Spinning My Wheels

I’ve been busy–you know, doing a little of this and that. A blog for a client, hand pulling dandelions from the lawn, writing FAQs for another client, ordering and putting together decorations for my son’s Bar Mitzvah… In other words, I’ve been productively procrastinating, which is my all-too-normal state of being these days.

I’m all too perfect at self analysis after all these years living with myself. (Why, yes! I do know my many faults and patience is not one of my virtues, so go away and leave me alone. But leave that bottle of wine here.) And what I’ve learned about myself is that I’m an active, card-carrying subscriber to Short Attention Span Theater. Don’t get me wrong–I get the job done, and pretty damn well since I’m super organized, near-obsessive about the details and thrive on stress. But I do my best work by focusing on multiple projects at once. If I spend too much time on any one thing, I get fidgety.

I find it amazing that I made it through 17 years of school (well, I skipped 1st grade, so I suppose it was only 16 years) and not only made it through, but made it through with honors in both high school and college. Because sometimes I feel like I have some type of attention deficit disorder and I not only can’t keep still, but I can’t focus either. This mainly occurs in any large type of speaker/listener setting where I’m not actively engaged. Sometimes I think it’s a case of just too many thoughts running through my head at any given time. I actually turned to my daughter the other day and said, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t focused at the end of that. Could you tell me it again?”

If I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m usually screwed because the thoughts wake up too and they won’t. turn. off. Then my head becomes that computer screen with too many browser windows open and they’re all just spinning, trying to find the Internet connection that’s momentarily blipped out. I know the solution is twofold: mindfulness and creativity.

Mindfulness, in that I need to be more THERE in the moment. It’s a conscious and very focused effort on my part. I find my mind spinning away and I have to consciously catch it and bring it back on point. Mindfulness is also a state of being in the moment, not just to focus on it, but to appreciate it fully. Be mindful of the happiness when it happens so you don’t have to lament it’s passing.

Creativity in the sense that I started this blog to help dump out a lot of the thoughts always churning, especially those related to the 2-3 works in progress I’m currently writing. If I put some of that in the proper receptacle (this blog, that WIP), then I’ll sleep better AND shut down some of those browser windows.

And we all know from experience that the less browser windows open, the faster and more efficient the browser itself seems to operate. I’m continually aiming for efficiency, but even more so, effectiveness and focus; always focus. The good thing is that all of the dandelion pulling gave me mental time to hash out some stumbling blocks to rewriting my 50-page novel and I’m ready to go now. If only I’d stop procrastinating!

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