Thursday, February 19, 2009

Walking the cow

This post sat in-draft. It begged me to be freed. It was born from a manic state of swirling chaos that had gripped my shoulders and shook me dry.

I relent. There is no poetry. No depth. No guarded history. Just a day in the life of being constantly in-draft . . .

* * *

The other day I was on this cleaning kick. I scrubbed the sink. I cleaned every inch of my counter tops. I was even able to remove the jelly that had hardened weeks ago (I had placed an old trivet over it thinking I'd get to it later). I mopped. I vacuumed (this word ticks me off because it always takes me three times to spell it correctly). I dusted, and I mean REALLY dusted--base boards, chair rails, ceiling fans (found a few dozen bugs lounging--dead--up there).
And get this. I cleaned out my junk drawer (OK, one of my MANY junk drawers, but a junk drawer nonetheless). I seriously should have taken a picture . . . I tossed coupons that expired in 2006. A raffle ticket from 2004. Buttons to non-existent clothing. A bunch of old tissues--don't ask. Underwear magnets (yes, I had magnets in the shape of underwear--don't ask about that either). A little plastic bag that I thought was the stump of J's umbilical cord, but was indeed only an old raisin. I think. I was so damned productive that I awarded myself a gold star.

But here's the deal. That's all I was able to do.

I had this freaky laser-like focus on getting the house clean (this is a rare focus as I am usually surrounded by Legos, Little People, blocks, cars, mix-matched Tupperware . . . ). But, during my Mrs. Clean adventure I ignored nearly everything else. I never got out of my PJs. I ignored phone calls. I didn't even bother to make dinner.
I'm pretty sure I forgot to go pee. Yeah. It wasn't good. Oh, don't worry about J. Apparently, he was enthralled and thoroughly entertained watching me buzz around like the busy bee from his storybook ("Buzz, buzz" said Bee, "I'm too busy today . . . ").

I have a confession.
I suck at multitasking. My dad used to tell me that I did everything with blinders on. He was right. I do. Give me more than one thing to do and something is bound to suffer. "Walk the dog and go get milk." OK. Chances are I'll walk a cow (no, we didn't have a cow--see the problem?) and go get dog food. My brain just doesn't work well when it is overloaded . . . with more than one thing, one instruction, one option (oh, dear Lord, don't even get me started on menus).

You know what's funny? During job interviews I always state with confidence that I am an excellent multi-tasker. I don't necessarily lie. I just think of myself in a parallel universe.


The worst thing about being a single-tasker . . . distraction. This is why I rely on those blinders.
I'm making dinner. Oooohh. Twitter. I'm writing a to do list. What a pretty pen. I'm brushing my hair. I think I'll go through all my make-up. I'm just getting out of the shower. The shower needs a full scrubbing. And the sinks. And the toilet. I need to make a phone call. Geesh, the phone needs to be sanitized. So do the doorknobs, light switches, cupboard hardware . . . I just need to run in and get milk. There are a bazillion cereals in the cereal aisle and I need cereal with my milk--thus, the 3 hour grocery shopping excursion.

I envy those moms that clearly are excellent multi-taskers. They are balancing a baby on one hip, nursing the other while giving an online lecture on the subatomic particles to an advanced physics class all while texting on a Blackberry. Yeah. That's not me. I admit it. I'm coming clean. Trust me, this is NOT my way of trying to look all cool and laid back with my flawed, yet embraceable and endearing mommy persona.

The fact is, I'd love to be a master multi-tasker.
I can only imagine how productive I could be. How focused I would be. How centered. How Zen. And after I would wake, shower and dress, I'd prepare a nutritious breakfast. Clean the kitchen. Then make a list. Go to the store. Buy milk and Wow . . . this maze on the back of the Cap'n Crunch box is kinda hard. Damn it. Now, what were we talking about?

* * *
Added after reading some of your comments: There is something so comforting about NOT being alone in this . . . I can see it now. A whole big nekkid bunch of us all walking cows at the grocery store. Excellent . . .

27 comments:

Mr Lady said...

I'm not kidding, I could have written every word of this. Finally, someone who gets it.

Of course it was you. :)

Karen said...

I'm laughing. I'm sorry. But it's in sympathy. There was a day when I was the mom in total charge of multi-tasking. It seems that since I quit homeschooling I've become incompetent. I cant' even finish one task because I can't remember what I was doing mid-way through doing it. It's very sad.

ConverseMomma said...

I am an excellent multi-tasker, most of the time I'm fired up and doing a million things like a chick on speed. That is until the crash. I get strange and resentful and don't want to do anything for anyone. Or, I get lazy and decadent and just want to lounge in my underwear. That is when the house of cards collapses and I am left with the 52 pick up mess.

Woman in a Window said...

There were so many things that made me chortle here and trust me when I say me chortling ain't pretty.

I was strictly under the belief that moving from one task to the next made me a multi-tasker. As it turns out, I've just misplaced my bliners!

MommyTime said...

My favorite part about the list of the way your day goes is the implicit fact that you are grocery shopping naked, having gotten out of the shower, grabbed the phone immediately, and done several other things before hitting the cereal aisle. That would be me too, some days. I have picked up my children at daycare while wearing slippers. The thing is, I'm really good at multi-tasking -- but that means that I am often doing so many things at once that none get fully finished. So don't worry; it's not that much better on this side of the fence.

Tara R. said...

If I don't have a to-do list I can't get anything done because I go off on tangents before I get the first thing done.

Erin said...

I swear I have ADD when it comes to me cleaning/what not. I start one thing and see something else and go there. I distract so easily.
Maybe we need to form some kind of support club? :)

MoziEsmé said...

You know, I like to think I can multi-task, and I keep trying to do it. But I am unfortunately likewise challenged...

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Yeah, you are SO not alone. Guilty as charged here too.

Indigo said...

Work related I could do it all. Since my deafness and no longer being employed, I totally suck at multitasking. Without someone telling me what's required of me and being left to my own devices...I lose myself in things...easily, all the time, without fail (I can keep going here). (Hugs)Indigo

Kaytabug said...

The easily distracted thing is 100% me. It drives my hubby bonkers!

Please do not get me started on menus!!!!!

Elaine A. said...

Ok, I know some of us woman are pretty good at multi-tasking but if there is a woman out there that can do all that stuff that you mentioned in that second to last paragraph, then I need to meet her! Like NOW because she must be super human or something.... ; )

Stacie said...

you are absolutely, I think this is most of us...multitasking to me IS doing all of that...isn't it?

or is that A.D.D I am thinking about?

either way, yep I am the same way and often times hear myself tell myself...FOCUS...what was your orginal goal?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm a circular worker, but I get it all done. It's kind of strange--but it works for me.

Threeboys1mommy said...

PFFT! I can do many things at once, I'm watching tv, sipping a coke, and leaving you a comment all at once... it's a gift I guess.

Lori said...

You have to be better at it than you give yourself credit...how in the world did you make it as a teacher otherwise? Ha!

LceeL said...

I am FORCED to multitask on a daily basis - but it isn't anything I like or do well. I am much better when I can do things one at a time - which is why I find safety in lists. I force myself to sit down and prioritize the tasks at hand, and then I focus on them - ONE at a time. So it LOOKS like I'm multitasking - but really, I'm not.

Kori said...

I would love to say I am a master at multi-tasking, but I would be blatanlty lying. Oh, Ican do it, but then everything gets done half-assed, which makes me feel like crap because I really should have done X, Y. or Z more thouroughly. And I am not cool either way, either single-tasking OR multi-tasking, ha ha.

justmylife said...

I used to multi-task, the key words are USED TO. I was brillant I tell you, NOT. ANYMORE. Now if I sneeze I forget what I was doing and move on to something else. You are not alone. heh! From the looks of it, you are in great company.

Kami said...

I can multitask but I also get distracted really easily...I am kind of half way in between.

I also think that I get WAY more accomplished if I single task. I like getting one thing completely done then moving on to the next. If I have 6 things half done I never feel like I am getting anywhere.

And I ramble too, have I mentioned that?

tommie said...

I am a total list maker...if I don't....it is just like what you describe.

Happy weekend!

Karen MEG said...

You made me laugh with this, OMG...I am also a list maker, but I'm always adding to it with asterisks and footnotes ... and ask me if I get even a quarter of them done.

And organizing a junk drawer, my dear you are a very brave woman ;).

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm a pretty good multi-tasker... but I do find that everything gets 1/2 done.

Flea said...

Umm. Yeah. I'm really the queen of hyper-focus, or tunnel vision. Started dinking around with some online quizzes. Discovered I'm ADD. I love the meds. I feel like a puzzle put back together. Might be worth looking into.

Lindsey said...

I've never been more ADD than I am now! I am serious! I may need medication.

You had me laughing out loud. I so relate! Thank goodness for my To-Do list....that is, if I can find it;)

Hyphen Mama said...

You have just described my husband perfectly. All the sudden when you put it that way, I no longer want to punch him in the face for it. I realize it's not him being a jerk... it's just the way his brain works.

He thanks you profusely for enlightening me.

Jennifer said...

Don't get too jealous of us multi-taskers. Sometimes I find that because I'm doing 4 things at once, I'm doing none of them well and I wish I could focus on just one. thing. at. a. time. Multi-tasking doesn't necessarily mean efficient! :) So just keep doing what you're doing!

Recent Posts

There was an error in this gadget

Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week
Two Peas

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP