I'm going to try something new on my blog, since I've been more active writing and want to keep myself interested in continuing. Thursday Thoughts will be a sort of diary entry on Thursdays (surprise!) where I will try to summarize my week and gather my thoughts for my next 'real' blog. We'll have to see how it goes--and I will appreciate input from my readers (all four of you) about how it works for you.
This week has been a different kind of week for me. I haven't had a lot of urgent work lately, and I've been uncharacteristically lazy. I want to emphasize that just because it hasn't been urgent it doesn't mean I haven't had a lot of work to do. Quite the contrary. But I've been very dilatory and uninterested in general with what I've needed to do, and since it has been in the green zone and not the red I've been a bit neglectful. This is not to say that things are now in the red zone as a result, either. I have another week or two of quiet before the fall/winter slam happens, so I have plenty of time to catch up and even pull ahead before things start getting crazy.
As always when this happens (which really isn't very often), I find myself in 'squirrel' mode. Those of you who already get the reference are laughing and nodding (Shannon and Kate, especially). For those who don't, I'm referring to the movie 'Up,' in which an evil genius has invented a device that allows dogs to talk to humans. Several times in the movie, a dog will be talking, will be distracted by movement in its peripheral vision, say 'Squirrel!' and go on talking as if nothing had happened. This has been me all week.
The most recent example: My boss and I were talking this morning about a feature of our learning management system today, and about halfway through the conversation I couldn't for the life of me remember what we were talking about. If he hadn't circled back toward the end and mentioned the specific thing we were discussing I'd probably be sitting here at lunch still wondering what we had been talking about. I did a good job of keeping up my end of the conversation and I'm sure he had no idea my brain had checked out. This whole week has been like that, and it's been taxing trying to keep focused on what people have been saying and putting things in context.
Some of this is because I've been trying to do several things that are very discrete and therefore have no connections of any kind. Thinking about one of these things doesn't logically lead me to the others at any point, so a tendency to hyper-focus and an inability to change thoughts or tasks on the fly is in full swing. Add to that my lack of discipline in making myself go to bed at a decent hour yet this week, and you have Gail in full squirrel mode.
I don't really mind having days or weeks like this occasionally [and after typing that sentence I realized I hadn't communicated with someone about a change in schedule that needed to go out immediately, and I flicked a bee into my au jus and made the remainder of lunch inedible, so...SQUIRREL!] but this week my inability to focus has been especially disruptive. I don't have ADHD, but you wouldn't know that from watching me at my desk today (rocking back and forth and humming and muttering and fidgeting).
So what's going on?
I think it's at least somewhat related to my last two blog posts and the conversations that have surrounded them. This has got me thinking more about what I'd like to do vs. what I actually do, so I currently care less about what I actually do. I haven't stopped caring, I just keep thinking about how things 'could be' and not about how they currently are and get caught up in wishful thinking. I sometimes daydream, though honestly not at work, and that makes my desire to be somewhere else pretty strong when I AM at work. Instead of using my energy to refocus on the task at hand, I just sort of mentally let go. I think it's actually healthy to do this now and then--it lets my brain relax a bit and helps me both plan for a future I hope I'll one day have and also helps get some of it out of my system so I can refocus.
This week it has felt different to me from other times it has happened in the past, so I may spend some time exploring this over the next few days to a week, to help me figure out if this means I should start working more actively toward a different job/future, or if it's just the change of seasons and age catching up with me. Stay tuned to see if the squirrels get the better of me, or if I can shake those nasty little buggers and get back to the job at hand.