Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mind Clutter

I am surrounded by clutter.

Walk through my front door and it will be obvious to you. We have more Stuff floating around this house than we have places to put it. Even when we do the Deep Clean - the kind you do when your out-of-town relatives are coming and you're too embarrassed to let them see how you actually live - much of that process still consists of finding temporary hiding places to dump large quantities of Stuff until after the company leaves, at which point it is returned to the desk, the floor, the kitchen bar, the chair no one can sit on... You get the idea.

Every once in a while, we look at each other (and to do this means we likely have to peer around the huge pile of Stuff that blocks our view of each other) and say, "That's it! Something needs to be done!" And then we go back to doing what we were doing because who can actually tackle a project of this ginormous proportion at the end of the day when we're totally fried?

Which brings me to the next, more subtle, and yet possibly more important problem: Mind Clutter.

I've been working mornings this week. While I'm at work (which, by no accident, starts with a trip to Starbucks for a Venti Bold Coffee), I am on. I'm alert, efficient, and feel sharp as a tack.

I have nothing to think about other than What I Am Doing. Which is giving people tests, and scoring the tests when they're done. I need to concentrate on this, and I can't make mistakes. I have no problem setting aside all the other Stuff floating around in my head and giving 100% of my attention to the task at hand.

Likewise, at martial arts. I have no option to think about anything but What I Am Doing.

One wrong move there, and I'm dead.

Okay, maybe not dead. But I could get hurt, or could hurt someone else. Or look like an idiot. All Bad Things if I let my mind wander during class. So I don't. Not even a tiny bit.

Then there's the rest of my day. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of Work or Jung Sim Do, all the mind clutter that has been temporarily chucked in the closet comes tumbling out and scatters throughout the far reaches of my poor brain. More coffee doesn't help. Sometimes a power nap will help a little. But much of the time, I'm feeling scattered and foggy.

People pelt me with random questions and I don't know the answers:

"What time is the party I need to be at 3 weeks from now?"
"Whose turn is it to do the laundry?"
"What time is Daddy coming home tonight?"
"Can you take me shopping for a snack to bring next Wednesday?"
"Have you seen my book?"
"How was the Teen when he woke up this morning?"
"Is Daddy coming home for lunch?"
"I thought I did laundry yesterday. Isn't it someone else's turn?"
"Are you teaching Bradley December 9th?"
"When are our library books due?"
"How was the Teen when he got home from school? Did he have a good day?"
"Can we get dinner out tonight?"
"What time is the Intermediate class on Tuesdays?"
"Have you seen my shoes?"
"Or maybe I should go to the Advanced class - what do you think?"
"When should the Teen get his iPod back?"
"Have you seen my gi?"
"What are we doing next Thursday?"
"Why don't we ever have anything good to eat?"
"When am I getting my iPod back?"
"What would be a good book for me to read next?"
"How was the Teen at bedtime?"
"Can you fix this broken thing for me?"

I visualize myself standing in the middle of my messy family room, juggling way too many objects, including a tennis racquet, with which I need to quickly and accurately hit balls being tossed at me by multiple family members on queue - all without missing a beat.

Which is as impossible as it sounds. Which is probably why, in reality, I look like I'm staring off into space much of the time. There's so much Stuff floating around in my head, I can't give any of it the attention it deserves.

My mind needs as much of a decluttering as my house does. And, as with the house, sometimes it just seems like too ginormous a task.

Savageman and I are going to watch a movie now.


It's Not Like a Cat said...

Oh, focus. I miss it. I got it/had it for rock climbing and mountain biking. Such beautiful focus those required, especially climbing.

And now my attention drifts about like a milkweed puff on the breeze...though I can't help feeling if we decluttered our home, my brain would clear up a little, too.

Kath said...

An excellent point - a lot of the spaciness I'm feeling has to do with the fact that, on top of the little voices pulling my attention this way and that, there are all these little piles of Stuff doing the same thing.

Color-Coded said...

The more fractured one's mind becomes due to clutter the less efficient their entire lives become.