attention spans

My summer’s been great, but the perennial frustrations that I commit to rectify each year are, well, still perennial. A few minutes ago I just finished sending out acceptance (and rejection) letters for our little conference. This task isn’t hard, just busy work, really. A few keystrokes to alternate between several different windows, copy, paste, insert, print, attach, send; then repeat. The hard part was getting reviews done for the acceptance letters, and these in turn, were interrupted by myriad other tasks. On top of this, I’d had this commitment to “really work on the writing” this summer, or last month, or something. Fucking hell, I think to myself, What’s wrong with me?

Well, it’s summer; and still, like each year, I keep adding tasks. As I was getting frustrated with not getting one thing completed, I started looking at the task list that I have yet to organize. It listed a series of endeavors in a multitude of different settings and states of mind: hire Director, hire parks staff, arrange retreat (food and pairings), parks supplies, parks report, parks account, finish program review report, plan birthday party*… and it kept going. When I look at the list, I realize why I’m tired. It’s not because of the tasks themselves, but the act of trying to think linearly through a set of non-linear items.

So, to make it more comical, we got a new puppy this week. There’s a whole other story there, of course, but the puppy is a really good idea and a really good fit for all of us. It’s nice to have something that will lick your face and yet you feel this is a good idea. Karyn pointed out that the pup makes me a bit more human. Maybe. Probably. Mostly, watching the new companion, I feel more like a puppy. As she pounces on a squeaky plush toy, someone flips a rope her way, and she leaves one item for the next. Watching this is funny, except when you see your own attention span reflected in the actions of a 8-week-old canine. She’s had a busy day, all the pouncing, the birthday party, the learning to pee outside; so now she’s sleeping soundly. I suppose I should be doing the same.

_____

*I’m pleased to say that this evening we hosted Grace’s 9th birthday party. She asked for a science themed event, and so a pool of goo, test tubes, pinhole cameras, giant bubbles, and take-home slime were all featured. Oh, and there was liquid nitrogen ice cream. Also, thunder and lightning made a guest appearance, which was a good time to go inside and open presents.

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