Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Attention Span of a Gnat

I glanced at my coffee-table in passing today, and noticed how it was reflecting my life. I can't do one thing for more than five minutes. Honestly! From studying, to checking e-mail, on the phone, more studying, copying notes, putting the binding on placemats (unfinished Christmas presents), gnashing gnuts, reading Christmas presents, putzing in the kitchen, flip some pages in my textbook, take pointless photographs...

There's nothing that gets my housework done like the need to study, I tell ya. As soon as I get even a smidge of mid-term anxiety, suddenly my senses are incredibly keen to notice the muck in the drip pans on the range, the plethora of insect corpses in my light fixtures, heaps of previously disregarded clutter, unbaked muffins. Even cleaning my fridge looks like a better deal than cracking the books.

What IS that?

I love what I'm learning, and I like being smug over what I can stuff into my cranium. But for whatever reason, as soon as I really ought to trot out the ol' self-discipline and do some orderly note review and homework finishment, I go all to pieces. I run around in circles. I cook and clean and fret over what I really need to do but can't force myself into.

And then, all in the last week, suddenly it all gels and I finish the last of my assignments, sit down with a composed mind (er... composed-ish), and make it work. Well, make it work well enough to get some decent marks, anyway. I'm thinking it would work a lot better and be a lot more permanent if I had a less frantic method to my madness.

But what am I do to? This is the way I've always been, though it's been magnified by the splintering that happens to a woman's mind after she has children and is forced to adopt the motto "Multi-Task or Bust!" I can wish I were different, but who knows? Maybe someone else is wishing she were me. Maybe there's some tireless, admirable soul studying her organized way through every single day between one class session and the next, just wishing that she could live my frenzy.

Yeah. Probably not, but I like to entertain that vision to console myself.

The boy-child, exulting in -10C. Yay! It's not -40!


arcolaura said...

Ah, yes, everything but... My last assignment of the semester was dreadfully procrastinated, but I think it was partly that it was the last, and I was facing moving out of my beloved dorm room and returning to Arcola where I was needed but away from where I needed to be, and I just did not want to let go.

As you say, though, it all gets done, and here I am back at my parents' home, looking for work and a place of my own again.

Madcap said...

Lovely to hear from you, Laura!

Are you a teacher now?

arcolaura said...

No, I would need three more semesters for that. I decided to take a break to give the kids a bit better parental support for a while. I also want some time to think... the education program was a hasty decision at the time, but not a waste, because it introduced me to a lot more ideas, and shook me out of my determination to stay in Arcola. Now I am reconsidering my decades-old interest in journalism, and toying with a new interest in sociology/communication/education and even considering switching to a PhD program... But of course there are more immediate practical concerns. The captcha says "befed"...