I love the dog in the movie “Up”. So happy and loving, and yet so completely distractible. In my everyday life, I find myself much like poor Dug. I’ll start out completely happy and energized, ready to conquer whatever the day throws at me. Then, part way through the day I’m completely frazzled and off-track. How can this happen? I mean I have lists, routines and schedules!
Everything was going great and then…
So what are my “squirrels? Let’s see, I’ll get the kids settled after breakfast (doing good so far), then I’ll grab a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee (horray coffee!!). While eating and sipping I think to myself, “I’ll just check Facebook messages quick.” HA! Facebook and quick should never be allowed in the same sentence, right?
So there I am, not only reading my updates, but scrolling through my feed (Did you know there is no bottom to that feed? I’ve investigated thoroughly.) Soon I notice the news highlights on the right side and scroll through those, and of course if a story interests me I’ll check various sources on it, and most likely read the comments too. Eventually, I find myself on YouTube watching a tutorial on how to put a saddle on your pet tarantula. Hopefully during my vegetative encounter no one has posted a cute puppy video, because I’ll click all over that…and the 3 following “related” videos as well. At this point, I’ve probably killed an hour.
Ka-BOOOM! There went time I could have been productive. And for what? Nonsense. Facebook has its place, but not in my mornings, that’s for sure! What should have taken 10 to 15 minutes at most ballooned to an hour or more. I know better than to repeat this cycle.
If Facebook wasn’t enough, phone calls can quickly consume what would’ve otherwise been a productive afternoon. We all have that one person who calls you in the middle of the day. You know, the one that calls to tell you about her sister’s boyfriend’s nephew’s friend who lives down the street from the kid we used to go to school with? Yeah that one. Forty minutes into the call and you’re still trying to figure out two things: Why did I answer the stupid phone and what does this have to do with me (or her) anyway?
Finally, lack of sleep can wreck my day. This leads to a short fuse with everything, especially things out of my control; spilled cups, burnt dinner, kids make more of a mess than usual. When I’m tired if it can go wrong, it usually does. All this combines to transform me into the mom I never wanted to be. I yell, I bark orders, I snap, I’m simply rude. It seems everything frustrates me when I’m over-tired. Once the overall mood in the house is disrupted, no one can get back on track.
Well, now what?
I’m learning to handle the distractions by implementing some self-imposed rules like no Facebook in the mornings, no answering calls during school time and getting plenty of rest. I’ve also found it helps to regularly read my Bible to keep things in perspective. Nothing sets things right, and helps me focus on loving those in front of me, like realizing God’s grace is sufficient for each day.
So there you have it, just in case someone gets the misconception I’m a perfectly organized Christian homeschool mom (I can’t even say that without laughing), rest assured I’m not! However, if this can help someone else examine what their own distractions might be, and employ some strategies for overcoming them, then I’m happy to share my struggle.