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The ball-dropper

September 27, 2011

Jugglers fascinate me.  They gather objects and start tossing them in the air in a rhythm, and they keep them in the air.  Sometimes they use one hand; sometimes they use two.  Sometimes they change the rhythm in the middle of juggling.  Sometimes they add or subtract items from the moving stream.  From the moving stream.  They don’t break rhythm…they just adjust on the fly.

I think this fascinates me so much because although God gave me a good many gifts and talents, multi-tasking– juggling– isn’t one of them.  I am a linear thinker.  Everything has an order, a “this…then this…then this…then this…” sort of processor, and in my perfect little world, one “this” is finished before the next “this” begins.

Like THAT describes much of life.

True multitaskers are like super humans in my eyes.  I can’t fathom being able to do a bunch of things at once.  I try it regularly, and I fail at it regularly, too.  Just ask my family.  They know I couldn’t time a meal to save the last baby snow seal in the arctic.  Timing a meal is one of the great triumphs of multitaskers.  And one of the great angst-producers for those of us who sometimes wish we could just serve one thing for supper, because we know we can get one thing to the table on time, piping hot or perfectly chilled, without some other item melting/wilting/deflating/toughening/softening in the waiting.

I have to admit, it’s sometimes difficult to look at my linear, single-focused mind and not think it deficient.  And if I let myself go there, the next thought lined up for an audience with me will be the one that envies those who seem far more efficient and capable and accomplished because they can juggle and do it all.  It would make my life easier, and let’s face it– I’d look less like a panicky headless chicken when I’m called upon to chew gum and walk at the same time.  It would surely improve my image.  With whom, I’m not sure, but someone.

But then again…this really is a case of wanting to have my cake and eat it too.  Which, if I may go down a rabbit trail for a moment, is one of the dumber sayings I’ve ever heard, not that it stops me from using it (obviously).  Why would you have cake and NOT eat it?  How could you eat cake you don’t have?  Seriously.  What a dumb bunny thing to say.

Back to what I was saying before I was distracted by cake…

I actually like that I am single-focused.  I like that in the best of all worlds, one thing gets all of me until that thing is accomplished, and then something or someone else gets all of me next.  I don’t like treating people like juggling balls.  I don’t like treating life like burning torches.  I don’t want to barely touch something and then toss it on.  I want to hold it until it’s time to let it go, and then move to what is next.  I want people who talk to me to feel heard and seen.  I don’t want them to feel as if I just rushed from one thing and am already preparing to rush to the next and that they are just the slice of plastic-y processed cheese in my daily Dagwood sandwich.  And when people ask for my input, I don’t want them to feel as if I have too much going on to stop and give them my time and energy.

But oh…to not feel constantly tugged-on and overwhelmed by relatively minor overlapping time and energy demands.  To not feel like I’m messing up and letting others down simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day for a linear person to think linear thoughts and accomplish linear tasks.  To be efficient.  To have the entire meal be hot.

I am pretty sure I could multitask long enough to have my cake and eat it too.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 8:08 am

    I’ve wondered about that cake thing myself….

  2. September 28, 2011 12:18 pm

    ROFL at the cake thing! It IS a dumb bunny thing to say!

    I’m not a good multi tasker either. I always say, “I can do ONE thing well”.
    And the meal thing……I do okay BUT breakfast has always been a challenge! I never get it all together and on the table….and still HOT. But I have figured out how to deal with it. I simply don’t cook breakfast! I know, I’m such a genius!

    Oh the last time I tried to multi task was only a few days ago. I was in Steves room, both hands were full and he asked me to pick up a pkg of mentos that had fallen on the floor. So……..without thinking about the fact that I am 50 years old, I grabbed them with my toes. As I was trying to place them on the table, I slipped and fell onto a mound of junk piled up behind me which included a metal basket type thing.
    AND I have the BRUISE to prove it. Have I ever mentioned that I’m not all that coordinated?

  3. September 28, 2011 12:18 pm

    Does making a long comment count as a post????

  4. September 28, 2011 10:45 pm

    Yes, it should! I was practically disabled……….doesn’t THAT could for something??

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