Friday, June 02, 2006

Going With the Flow

The past couple of weeks have been an exercise in "going with the flow." For instance, I had planned to work in my flower beds this a.m., planting the lily bulbs and daylilies and things that came in. (I ordered a bunch last year, and none of them came up because they'd arrived all moldy and nasty, so I sent back the label I'd very carefully saved, and just got replacements.) I had it all timed out. I'd work about an hour and a half and have time to come in and shower before meeting with the young man I'm talking to about working on my website. (Oh, and I'd squeeze this blog in there somewhere too.)

Well, I got about a half hour in to the work, and my hand really got to hurting. When I looked at it, I had rubbed a blister on my palm and then broken it, digging holes to put those lilies in. Even going back to put my gloves on (yes, I have some, but silly me didn't think I'd need them) wouldn't feel good, so I stopped.

Then last week, I had planned to spend the week finishing up a proposal on the demon virgin story when my glasses fell right in half on my way out the door to walk to the post office on Monday. In Half.

I have a separate pair of prescription sunglasses, and I have special glasses to wear only at the computer (I refuse to get trifocals--bifocals are bad enough), but I wasn't sure I had any "regular" glasses I could wear in the meantime. My prescription is the type that when I go into the one-hour places and ask about their one-hour service, they say things like "Oh yes, we can do that with most prescriptions...except for yours. A week to ten days." This meant a hurried trip to the optometrist in the big city 60 miles from my little town which takes, at minimum, half a day--more, if you've saved up errands and such for the trip, which I always do. Anyway, between that, and the already planned trip to the nephew's high school graduation, last week was pretty much shot.

By now, if you're a regular reader of the 2 B Read blog, you know that I am a procrastinator, and that I am "chaos-organized." That's actually a technical term used by psychologists in a study I read once upon a time that spoke to the differences between Helicopters and Trains. Apparently the world is divided into helicopters and trains--IOW, those whose brains are chaos-organized--who not only thrive in chaos, but if there isn't enough of it, they create some-- and those who are linearly-organized, who think in an orderly, progressive, one-building-block-on-the-next manner. Most of us know instantly which we are.

Even though, according to those psychologists in the study, the chaos-organized person deals better with interruptions, because they prefer having more than one thing going on at a time, I still tend to have trouble when my plans go awry. It's taken so much effort to learn how to focus and get the writing done (or make myself go outside and do actual work), that when other things get in the way, it frustrates me no end. (Well, not the gardening work stuff--I was kinda grateful I had an excuse to quit. Maybe I can con the large son or the spouse into digging the holes for me...)

But what else can you do? Life gets in the way sometimes. Glasses fall apart. Grandsons come to visit. You have to just go with the flow, and keep making those lists. I figure eventually, I'll get to everything on it, and if I don't--well, it probably wasn't that important anyway...

Oh, and I did get the proposal finished, even with my minimal writing time last week. I had maybe ten lines to add on Monday, and I mailed that puppy off to the agent yesterday. I think I'd better give her a bit of a rest now...

So which are you? Helicopter or train? How do you cope with life's disruptions?


Marg said...

Interesting...I had never heard the comparison of people to Helicopters and Trains. I am definitely a Helicopter!

Nancy Morse said...

Is it possible to be a little of both? Because I think I am. I tend to be disgustingly organized, yet I sometimes let things fall into chaos. Does that make me a train with rotors or a helicopter with wheels? As for life getting in the way, my usual method of coping with disruption is to swear like a truck driver and then just deal with it.

JoAnn Ross said...

I'm definitely a helicopter married to a train. (Aren't most men single trackers?) But in my own way,like Nancy, I, too, am disgustingly organized and when there are suddenly too many things to deal with, I can switch into train mode real fast, triage things, then get them taken care of one at a time in order of importance. (And time deadlines.)