The Working Desk

Desks are surfaces on which one piles Things To Do. My piles of things always begin as neat stacks, but the stacks quickly encroach upon each other. New layers are constantly added to the top, while the lower layers are slowly squished into the paper equivalent of sedimentary rock. In theory desks are also used as work space. I should be able to lay things out around me while I am actively using them, and be able to write notes using the available clear spaces. Usually my available clear space is about the size of a post it note and I have to slide the keyboard out of the way when ever I need to put a signature on a document. Eventually I have to have a day when I scrape the whole mess off of the flat surfaces and sort through the archeological layers of my business life. Then my desk functions as it is supposed to for a brief period of time.

Working Memory is the desk of the brain. It is the place where ideas and thoughts are processed before being used. It is where stray thoughts are organized into cohesive sentences. It is where numbers are added and multiplied. It is where images are mentally transformed. Like a physical desk the available space varies. Fatigue and distraction fog out the edges so that the working space is smaller. At these times it is literally harder to think and organize. Other things can clutter the working memory space. To Do lists, relationship shifts, and any other stress you can name all act like piles on the edges of the desk. They eliminate chunks of the working space and distract the attention.

Of late my working memory desk has been extremely cluttered. The result is that I feel closed in, unable to focus, and frustrated at my inability to process things efficiently. It is time for me to scrape the desk clear and sort through what is there.

I’m still trying to be in talent wrangler mode, but it is wearing on me. Howard doesn’t need full attention as much as he did early on, so we’re shifting this to a more balanced state of affairs. There is still lots of work to do. Howard is almost done with the RMS bonus story. Then he’ll have to catch up on the buffer, create a cover, and help with the last odds and ends on the book. I am also coordinating arrangements with 3 conventions. We’ve also gotten started on some necessary preliminary work for some of our summer events.

I’m in the process of getting Link registered for his first year in junior high and Kiki registered for her first year of high school. Both processes involve learning curves for me to hike. I’m also attempting to be more consistent about homework times and dinner times. In theory this structure will help provide a framework so the kids can succeed, which will lead to them feeling better about themselves and thus reducing conflict. So far the results have been various.

I’ve been a bit of a social hermit. All the stress causes me to draw back and conserve my energy. Unfortunately this also has the effect of reducing some of the contacts which provide me with energy. I need to be getting out more because I think it will make me happier when I am at home.

I attend church every week, which gives me hope and energy. I have not been doing so well at regular scripture study, which also helps me gain perspective on the other parts of my life. This is my center of balance. If I do better here, everything else will probably fall into place.

I have not had much time for the things which matter to just me and I can feel that. I need to get outside. I need to garden. I need to walk. I need to get to the gym. More writing would be good too.

As usual, once I clear the desk and toss the stuff that is just clutter, I find that my piles really are not all that big. I don’t have too many things. I am not buried. Now I just need to get stuff done.