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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The cell phone rings. You know the routine. The woman, (or is it you?) says, "Oh my god, I'm sorry, I NEVER do this but this is my mom (dad, husband, kid, drycleaner, dishwasher repairman) and I've been expecting this call." And off goes the person (maybe it is actually you), the person you were talking to about your mother or your kids, onto the call.

All very well and fine, because this is the modern world and we aren't all home at our telephones waiting for them to ring with the crucial information that we need about whatever's going to happen nex t. We expect to be interrupted and to have lots of things on our minds at once.

Then of course there's the need to check our email. We peruse, we prioritize and we answer what needs to be answered. We rarely noodle around anymore.

Who' got the time, for cryin' in the sink?

Then there' the other things: there' a palm pilot, right? Or a blackberry?

I' m not so tuned into these. But a lot of their options sound good for helping organize and synchronize. I still have the paper calendar on the fridge with magnets. But if that thing isn't updated, our family schedule is toast.

When I' with my kids at the end of a work day, at the end of a school day, I try to keep the distractions to a minimum.

But my kids tell me that I' not doing that good of a job. Dang. This is what I dreamed of: being able to spend a little time with them at the end of our long days, just talking, on the couch, or lounging on their beds.

Sometimes I get about 15 minutes, petting the dog, musing about some story from the day.
But my mind is racing to what I need to do. I have to be keen and aware and sifting and reacting and I have to make darn good use of my time.

But I' m distracted. Almost constantly. I' afraid that I'm a living mockery of what I tell people: "Love your kids. Be good to yourself. " It is this fear that gets me up every morning. I valiantly wake up early and light my candle by my yoga mat and do my 12 minute yoga session on DVD. I try to have an extra moment at the end. Some kind of plea to the universe: "Help me pay attention today."

How is it working for you? Me, I' m maxxed out and always ten steps behind myself. And I'm trying hard to not be distracted.

Nanci Olesen is working on a pilot for Minnesota Public Radio about parenthood. She blogs here, and also at http://www.mombo.org The website MOMbo features a monthly essay on the Zone (it could be yours) and a monthly podcast. Hang in there. I'm saying this to myself too.

posted by Nanci Olesen @ 9:25 AM  


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