I was chatting with a Facebook friend yesterday and by chatting I mean I was tapping out quick messages on my phone. I was also getting my daily dose of Fitbit inspired/obsessed exercise on the treadmill (Must get 14,000 steps. Must.)
Oh, and I was also watching a new episode of Orange is the New Black because…well…it’s the only time I can find to watch it. PLUS, it is my incentive to stay on the damn walk-to-nowhere machine for an hour. By the way, I always have blissfully mismatched exercise outfits because the shirt that goes with the shorts is always in the dirty clothes basket. Clash is the New Black in my world. Voila. I’m stylish.
Oh, and I also had my ever-present pad of paper in the little holder place on the treadmill so I could jot down “stuff.” You know…stuff that the stream of consciousness that is my brain comes up with here and there, willy-nilly. Grocery list. To-do list. Blog idea list. Stuff I need to buy for an upcoming vacation list. You know, the how-many-lists-can-you-fit-on-one-page list.
If this level of multitasking isn’t a recipe for potential disaster I’m not sure what is, but I manage to pull it off. There are tons of advertisements admonishing us for texting while driving. I do follow that rule. Texting at red lights doesn’t count. It doesn’t. Unless you sit there through the next green light and then you’re a whole new class of traffic hazard. There are no rules about texting while treadmilling. Yet.
But I digress…and I do that a lot. Staying focused on just one task is hard. I will say it’s nearly impossible for me. Thankfully there were no labels for the bounce-from-task-to-task affliction when I was a kid. If I were a modern day whippersnapper, I just might be (likely would be) smacked with an attention deficit disorder label.
Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mean to trivialize or make light of a disorder that many people and kids struggle with on a daily basis. I’m just saying that I’m pretty pleased as punch that these labels weren’t prevalent when I was a kid. I grew up in the era where they called me a master of multitasking. It was a good thing. It was something I listed on my fledgling resume along with meaningful stuff like “I’m a people person.”
Of course no one ever asked if I actually completed all of the multiple tasks I tackled at any given moment. The answer would have been no. I was (am) the queen of starting numerous fantastic projects and bouncing betwixt them in a frantic frenzy of good intention. Oh the fine line between multi-tasking and lack of focus. What a tangled web. Oh hey…Zentangles…I have friends doing those and they look like great fun…I’m going to start one…possibly while on the treadmill.
Huh…there is an infomercial for the Shark Rocket vacuum on television. That thing is amazing. Maybe I’ll order one. They showed it sucking up candy, pennies, cookies…
Oh. Cookies. That sounds good. But wait, it’s Toby’s birthday. I need a cake mix.
And milk. We’re out of milk.
Oh yeah! I want to remember to take my camera with me when I go to the store because I want to get a photo of that cute cow in the pasture up the road.
AURGH. There I go again.
Um. Now where was I?
Oh yeah. That multi-tasking gift/disorder. Sigh.
What it boils down to is that there are so many things I need to do (to fulfill my role as a productive, functioning adult), and so many things that I want to do (to fulfill my role as a fun-loving, creative, want-to-experience-everything-I-can human) that they all often collide in a frantic scramble of frustrated activity.
I know. I need to focus on one thing at a time, get it done, check it off the list, then move to the next thing. I need to manage my time. I need to break the big projects down into manageable steps, I need to…I need to…
Scoop dog poop, fill the bird feeders, spray the hay field to knock back the dang thistle that popped up, do laundry, finish tiling the bathroom shower, clean my car, change the sheets, work on the puppy training book I am determined to write, go to the store, think about making something/anything for dinner, make sure the foster puppy poops outside…where I need to scoop dog poop…EEEEEK!
And THIS is why people move to Mexico. It’s true. I watch House Hunters International religiously (DVRed episodes…while I’m getting ready in the mornings…I have my routine timed perfectly so that I’m drying my hair during commercials), and apparently there is some magic about moving to Central or South America to live near the beach that allows you to stop doing pretty much everything. Seriously.
Episode after episode will showcase a harried couple who just needs to slow down and many find the road to bliss leads south. Somehow, you move to the land of the Latin Americans and money must just grow on trees because everyone featured on the show magically gets to spend more time with their loved one(s), strolling on the beach, sitting on patios enjoying fruit that fell off of a nearby tree and rolled to rest at their feet. I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with it being a well-edited television show.
All of the HHI featured families that move south of the border do so to slow down. To focus on the things they want to do. They generally say something about working for a few hours at their laptop…by the pool…and then they’re off for the day, living the good life. None of them appear to be trillionaires. They all have budgets that make the real estate agents sigh and talk about compromise. Yet they all somehow end up blissfully happy, barefoot on the beach, strolling hand-in-hand with their dog frolicking in the waves.
That’s it. I may be moving to live on the beach in Mexico or perhaps South America. It all sounds so good. Judging from the multitude of property searches I’ve watched, it may be tricky to check all of the boxes on my wish list (room for a dozen or more dogs, six horses, a mule, six donkeys, two hogs, one less-than-bright sheep and all with an amazing view of the ocean—God save my poor realtor), but I’m optimistic.
Look. I’m relaxing already.
Now let’s see. I’ll need to brush up on my Spanish. I’ll need to clean out the attic and all of the closets; we can’t possibly take all of this stuff with us. I’ll need to get in bathing suit shape since I will wear one every single day, so that means treadmill time. Oh good, I can watch another episode of Orange is the New Black!
Of course I can’t move tomorrow, so I’d better scoop the yard…and the birds are out there glaring at me. Better get them fed. Wow, the dogs are shedding. I’ll need to vacuum. Wish I had that Shark I just saw on television.
And if we’re moving, we’ll need to sell this place, so I need to really get on that tiling project. Oh, I’ll need to doll up the old curb appeal. This is all going to make me very hungry and thirsty. Where is that grocery list? Oh yeah…on the treadmill. I need to get on the treadmill.
Now where was I?
Ayuadame! (Oh good! I do remember some Spanish!)