Beyond Unitasking

The more I mull over this word I’ve chosen, the more I realize that it goes beyond just unitasking. Choosing to focus on something or someone also means that I’m choosing NOT to focus on something or someone.

I realized this today, home for our second snow day of the week.

The kids were outside, doing this: 

I wanted to be inside with this: 
 (and if I’m being totally honest, with my computer, too)
But instead, I decided to not focus on my wine and my computer. I went outside for this: 
and this: 
and this: 
Doesn’t it look like Olaf is hugging Alice? 

I have so many things that distract me from what’s going on around me, in and outside of my house. And really, a lot of these things can wait– responding to emails, leaving comments on blogs, checking Facebook, Googling, pinning, looking for a job. Even the wine can wait, sometimes. (I’m drinking it now!) So yeah, FOCUS is also about priorities, about focusing my attention on the things that matter, on the moments that I won’t get back again, like watching my three year old try to walk through snow that comes up to her knees and my 5 year old being buried in the snow by our neighbor.   How awful and mortifying would it be if the only thing my kids could remember about me is that I always had my nose in my phone or my ass on a chair, with my face in my computer?

No, I want them to remember me as the mom who joined them outside to help build a snowman (who are we kidding? I built the thing, they stuck sticks in it…).

That is meaningful, don’t you think?

Oh, and here’s the snow we got Monday and today. Between those two days, we ended up with a foot of snow. No filter on these photos. In today’s picture, it is snowing,  hence the haze, if you can’t tell…

Slice of Life #4

I call my sister’s house the abyss. Lovingly, of course! Alternatively, it’s a time warp. I don’t know why or how but I seem to lose all sense of time when I’m at Kate’s house. I walk in the door at 9:30 and before I know it, it’s past dinner time and I’m hollering at my kids to find their shoes and to please pee, for god’s sake, before we get in the car and I’m joining a long line of cars in rush hour traffic, which in theory, I should be able to avoid, by a long shot.
It happened again today! I got sucked into a project that I’m working on with Kate. I picked her up before ten so we could do a Community Plates run together. We came back to her house to work on the project, and she ended making me lunch. And there I was, leaving Micah with her so I could run and pick up Stella from school. And of course, Stella wanted to play with her cousin, Laila and I was still working on this thing with Kate. Then, I finally became determined to leave when it was time to go meet Alice’s bus. I got the kids all ready to go. Shoes, coats, everything. About to walk out the door. Nope. Not happening. Somehow, I ended up leaving both kids to go meet Alice’s bus and bring her back to Kate’s house. Before I knew it, Kate was making all the kids dinner while I bounced a drooly baby gnawing on my thumb and tried to figure out how to lift a text off a background (tear-my-hair-out-frustrating, okay, seriously!). And I still haven’t figured it out. (I don’t want to talk about it anymore, okay?)
I always like to be home before Henry so I can do a little housekeeping and get dinner ready, so I can at least PRETEND I got something done during all those hours he’s been gone… because, I admit it, I don’t want Henry coming home to a messy, chaotic scene though he often does and I totally blame Kate. I do.  I’m easily plied with coffee and lunch. I’m a total sucker. That’s totally on me. But it’s still Kate’s fault.

(Do you hear me, Kate? Are you reading this?!…. Coffee tomorrow?)

But on a more serious note, I’m doing kind of a sucky job with my word of the year, FOCUS. I’ve been collecting inspirational quotes and things to a board on Pinterest but I clearly need to pin it to my brain because it ain’t sticking…

Follow Nancy Cavillones’s board Focus (Word of the Year) on Pinterest.

Word of The Year.

I’ve never picked a word of the year before but in keeping with my goal to be more introspective this year, I’m inspired by Thien-Kim at I’m Not the Nanny and NJ at A Cookie Before Dinner to adopt a word as my mantra.

I often admonish Stella, my three year old, to FOCUS when we are trying to accomplish a task like getting dressed. She bounces like Tigger and is easily distracted by little things like the cat walking into the room or even just by her own belly button! But I’ve come to see that I could use the same admonishment myself. At the very least, I always have my phone with me, no matter what I’m doing. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Facebook is my biggest source of distraction but I also have tendency to perform different household chores at once–like stirring a pot while also emptying the dishwasher while also making a snack for the kids. It’s crazy-making and I do find that I get more done, and at better quality when I focus on a task until it’s done, plus I feel much less stressed! I don’t want to be the type of person that needs to have a million things going on at once. I want to be the type of person that sets out on a task, and completes that task before moving on to the next thing. 
This requires a behavior change, and if you notice, in the previous sentence, I wrote “I want to be the type of person…” As I wrote it, I realized it was no accident! Earlier today, I read a blog post by James Clear on identity-based goals and he says that if you want a goal or habit to stick, you have to start by thinking of yourself as the type of person that accomplishes that goal. Makes total sense to me. 
Focus. That’s my word of the year. What’s yours? Leave a link in the comments, and I’ll come by to support you!