I am easily distracted. Shiny thing. Squirrel. Both of these have come to mean distraction in our conversations and society. I feel it gets worse with age, but maybe that’s just because aging has been on my mind for the past 5 years or so. I used to be a fairly focused, organized individual and I’ve lost that somewhere along the way. Or at least that’s how I remember things. I was a person with a daily list of things to accomplish and even though I usually put way more on my list than I could get done in one day, I would manage to get a good deal of it checked off. What didn’t get finished one day, was put on the next day’s list. Even after having 3 babies and the busyness of taking care of them ensued, I still made my lists and faithfully checked off the items I had taken care of.
I feel like my organization flew right out the window however when I started working full-time. The year my youngest started 6th grade, I took a job working for the school system full-time. Prior to that, I had done part-time jobs during the school year and stayed home with the boys during the summer. This year however, my oldest had graduated the previous spring and had moved from home to start college. I had just 2 boys at home and they both seemed to be old enough to handle a few hours after school on their own and being home alone during the summer. It was a busy time trying to get them to school by the time they needed to be there and then to my job. I would take my afternoon break to go pick them up from school and take them home. I would also try to arrange my schedule to attend their activities which sometimes meant working later, skipping my lunch and breaks so I could leave an hour or so earlier in the day. I had a very understanding and accommodating boss. Between work, home, and helping with things at church, my plate was full. The only things that made it on my lists these days were the absolute “have to’s” of each day. More of a schedule than a to-do list. I went through over a year that way and then illness prevented me from continuing this schedule. I had to cut my hours back to part-time and I was exhausted all the time.
It was the beginning of a very dark and dangerous depression for me. I couldn’t keep up at work and I couldn’t keep up at home. My previous days of being organized were over. A new era of functioning had begun. Only doing what absolutely needed to be done. Weekends were spent catching up on what didn’t get done through the week. Laundry, meals, dishes, and the essential cleaning was what I was able to do. No projects like working on organizing pictures, decorating, home improvement, etc.. were on my radar.
And that has continued up until a few months ago. Now that I’ve quit working and am at home all the time once again, I find myself with new energy for getting to those things that previously I just looked at and then looked away, not wanting to be reminded of my shortcomings. My dresser was piled high with stacks of paperwork and odds and ends. The buffet looked the same way My craft room was a hoarder’s episode waiting to happen. These things have stared back at me for the past several years and caused me to cringe, feeling like a failure of the worst kind. I am happy to report my dresser has all been cleared off and so has the buffet. I have yet to tackle the craft room. While my lists have remained sporadic, I have made myself get some “extra” things done other than the routine cooking and cleaning. The more I have done, the more I feel like doing and I have a feeling of once again being on top of my life and back in control.
The real danger these days is my ability to get distracted. One of my biggest distractions is social media. Top among the social media is Face Book. With family and friends frequently posting, I get notifications on my phone throughout the day tempting me to come look and see what’s going on. While many times it is amusing, just as often I find this outlet so very irritating, to which my husband is confounded. He does not understand the attraction for me and why I continue to go back when I complain to him how irritating some of the posts and people are. ha I wish I knew the answer to that myself. A post for another day. Meanwhile, to increase my productivity and organization, I’m contemplating an internet free day, once a week. No peeking at Face Book, no reading blogs, no Pinterest or shopping, an electronic free day.
Even if I get nothing done, it should be a more restful day, giving me more energy to get something done the next day.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a list to write.