it a few years ago. It’s similar to Adderall but tends to last a bit longer with less of a noticeable drop-off. Some people report intense hyper-focus on it, which I’d say is accurate. It can be very easy to fixate on the wrong thing when it kicks in. That’s why I think it’s important to treat dealing with ADHD like exercise with conditioning. I intentionally journal, attempting to figure out what I want/need to be doing. Then I try to set myself up for success, getting rid of distractions and putting myself in the best place to work.

ADHD but medicated via Ice Cream Sandwich on YouTube

None of this is an excuse, of course. Simply an explanation of the issues that crop up when managing your own time and projects. I’m still sorting out what to focus on since it seems most of the things I try doing get too big. This is probably scope creep (also called requirement creep, or kitchen sink syndrome). I lose sight of the original goal and start concocting an epic worthy of Homer. Then I get intimidated by my ambition. The more I think about it, the more this explains my issues with getting out of defense mode.

What is Aspergers via Aspergers Experts on YouTube

What’s Today’s Fixation?

I’m glad you asked! Like a lot of people right now I’m unhappy with the direction the internet has been going. A handful of social media apps have superseded the web. (This guy with a cool name writes about concepts such as Aggregation Theory, the idea that sites like Facebook aren’t platforms but rather aggregators of content from elsewhere, selling the attention of their users to advertisers without providing anything of value themselves) You might remember the Oatmeal comic about FB charging to promote content to a handful of your followers. In short: billionaires ruin everything.

I don’t expect to totally reverse the last 20+ years of enshittification. That’s just not realistic. I’m some dude online. There are people who have effectively kill screened capitalism. Instead, I’d rather focus on making my little corner of the web better. I’ve been tinkering, off and on, with a site that brings back the fun of the old web using modern tech.

Remember Flash Cartoons?

Joe Cartoon, Homestar Runner, Homestuck, Newgrounds… Yes, it’s all coming back like a fever dream. Flash is something of a metaphor for the internet, when you think about it. Lots of potential depending on who wields it; often buggy, broken, dangerous; neglected and not taken seriously by enough people; declared dead except for niche circles. It was meant to be replaced by HTML5, which never really happened. Nathalie Lawhead has written and spoken about the death of Flash pretty thoroughly if you’d like to dive into the reasons behind it.

My goal is to recreate the fun, excitement, and experimentation of this early era. There’s obviously going to be risks involved. Things may break. Being on the cutting edge raises questions of security and future obsolescence. To alleviate what I can I’ve been looking into flat-file content management systems. At the moment I’ve been kicking the tires on the latest version of Automad. It’s designed for styling and formatting content, letting me customize each individual page while managing the over-all look of the site.