I’m a multitasker. I’ve never been one to sit completely still. It’s not in me: Why do one thing, when you can do two, three or four. For example, in the evening, you’ll usually find me working on a blog or possibly paying bills on my laptop, checking out social media on my smartphone, and watching something on Netflix and this is when I’m supposedly relaxing.
I don’t think I’m all that different from most people. I blame our technology. It’s just the way things are. Plus, somewhere along the line, I set a high bar for myself that says I have to be productive. I have to make something of myself and make the most of my time. I’m chasing some imaginary finish line that keeps changing. No relaxing for me. I can’t explain the feeling. It’s just the weird way my brain is wired.
Caught up in my thoughts
Like many people, I have been working from home for the past five weeks, trying to stay isolated and steer clear of the COVID-19 virus. The challenge with social distancing and working remotely is that I love being home—hey, I’m an introvert, this gives me the time I need to recharge—but I find that lately I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about all the things I could be doing with my time.
Oh, my workload has actually picked up tenfold and I’ve had to put in more hours to keep up, but I’ve still managed to save up 8 or 9 hours a week by not having to commute into my job and I automatically start calculating all the things I should be doing.
Oh, I’m not like some people in my state who are scheduled Monday to protest the state government forcing business closures and customers to wear masks. These protesters say that they’re worried about the government taking away their liberties. Some of these people have even questioned whether COVID-19 is all that deadly, equating it to just a bad strain of the flu. No, I’m not like them. I don’t let fear run my life, but I’m still giving COVID a wide berth. I’ve seen too many doctors and nurses attest to it’s deadly powers and I don’t want to pass the virus onto those who might not be able to fight it as easily, including older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, MS, and heart disease. (In fact, the COVID-19 death rate jumped to 5.3% in the U.S. over the weekend.)
No, I’m just questioning all the things I should be doing with my time at home. My list is long.
–I should be working on my book. To my way of thinking, I should have my book done by now. Four weeks . . . what a waste.
–I should use this chance to lose twenty pounds. I should be running and exercising more. I’m running a fall marathon. At least that’s what I’ve told myself. Before this COVID crap came along, I signed up and paid my money to run one of the larger marathons in the U.S. However, instead of getting out and adding miles, you can find me standing in front of our refrigerator staring at the contents and figuring out what I want to eat. Hmm, that Taskykake Krimpet looks good. (If you don’t know what a Tastykake is? Google it. Pure Philadelphia heaven.)
–I should be reading. I count the books on top of my desk or lining the floor in my closet and think to myself, what a better time to be reading. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is a mere 1,456 pages, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, 1,440 pages, and Alexandre Dumas’, The Count of Monte Cristo, has 1,312 pages. Get moving Brian. Instead, I open up my phone once again to scroll through social media.
–I should be cleaning up my garage or basement. The little exercise I’ve gotten has been to take our garbage cans to the street. Every time I come in from outside, I walk through our garage and think what a mess it is. I think too of all the projects I should be doing, but do I stop and start on any of them. Oh, heck no!
I think about the all the things that I ever wanted to do when I had all the time in the world. I know that I’m not the only one feeling like this. I’ve seen other creative-types like me express that same feeling. I suppose it helps to hear others have the same frustration, but there’s really only one thing that works.
When I get really frustrated with myself, I think about what’s important and it comes to me: Being with my family and staying safe. And, I’m reminded that I’m exactly where I need to be.