:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

There was an error in this gadget

Monday, December 13, 2010

Make a plan, Stan (Wendy)

I’ve been asking myself why I can’t seem to focus lately. And I’m so tired of the question – it’s become overly dramatic, like in a Nancy Kerrigan “Whyyyyy???” kind of way.

I mean, seriously, I decided to write this post this morning. Then, as I opened a new Word doc, I suddenly decided that I needed to update my Christmas list… then before I had written anything down on my Christmas list, realized that I was in the middle of my daily to-do list, then my sister called, then I decided to get a snack….on and on the wheels spin.

Can I just TELL you how many half-written to-do lists I have sitting around?
Seriously. How exactly do you focus and get things done when you can’t even focus long enough to finish your to-do list? Reminds me of the time I tried to read a book on speed reading. It started taking me so long to read the stinkin’ book that I eventually abandoned it altogether. How’s that for irony?

I just have to be ACTIVELY interested in something in order to complete it in a timely fashion.

So that’s where I’m at. With everything. Unless I have a client or another person to please, I have a really hard time focusing. And right now, most of the stuff on my list is for the sake of my own business/life, so I’m just lost. Lost in an echoey sea of wish-wash.

Now, usually this is the point in the problem-solving thought-process where I stop and go get a cup of peppermint tea, then find something else to do.

But reading all of you sassy COFFEE chicks’ posts, I have noticed that you all generally don’t stop with your thorough assessment of the problem. You employ a tactic I like to call “a plan”. But a plan requires a vision. And this is generally where my brain fogs over and all I see are visions of naps and snuggly blankets and steamy mugs of a creamy cup o’ soup. This time, though, I’m barreling on, thanks to ya’ll’s inspiration.

So here’s my plan. I’m going to spend time every day this week meditating on a vision for my life. Where, specifically, do I want to go next? How am I going to get there? What does the ‘getting there’ part look like, exactly? Have I finally gotten new highlights?

Seriously, this is going to be a real challenge for me. Focusing and silencing for, well, any solid amount of time.

My husband built a meditation/prayer bench in our front yard that would be perfect for this exercise, but seeing that it’s a balmy 16 degrees out and only an asshat would weather that kind of frozen calamity, I will find a comfy, private location where I will sit and think for 10 minutes per day.

Yes! A tangible plan!

Wish me luck, COFFEE Chick-a-doodles, and thanks for the direction – I needed it!


Tanner May (Tanya) said...

I'm reading this from my blackberry in my office and just giggled out loud at "asshat!". Ha!

I like your thing you call a plan, and I think your plan is super!

Rock on COFFEE sister! Oh and by the way, I am also Queen Listmaker! :)

Holly said...

Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. None to little focus Holly. That's me. There's laundry on the counter, half read books, piles of paper, unwrapped presents of only half done christmas shopping. But lots of coffee drinking under cuddly blankets going on. And, a lot of researching Owls. I try to justify it by thinking that my research will eventually result in better focus. Hmmmm....
I have taken a speed reading course too. Then quit! Ha! But, can you imagine how much more we could get done in life if we could read really really fast AND focus!???
I like your plan. I know it would be a challenge for me. I'm telling myself that the morning pages are my meditation and they will eventually tell me what my plan will be. However, I think it would behoove me to incorporate 10-minutes a day of silent meditation, too. I do wish you the best of luck, Wendy! Can't wait to hear what comes to you!

Katie said...

Ha! HaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!! Asshat. You're a girl after me own heart Wendy-lady, I can just tell.

I will salute you from under my pile of blankets, as soon as I can pry my fingers off this delicious cocoa.

Last night, in this order, I:
started the dishes
started the laundry
started wrapping presents
dusted one table
continued the dishes
folded 1/2 basket of laundry
finished wrapping one present
started a list of Germany related items
despaired at list of Germany related items and employed avoidance strategy
started the dishwasher
dusted another table
folded a shirt

went to bed.

Feeling like you didn't get anything accomplished all day: bummer.

Being able to tell Husband, "well what the heck did YOU do all day? Look at everything I did while you napped!": priceless.

blj said...

Wow, Wendy, were you in my head when you wrote this? I especially relate to "Now, usually this is the point in the problem-solving thought-process where I stop and go get a cup of peppermint tea, then find something else to do." Glad I'm not the only one!

I took a mindfulness meditation class once and really enjoyed it, more than I thought I would. But I've never been able to keep it up on my own. Without the group and a fearless leader, my mind is bouncing off the walls in all directions within 5 minutes. So maybe I will borrow your plan and give it another shot. Thanks for the inspiration, Wendy, and may stillness be with you.

amy said...

Wendy! I am so laughing right now (but WITH you, with you...)! Because you used the word asshat (we should form a Fans of Asshat Club!), and also because I'm the same way--the SAME way! Today, I started 3 different lists, and only checked 2 things off of one list. And I had a lot of really important things to do (like cutting out Star Boy hats and creating St. Lucia wreath patterns...this is an elementary school teacher's whole day, fyi--cutting and gluing and copying and coloring) and ended up staying until well past 5 PM today because I just. could not. stay. on task. All day, this was an issue.

I once took a meditation class and fell asleep during the meditation. I bet if we'd been outside on a meditation/prayer bench in 16 degree weather (We're feeling the pain here in the ATL too...seriously, Mother Nature, what the heck?? This is the SOUTH, girlfriend. Get with the program.) I would have stayed awake. But I wouldn't have been able to meditate because my "ohm" would have just been: Why is it so cold? Why is it SO COLD?? and my shivering body would have been such a bad distraction.

And seriously, you're right: what kind of an asshat would DO that? Sit outside in 16 degree weather going "Ohmmm"? Comfy warmth inside is so much more conducive to deep thoughtless thoughts (and 10 minutes will not put you to sleep) (unless you're outrageously sleep deprived and just ate a big turkey dinner full of triptophan).

Mucha suerte, Wendy J. I am envisioning you as a meditating guru!

Wendy said...

Wow, I'm in good company! Thanks, COFFEE sisters for not only providing a unifying front, but for the inspiration and impetus to get off my fanny and make a plan. Ya'll rock some serious socks.

patresa said...

get off your fanny, you asshat!

hahaha. that was fun to say. :)

i feel your pain, wbj. and i love your prayer and meditation bench, so i think you should bundle up and do it. (mostly because the mental image really cracks me up).

meditation. ugh. so hard. SO HARD! good luck to you. i definitely believe in its power. it's just… SO HARD!

Steph said...

ASSHAT!!!!! A new vocab word! I think my sophomore English students would appreciate seeing this one come up for study! :) CLASSIC. Can't wait to use this one in conversation...
I wouldn't weather this cold, either, just to sit and try to focus on something other than what an asshat I was trying to sit in the cold and focus on things... I think a comfy, warm spot away from the world is just what the doctor ordered. I hope you find it productive and peaceful.
I'm a list maker, but I always put it somewhere so I'll remember where it is and can refer to it. I never can remember where I put the stupid list and end up starting over... ugly and ridiculous... so I guess I have a different strain of ADD.
Every time I read this I stop at your Nancy Kerrigan reference. And I LAUGH - out loud... It wasn't funny that she got whacked before her big skate, and it isn't funny that you're struggling to focus. It IS funny, however, to visualize and "hear" your wailing "WHYYYYYYYYYY????" cry in the face of your questions. I see thrashing about on the floor and huge tears, some additional colorful language and the like... pretty funny to imagine from a grown woman. I picture myself getting to throw that kind of tantrum often - I actually think it might be therapeutic! The next time I see myself throwing a fit in my head, I will add this wail, and I think it will help me get past my fit - I'll be laughing too hard!
Good luck w/your meditation time. I really do hope it helps you get in tune and get focused...

T-Free said...

"...overly dramatic, like in a Nancy Kerrigan “Whyyyyy???” kind of way."

AHHAHAHAHA. This is so funny. It's like "focus" just popped you in the knee with a big stick or something, isn't it? :)

And I do the unfinished to-do list thing. Sometimes I find buried old to-do lists under papers that I have completely forgotten about for months. I immediately cross out everything I managed to accomplish on these old lists, as if accomplishing the items over the span three months is actually something to be excited about. (It counts, darn it!)

I hope the meditation is going well and giving you some of the focus you crave, you brave COFFEE warrior princess. :)