Staying Focused In a World That Is Not

I’m shaking my head right now because I can’t find my skipping rope.  I want to start skipping as part of a cardio routine to attempt to get back into shape and I wanted to start it NOW.

I’ve spent the whole day very focused on the fact that today was the day I was going to start.  I ate supper early to allow time for my food to digest and I found my Gymboss Timer that has been gathering dust for the past year.  Apparently I should have focused more on the actual location of the skipping rope which, according to my children, must have just vanished into thin air.   If only all the other clutter in the house would disappear…sigh…

So how does this missing skipping rope relate to me and my world of writing?  It reaffirms the fact that no matter how focused I try to be the reality is that I live in a world full of distractions.  How can I stay focused when the world around me is not?  It’s busy with everyday chaos that comes with being a working mom and wife.

When I went to get my Gymboss Timer it should have taken me 30 seconds tops to run up the stairs, reach into the drawer, and run back down the stairs, maybe a minute if I had to rummage through the drawer to find it (which I didn’t). Instead it took half an hour because I had to deal with a tween crisis (a brush melted by the hairdryer), a husband crisis (he forgot his Airmiles account password), and by then I forgot where I was going in the first place so I did a load of laundry by default.  Welcome to my world of constant distraction.

Even this morning when I was working from home (because we had a snowstorm) my husband called me to tell me to go outside and shovel the mess the snowplow had made when it went by.  Despite the fact I was being paid to be focused someone was trying to distract me.  In this case, I was quite pleased to remind him that I was actually ‘working’ and that if I was at my office in Lunenburg it would be the maintenance department focusing on snow removal, not me and since I’m working from home that makes him the maintenance department. I told him I’d have the shovel ready for him when he gets home.  I will confess, however, that had it been a hot summer day and he’d called to ask me to jump in the pool to check on something I would have been more easily swayed by the distraction.  Luckily for my employer I’m not a fan of wet snow.

I was on vacation last week over March Break and had big plans.  I planned to be very focused with my activities to make the most of my time off.  I had set a bunch of goals and even had planned to blog about them, but I didn’t.  I got distracted.

My goals were:

1.  To scrapbook with my girls.  They ended up completing their scrapbooks, I didn’t get to mine.

2.  Go to the salon.  Thankfully I pulled that one off so I’m no longer running around with my hair in a ponytail. 

3.  Complete at least 3 chapters of my novel.  I re-read the first 3 chapters.  They’re really great 🙂 

4.  Finish reading, The Town That Drowned, by Riel Nason.  I only had chance to read one chapter, which is a bummer because I am LOVING the book. (I find it hard to read when tween girls are running around giggling and blasting loud music.)

5.  Try cooking something new.  Nope, that didn’t happen.  I’m not much of a chef so probably for the best anyways.

6.  Write a letter to my grandmother who lives in Ontario.  That didn’t happen either.  Mostly because I want to send her some pictures that I haven’t had printed off yet.  Next weekend…

So, I could stress out over the fact that I accomplished virtually nothing I had planned to focus on or I can accept the fact that life is full of distractions and sometimes it is our lack of focus that points us in the direction we’re meant to go.

I didn’t get any new chapters written, but I did figure out which of my manuscripts I want to devote the bulk of my attention to over the next few months.  It’s a novel I’ve been working on for about three years.  I know where I want to go with it, I’ve just been stuck in how to get there which is why I haven’t written anything new.  Over March Break I finally had that moment where everything clicked and I figured out exactly what I need to do to move forward.

Also, because my house was filled with tween girls distracting me most of the week it generated some great ideas for two middle grade readers.  I’ll add them to my “Future Books to Write” list.

And, since I couldn’t find my skipping rope I had time to blog, which is far more enjoyable from my perspective.

Well, it appears that my blender just blew apart while the girls were making a blueberry smoothie. I guess it’s time for me to focus on kitchen cleanup.


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