I know, I know, it's been over a week. I was trying hard to blog at least every week, preferably twice a week, but in addition to having a busy seven days, working on my current work-in-progress and skiing twice to make up for the too-little skiing we did this winter, I came down with a wicked case of strep throat. At least I think so--I didn't hear the lab results yet, but the antibiotics and steroid have kicked in and mama is feeling good again. Maybe a little too good. Do you know, now that I got that last itch to ski out of my system I am so ready for spring? I am a winter-lover, but once it hits March, give me warm, sunny days! Today it rained. All. Day. Long. And the temperature is dropping. Yuck! I'm sick of sickness, too. I'm going to rip off something a friend said last night. "Something is always running out of somebody's face." That's how it is when you have little kids. In case you wondered.
I wanted to address single-tasking again. I have two confessions to make.
Number One: Sometimes I cheat--on purpose, without repenting.
Last night, I was sitting on the couch with my laptop, trying to get through my ridiculously overcrowded inbox, deleting or filing email after email after . . . yeah. But there was a movie on, too. Technically, Todd turned the TV on in the first place, but he was drooling on my shoulder (not really, I'm trying to be funny). He was asleep. I knew I wasn't giving my full attention to the movie. I kept looking up and watching bits and pieces of it. I was following the story, but it was also distracting me from the thing I was really trying to focus on--email. So, I thought, "Okaaayyyy . . . Fine! I'll turn off the movie." But I could not see the remote from where I was sitting. So I didn't get up. I didn't move. I just kept right on doing what I was doing and I liked it. I'm human, after all. And I think the two screens at once is really one of the worst things you can do to your brain. I heard the internet is a major contributor to attention deficit behavior. No citation, no link, just hearsay. I have to be very purposeful about my internet use. Or, I don't have to be, but I'm trying to be because I think it's much better for my frame of mind and peacefulness. For instance, after I wrote the first paragraph of this post, I wondered if I had any new email . . . so I checked it and then closed Microsoft Outlook so that wouldn't distract me anymore. (By the way, I'm trying to decide whether I should switch to gmail. Any thoughts? Speaking of Attention Deficit.) Then I closed Twitter as well. I can usually leave Twitter open and it doesn't suck me in . . . Facebook does. So since I have been back on Facebook as of March 1st, I have been opening it, taking care of whatever I need (or want) to do on Facebook, and then closing it. Otherwise, I will be distracted by it constantly, every time I walk by my computer. I'm proud of my restraint so far this month. But what does that have to do with confessions? I am getting off track.
Number Two: I have eased up a tiny bit on my restrictions.
No I haven't given up or given in, I just realized that I used to look forward to folding the laundry while watching television. It was a relaxing, peaceful thing to do during nap time or after the kids were in bed at night. And after giving it some thought, I decided giving that up was part of my mindfulness journey, but only for a time. That time is over because I think it's served it's purpose. I had to be very strict at first to show myself the fruits of this way of living. But now I'm so convinced of the helpfulness of single-tasking over multi-tasking that I'm never going back. Certainly, just sitting and watching TV is fine and I am NOT an advocate of having the television on all the time, no matter what you're doing. That's a good way to fry your brain all together. I guess I found I had to follow the spirit, not the letter, of the law for this to work for me. So, sometimes I do two things at once, but (unless I'm rebelliously cheating) I think about it first and try to determine whether or not it will interfere with my being present--with people or in what I'm doing. One of my reasons for this whole journey, I'm discovering, is that I want to be interruptible, not so task-focused that I feel I can't take time out or change my plans to include the people I love, especially if they need me for something.
But I still . . . STILL, sometimes more than others, find my mind racing around with a trillion things I want to do in my head and I have to just breathe, relax, own my life, instead of giving in to the craziness.
So, how's it going for you? Some of you said you were in this journey with me. Are you still attempting it? I'd love to hear your thoughts, even if you now hate me for suggesting it in the first place.