- by Roxanne Rustand
For years, I took myself off to a hotel for a long weekend once or twice when each deadline loomed. It helped, certainly, to be away from the distraction of three kids and a husband wanting attention, laundry and meals. Meals? Seriously? In the midst of my deadline stress, someone wanted to be fed?
Now the kids are on their own–two in grad school, one working fulltime and also planning to start back in grad school. They are all really busy and I miss them like crazy. I want them back, lounging in my office and chatting about their days at school, or begging to go to town for lunch, or a movie. Even more, I long for the days when they were still playing on the floor and wearing their little footie pajamas. Where did those years go?
The sudden quiet in our house has been quite an adjustment. It has also provided a lesson. It wasn’t really the demands of family that interfered with progress on that last hundred pages of every deadline. It was me.
Even now, alone in the house while my husband is at work, I can lose an hour when I wander deep into an Internet search for some detail, or I suddenly remember that some closet is in desperate need of cleaning (the level of need is in direct correlation to how troublesome the current scene is.)
Whether they’re inside or outside, the dogs want to be wherever they are not. The barn cats march up to the house and wind their way through the hostas beyond my office windows, then line up to stare up at me, reminding me that the time of day doesn’t matter–it’s always time for more food. Come on, they purr seductively, come on down to the barn. And if I succumb, then I’ve gotten too close and the horses beckon.
On a beautiful early fall day, what better choice could there be than to savor it while taking a little ride down the road?
Lovely distractions, all. And social media? Don’t get me started! When I started writing, none of it existed, and now that aspect of the writing business has taken on a life of its own. As soon as I figure out one thing, two more innovative prospects show up on the horizon–more to absorb and learn, and then to maintain. It can be exciting and overwhelming, and it can vacuum up every spare minute and then some. So when I look back, I realize that my family really wasn’t the distraction that slowed my progress on page counts….it has always been me, falling for all of those aspects of life that clamor for attention. So how about you? How do you focus and get everything done?!