Focus Grasshopper

So here’s the problem on this unbelievably nice Sunday afternoon at the end of February, there are about 16 things I would like and need to do, but I can’t seem to focus on any of them. I have a rare three or four hour block of time free to use in these endeavors, yet I can’t seem to get my heart into any of them even though I want them all accomplished.

First off in an effort at full disclosure, Grace is at Nana’s this weekend and will be back in mere hours. Bryon and I slept in late, skipped church and went to Freda’s for breakfast. This killed half the day. I’m more than okay with that part but now I am plagued with “the weekend is nearly over, here are all the things I still want to do, but am not going to get done” blues.

If time is the enemy of ambition; focus is the enemy of success.

Before you suggest I Google ADD medications, I’m fairly confident that is not the problem. The problem is I am always looking and planning ahead to the next thing. Once I’m in the “get shit done” mode, more and more things appear that need to be added to that list.

For example, as I was walking to my writing cave upstairs to work at banging out this inspired post,  I realized the upstairs carpets really needed vacuuming.  Then as I walked by the bar, I noticed several things sitting on the cabinet that needed put away. The game table needed cleaned off. The couch blankets needed folded. I forgot to spot spray the soda stain in my writing cave where Grace dribbled pop. My desk is untidy. The upstairs windows really need cleaned. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Living in the moment is not something I am usually capable of achieving. You’ll get no Zen here. For that, check out Leo over at Zen Habits. What I am capable of, when the wheels finally start turning, is knocking out some epic tasks.

Here is the random list of wants and needs swimming around in the list in my head:

  1. Clean the rabbit cage
  2. Scoop the dog poop our of the yard. 
  3. Wash the clothes
  4. Fold the clothes
  5. Clean Grace’s room before she gets back home
  6. Work on my novel edits
  7. Work on writing all this week’s posts ahead of time and scheduling them
  8. Cruise the internet for blog post ideas
  9. Clean all of the floors
  10. Clean out the chicken house
  11. Do a yard sweep for bones, trash and various other dog flotsam and jetsam
  12. Sweep the chicken poop off the porch
  13. Clean all the misc. accumulated household stuff of the kitchen bar
  14. Catch up on reading my magazines
  15. Read something, period
  16. Catch up on Facebook

You can probably figure out which are the wants and which are the needs. Ironically, I notice many of them have a common theme of either cleaning or poop or the cleaning of poop. That’s a little disturbing.

Several more of them require alone time and quiet to accomplish. Those are the ones I am trying to focus on now before the Grace maelstrom arrives back home. After that, all bets are off.

We’ve tried to get Grace on chore schedule of her own in an effort to both instill a work ethic and knock a few things off that revolving list. We also bribe her with the promise of cold hard cash. Unfortunately, as I figured, that lasted about one week. The second week I hounded and nagged her until she finished one thing on the list (hanging up and putting away all of her clothes). Of course, she didn’t get paid that week. She didn’t care. She still has no feel for the value of work or a strong enough desire to work toward a long term goal to achieve it. And I don’t have the patience to enforce it.

Sure I know I should be trying harder to instill that but seriously, it’s just easier to do it myself than wait and struggle and cajole her. I’m pretty sure that’s a universal parenting dilemma. Right? Right?

So what have I accomplished in this first hour of free time? I have managed to complete one seventh of one task on my list and add six more to the list.

If I were getting paid for these chores or in this case, for just being me, this would be job security.

As it is, I’m continually plotting for a way to retire TODAY but at the same income level so I can work on my revolving to do list. Whoever came up with the five day work week and two days off plan was an idiot. Probably a business owner. When I’m Queen, it will be the other way around.

The saying goes, “Shit Happens”. Trust me, it doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.



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