I have joked for years that I have the attention span of a flea.
Having a laptop made sitting on the couch, watching TV and surfing the internet a very easy habit to fall into. I’d be clicking away on the keys, my eyes flicking from one screen to the other, not really registering very much of what I was seeing or hearing on either. Right now, I’ve been at this going gluten-free thing for a little over a week and while I’m not 100% completely free of it, I’m very close and I have noticed a curious effect: my attention span has increased to at least the span of a determined black horse fly.
If you’ve got black horse flies around your place, you’ll know what I mean. When these closing-in-on-2-inch long behemoths decide they want to take a chunk out of you, you run away squealing like a little girl! Okay, perhaps that’s just me.
Anyway, I’d been an avid reader for decades, having grown up in a house of avid readers. I’d devour thousand-page tomes in days, my concentration level knew no bounds, other than having to run to the loo, and even then… books were transportable (Hey! Don’t tell me you don’t read in the bathroom… everyone does it.). The last few years, I’ve found that a book can’t hold my attention for more than a few pages, even books that I was drawn into I couldn’t spend more than an hour reading. I found myself reading and then rereading entire passages because everything I had just read didn’t even register.
In my research on going gluten-free, I’d read that gluten can cause problems with attention spans and that people who were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD had symptoms vanish with the elimination of wheat. “Ludacris”, I thought. Utterly ridiculous that wheat would be responsible for lack of attention span.
What I can tell you is that this is day 9, and I zip through my emails in one shot. I see the Facebook updates and they actually register. I’m either on the laptop (with the TV off… and I don’t feel a compulsion that I’m “missing” something important) or I’m watching TV (and the laptop is closed and off of my lap) or I’m reading. I’m astounded. Perhaps there is something to all of this. Of course, if you know me, you’ll know that more experimentation is needed.