Well, only legal ones, I swear.
Iâ€™ve been joking a lot lately that Iâ€™ve developed ADD, that I canâ€™t seem to focus on any one thing. Iâ€™ve even taken to counting backwards from 100 at night to force my brain to shut down. I usually make it to about 85 before my mind starts wandering off.
I can remember a time when I was uber-productive; marking things off of a to-do list was my specialty. And now Iâ€™m sitting here while Michael Jackson sings in my head over a scene of folks dressed Egyptian-style walking through a regal setting. And now, the Bangles. Sheesh.
What was I saying? Ah, yes, focus.
Part of my problem, at the moment at least, is my upcoming trip to London. Itâ€™s hard to focus on anything for very long knowing Iâ€™m days away from a trip thatâ€™s been planned for 6 months and talked about for twice as long.
But traveling raises issues â€“ kids, animals, students, nerves. The kids and the animals are being left in the very capable hands of daddy, with the help of mema. And my students (all online courses this semester) have been forewarned of my upcoming incommunicado status. But still, Iâ€™m a worrier by nature. I worked with this girl once who regularly reminded me that worrying is a sin. So sometimes I worry about being a worrier. Itâ€™s a vicious cycle.
Then thereâ€™s the stuff that doesnâ€™t have anything to do with the trip but regularly takes up space in my brain. Like one book Iâ€™ve been â€œwritingâ€ for several years now. I use quotes around writing because most of it occurs in my head when Iâ€™m trying to go to sleep. I told Bryan recently that itâ€™s as if I have all these players in my head who hide in the dark recesses of my mind during the day, but as soon as Iâ€™m lying in the dark, they all jump out from their corners and crevices to party. Great, Iâ€™ve got vampire playthings in my head. He just looked at me like I was crazy (and perhaps with a little pity). Really, it shouldnâ€™t be news.
But even the vampire playthings canâ€™t get me past this one bump that makes the whole story fall apart â€“ a certain characterâ€™s motivation that just doesnâ€™t jive yet. Sometimes I feel like the answer is so close â€¦ like the playthings really are just playing with me â€¦ conniving little suckers (no pun intended).
Or the other book, the Big Project I wrote about before, that hasnâ€™t been in process as long as the first one but felt more promising from the start. That is, until we took all the notes down from the wall. Because apparently I need constant visual reminders to motivate me to write, and/or stay on task, and/or remember what I was doing in the first place. Or maybe Iâ€™m just lazy.
At night, when I could be writing, putting those playthings to good use, I lay in bed playing mindless games on my table: like bubble shoot or jewel star. Just when I think Iâ€™m done with one, I find another (or in the case of bubble shoot, start all over again). Thereâ€™s one Iâ€™m playing now that always has these ads for another game that I think â€œGosh, could their ads be more sexist?!â€ Of course, if it were three smokinâ€™ hot guys, thatâ€™d be different. So Iâ€™m the one whoâ€™s sexist. Hmph, who knew? I really need to stop wasting my life.
And my mom has cancer. I donâ€™t know how bad. I was told theyâ€™re going to do a scan, then likely surgery, then make a decision about chemotherapy thereafter. I havenâ€™t even really told anyone about this. The few people Iâ€™ve talked to â€“ my cousin, Bryan â€“ ask if Iâ€™m ok. Well, yeah, of course.Â I mean, I feel bad for her and I want her to be okay but â€¦ Many people, maybe even most, if they found out their moms had cancer, theyâ€™d be devastated. I know a lot of people who are close to their mothers, talk to them every day, about everything. I hope I maintain that kind of relationship with my kids as they grow older, but thatâ€™s not what I have with my mom. I tried to for a long time, but sheâ€™s never tried. Itâ€™s easier to talk to a stranger than it is to her. So, in many ways, I lost her a long time ago. Who knows, maybe thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m a little crazy.
I mean, isnâ€™t that what we do now, blame our failings on our parents? Or maybe I just donâ€™t sleep well because of all the caffeine I drink. Lord knows itâ€™s A.LOT. Iâ€™ve even wondered if Iâ€™ll have good Coca-cola in London. Seriously, in 1996, I would have bet money that the New Coke that had failed in the U.S. had all been shipped overseas; I didnâ€™t have a good soda for a whole week that time.
Yeah, because this is what I need to be worried about right now: soda. Not my mom. Or my kids. Or traveling. Or writing. Or just what weâ€™re eating for dinner. Ooh, that reminds me, I think I was boiling water â€¦ oops.