Saturday, February 23, 2019

15 Minutes

Do not be alarmed. We will return to the kitchen drama shortly.

Since I decided to commit to posting more often by limiting my typing time to 15 minutes, I have discovered how infrequently I have 15 uninterrupted minutes. Several times over the past week, I have sat down to type and immediately had to abandon the attempt. Even now, Ella is trying to wrestle the laptop away and clear the spot next to me to climb up. I expect I'll have to hit pause on the timer a time or two even now. Constant interruptions is the season.

It's not that I never have 15 uninterrupted minutes alone, it's just I am already doing other things. I have 15 minutes and more uninterrupted while grocery shopping, but I am grocery shopping. I have 15 minutes alone in the shower, but I am showering. And on.

Yesterday, I put on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to listen to a podcast to distract from the horror of dumping everything that has died in the refrigerator during our month-long kitchen exile. I had someone attempt to talk to me every two or three minutes, in a round robin, for a solid hour. I can't hear you. Can't you see I am not in a conversational mood? No. Everyone needs to say something. Wash hands. Remove phone from pocket. Hit pause. Remove headphones. Yes, what do you need? Yes, I know you need an eye appointment. Put on headphones. Hit play. Put phone back in pocket. Continue cleaning.

On ye old FB, this article about focus came to my attention. What he has to say is well and good and I am sure well suited to office life. It is good to limit social media and distractions while diving deep into a focused project. However it's hard to drain the shallows when your whole life revolves around wading knee-deep. I don't know how to limit shallow work with a constant stream of tiny minnows nibbling my ankles.

 (Yes, in these fifteen minutes I did have to hit pause to look at flood pictures, hit pause again to nurse a baby suddenly ravenous, and wrestle back my laptop from said baby twice. I'm not complaining, exactly. Just noting reality right now.)

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