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Monday, April 09, 2007

Busyness

I am a pretty lazy person. I know it and normally don't mind admitting it. I don't feel the need to fill my days with activity. I like to sit and talk to people, sit and read, sit and watch a movie. All quite enjoyable to me. I have friends who never sit. They go from one activity to another without sitting down or taking a break or relaxing at all. I rarely do that. I don't feel the need for a break between all the activities I do, but I do like to stop and relax somewhat at some point everyday. I was talking to a friend recently who didn't stop moving the whole time we were talking. She cleaned her kitchen, swept the floor, wiped up small drips from her floor, wiped down the cabinet fronts, scrubbed her stovetop...basically her entire kitchen shined when she was done. She does this often when I am at her house. I just watch in awe. I know I could help, but I always feel more in the way. She knows where stuff goes, and when I help I have to stop and ask what to do with stuff which interrupts the converstation. We talked the whole time she cleaned. I get too distracted to do that. If I am talking I am not wiping. I am standing there holding the rag which might be dripping on the floor making drip marks that will need to be wiped up later. I am not good at doing more than one thing that takes concentration at the same time. I can listen to music and do another activity at the same time. But, if a song comes on that I really want to listen to I have to stop whatever else I am doing because I won't really hear the song otherwise.

The other day I was making two new recipes at the same time, and a friend called. It was a long distance call, and I hadn't talked to her in a while so I decided to try to make both recipes and talk at the same time. I felt like a failure at it all. I would stop and listen then realize that I had almost burned the chicken or that the water had pretty much boiled down to nothing in the dish I was making. Brian came home, and I made him help me with the cooking. I handed him one recipe and told him to finish it. I had to interrupt the conversation with my friend to tell him where I was in the recipe so he would know what to do. Things weren't any easier, because between talking on the phone, making a new dish, and listening to Brian comment on what he was doing or what I was saying plus answering any questions he had was too much for my brain. After I got off the phone I was frustrated. I felt like I hadn't had a good conversation...I had listened, but how much had I really heard?

My brain doesn't operate when too much is going on at once. I guess it is lazy, too. I'm sure there are exercises I could do to strengthen it's productivity, but I like to be able to focus on whatever I am doing. Maybe it's a subconscious choice I am making. I don't know. What I do know is that my friends say I am a good listener. They feel like I really concentrate on them when they are talking to me. Sometimes I tell my friends that I don't want them to do anything while we are talking, because I feel like they can't possibly be listening to what I am saying. If while I am pouring my heart out or just telling about my day they are rummaging through their refrigerator seeing if they need to put ketchup on the grocery list they are making while we talk I start to wonder how much they are hearing me. I feel like what I am saying is only as important as their grocery list. Sometimes it is and those times I don't mind that they are doing something else. And most of my friends know when to stop and listen which is nice.

What is this post about? Busyness. I got distracted with my thoughts while posting. I didn't mean to go where I went with this. But I like what I ended up saying. Interesting. What I meant to post about...all the stuff I have to do in the next few days. It's a lot, and I need to not be lazy. For whatever that's worth.

Okay...now I am going to go clean strawberries while sitting at my kitchen table listening to music. Three things...cleaning, sitting, listening...but only one needs me to move. That's my kind of multitasking!

3 comments:

Gina said...

I find that I cannot be doing something and try to listen to someone talking me at the same time. If the TV is on, don't try to talk to me about something until I either mute it or turn it off because I won't "hear" you. (I do that to my hubby and it's not good!) But I think we all do that. I get distracted too easily. I even have to turn down the car radio if I'm looking for an address or I'll miss it!

Dixon Ailesi said...

I thought I should add that I sang along to the music while I cleaned the strawberries. It didn't take much brain power to clean them and chop them up so I was able to concentrate on the music I was listening to. I know...I am amazingly gifted! My mind did keep wandering...thinking about all the things I needed to do today. When my mind wandered I couldn't sing. Okay...so maybe I'm not so amazing.

Abby said...

I listen to every word you say and do 5 other things. But, I'm kind of like a super hero.