Here’s an unrelated musing: I saw a funeral home the other night, out of the corner of my eye. I stared at it as I was driven by, its sign waving in the wind. It struck me, who would want their name on such a sign? Who would want their name used for a funeral home? Offices of law I can understand, but to have you name swinging in front of a place for the dead; every time I saw it I would feel as if I were looking at my tombstone.
I suppose it had to be addressed sooner or later, but I am not good at focusing. I get distracted pretty easily if I’m doing something even slightly tedious. For years this has led to late nights spent throwing myself into work that I just could not concentrate on before. Last minute panic was the only thing that could force me to work on something. This has, sadly, not really improved as I’ve aged, but I think there is still hope for me. Maybe. I’m starting to desire a more peaceful, thoughtful approach to my work. Before I didn’t really care so much as long as I got it turned in, but now I really want to feel proud of what I’ve accomplished.
I’m starting to experiment with strategic withdrawal, which I think might be necessary to prevent complete attention loss. If I accidentally start looking at this and that then, before you know it, whole days go by before I resume work. However, if I purposely go “okay, work for this much time and then take a break to do X” or “Finish this much and then give yourself so-and-so amount of time to rest the noggin,” then I won’t be able to wander off. I’ll have stopped working, but only to regroup. This is the difference, I hope, between a retreat and a desertion. It’s still in experimental stages, like I said. In fact, right now is one of my breaks. Eventually I hope to mature to the point where my discipline is high enough that I can enjoy work for its own sake, and not merely to get it done. Until then, I just hope I can break the midnight habit.*
* Well, okay, I’ll admit that it has been a while since work has kept me up until Midnight per se, but that’s really just splitting hairs, isn’t it?