Motivation & Focus

My brain? Nope, it’s my motivation and ability to focus!

I’m sitting here at my desk without any paid writing to do (yet), wondering why I can’t convince myself to just start writing—all the fun, funny, cool things I think about writing when I’m on a walk, in the shower, or driving (with 2 hands on the wheel). You know, doing that thing I really, really want to do: write for myself. Trying to get published—a personal essay, maybe a short story.

Motivation is my weakness. I need the force of a deadline. A mission. The dangle of a paycheck carrot. Can it really be that difficult to sit down and get focused and churn out a something-anything project? Even my block of the month quilt sits a couple months behind schedule.

Let’s look at today. What have I done? I took my kids to their grandparents’ house for the day because today is one of my workdays. I came home and thumbed around on my phone for the 15 minutes that I always do. Then, I did, to my credit, finish my daughter’s pre-school registration paperwork and figured out when I can turn it in, which happens to not be today.

I cleaned out my email inbox. I took it from 873 unread emails to a respectable 366 unread emails. I couldn’t count how many read emails I deleted, but I’m almost positive it was a lot.

I replied to my brother’s email. That takes some time, because not only do I like to respond to what he has written, but I like to tell him some things that are happening in my life. Important things like how I can construe the light left on overnight in my basement as maybe, possibly, most likely a spirit or energy or life force or sign from the universe. Maybe.

Oh, I almost forgot that before I cleaned out my email inbox, I shredded documents. I’m kind of particular about just recycling a piece of junk mail that has my name and address. But, also, I like to shred confidential stuff. This ranges from copy I’ve printed out for clients (because sometimes I have to just touch it and write on it with a pencil) (and, yes, I do shred client work) to old bills. For some reason, I don’t want anyone who’s walking past my house on trash/recycle day to see how much we paid for water last month. And, sometimes the wind blows and the recycle bin has an open top.

A new task that spawned from my shredding was calling up AAA and requesting that they take my address off their mailing list. I sat there with 4 envelopes of the same offer—about half were for me, the other half for my husband. Have you seen their direct mail? It kind of makes me want to gag with all the fakey handwritten “notes.” But, you know what? The representative I talked to when I selected the number for membership questions was so polite! He completely understood my request. He didn’t try pushing anything—even in a passive-aggressive way (“But then we can’t send you our very best offers! You’re missing out!”). He just asked for my address, told me he removed it, and then explained that if any offers were already in the mail, I’d obviously still receive them. Funny, because since he was so polite and helpful, I’m wondering if I maybe SHOULD buy some type of service from AAA. Just joking. Maybe.

I read a piece in the last issue of Real Simple that I’ve been wanting to read. And, to get to that issue, I had to tidy up a stack of this and that, which was at least 2” thick. I’d be more specific about the stack like, “a pile on my desk” or “clutter on my counter,” but the reality is, it was in my office sitting on a plastic crate positioned on its side. Oh, like on the floor, you’re probably thinking. That’s cool, like a crate shelf. Well, no. Not really, because actually the crate is sitting on top of a small plastic bin of fabric.

I’m pretty sure in that bin is a plain white t-shirt that I have plans to sew a patterned chest pocket onto. It’s going to be really low-key chic—perhaps Nina Garcia or Kate Spade would take note. The pocket fabric is this groovy yellow paisley. White t-shirt—pop—yellow pocket! My husband still hasn’t noticed his almost-new white tee missing! Although, he might after he reads this!

See? I have plenty on my to-do list and my want-to-do list, but instead I’m tidying up mysterious piles of paper and whatnot, talking to customer service reps, and thinking about how I should buy more white t-shirts for my husband…and maybe myself because this whole contrasting frocket (front pocket, people) thing could really take off and I’ll need more. Once I get the first one sewn on, that is.

Don’t worry, keeping you up to date is on my list.

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