Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009

Sherry Hopkins

Attention overload loosens tight ship

I pride myself on thoroughness and organization and running a pretty tight ship at home. I’m always on top of things or so I think.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The reality of the situation is this; I head to the laundry room/pantry to start a load of white clothes washing. As I sort through the hamper my eye catches two containers of Quaker Oatmeal. I stop sorting laundry and pick up the container closest to the front and realize that it is nearly empty. I add the remaining oats to the new box and head to the box for recycling cardboard on the utility porch. As I toss the container into the big box I notice that the shelves where extra cleaning supplies are stored is a little messy and out of order. With the Oatmeal lid tucked under my arm so I won’t forget to add the lid to my recipe drawer for it has a great recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies on it, I start to straighten the shelves. As I finish that task I come in and head to the buffet in the dining room where I keep all my often-used recipes. I open the drawer to toss in the oatmeal recipe and immediately see a much-loved recipe for teriyaki chicken, which I have been planning to make. I grab all the hundreds of recipes in that bunch and sit down in a nearby chair to look through them. The holidays are fast approaching and I want to be sure I have everything I need at hand. Meanwhile the laundry is still in mid sort in the laundry room.

I spend a good hour going over the recipes which also includes time looking at one of Mama’s favorite recipe books. Thinking of Mama reminds me to look at the calendar to see what day the anniversary of her death falls on this week. I make mental plans to get flowers and visit the cemetery. I see a note on the calendar that one of Dear Don’s prescriptions is due in a day or two and I grab the bottle and run downstairs to call in the refill.

As I dial the number I also notice that one of my favorite programs is coming on HGTV and after calling in the refill I prop up my feet and watch for the next thirty minutes. The laundry is still half sorted in the laundry room.

As the program ends I wonder to myself what do I need to do now? I wind my way back towards the laundry area and the light is on which instantly reminds me that I need to tend to something in there. Seeing the laundry half sorted makes me consider why I left it that way. I don’t know, but finally hours later I finish that chore.

This is not the way to run a ship of any kind much less a tight one.

How do I get so distracted? Why can’t I stay on track? Where are my moorings my compass?

I have obviously left them somewhere along the way while being lead astray by something presumably more interesting.

It’s a blasted wonder I get anything done around here at all. So here I need to end for I’m in Dear Don’s office and I see a windowsill that needs attention. Which reminds me I should add Windex to my next Wal-Mart list, which reminds me…

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at