identity

I’ve been wondering lately if everything I’ve believed about myself up until recently is false. I always prided myself on my sense of focus and my ability to organize. I’m writing this, weeks after the thought first crossed my mind, and now with a  sense of humor. Desktop update? Here’s a corner of the debris in front of me right now.

If I’m organized, it isn’t very obvious. Although I have no trouble focussing on an activity, my focus is probably not apparent. When I’m engrossed in a task and another item arises needing attention, I’m either unable to consider the new issue (I can even manage to block it out completely) or I get so involved in it, I cannot remember what I was doing before. I then go from one item to the next to the next. I appear very distracted, yet I’m fully attentive to each thing. It concerns me that I see my daughter exhibiting the same behavior. Getting her dressed in the morning is sometimes a drama because she gets fixated on other things and can’t easily complete the task at hand. In her defense, she’s three. What’s my excuse?

When I was younger and busily affirming my sense of self, I had a near obsessive rein on myself. I had my mornings rigidly organized into 15 minute increments. This helped me accomplish what I need to do: 15 minutes breakfast, 15 minutes shower, 15 minutes makeup and hair, 15 minutes meditation, until I was out the door. At some point it became unrealistic to get up two hours before I needed to leave. I slowly abandoned the schedule. Now, and for the last twenty years, I’ve been living on a university schedule. I shift my habits every 15 weeks and each day has a different dynamic. Today is “research day” (reminds me of “steak night”) and I get to sit at home and think about the world and scold myself up for not writing faster about it.

I think the reality I’m coming to is that organization does not really come naturally to me. It’s something I’ve learned to impose on myself when necessary because it keeps me afloat. Sometimes it becomes a tricky web to navigate, but without it I might just be endlessly engrossed in the shiny objects dangling before me and never find time to articulate what’s so fascinating about them.

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One response to “identity

  1. I have problems with focus, too. I’ll be making my bed of a morning, and suddenly I’ll remember the dishes aren’t done. Or I’ll be getting dressed in the morning and remember I haven’t taken my lunch out of the fridge. If I don’t forcibly remind myself to finish what I’m doing, I’ll leave the bed unfinished while I wash the dishes or go out to the fridge and get my lunch for work, while half dressed with wet hair. And then I’ll get distracted by something else leaving a whole host of unfinished tasks.

    The weird organisation is something that’s definitely a mark or hoarders. BUT, I can stop myself from going off on tangents if I really think about it. This is part of the reason I tend to say I have hoarding tendencies, rather than being a full blown hoarder. But the tendencies are there, and if I don’t watch myself, they get worse.

    Christine

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