“Knuckle down and get it done,” was the line used when I was a kid, to get me to focus. Knuckle down and get homework, chores, errands whatever needed to get done, done. Now let’s just imagine knuckling down. Sounds like we are orange haired lumbering orangutans scraping from one project to the next on our knuckles. I still have trouble with keeping a focus. My mind wanders and sometimes the trip is not what I expected.
Here is an example. There is a joke that talks about a wife going into the kitchen to get say, a glass of iced tea for her husband. She comes back with a plate of bacon and eggs. He looks at her as though she were nuts and then he says, “Where’s the toast.” Now that is being out of focus. As I add numbers to my years I find I too forget the toast. So what do we do about that? Enter notes and tape…
Several years ago we bought fixtures from a store that was closing and moved the fixtures to a store we were opening. Other than the work, heat, laughter, pinched fingers and dirt I remember the scotch tape. There was tape on everything. There must have been someone working at that store with a tape fetish. I scraped tape until I had no fingernails left on any finger. That is when I learned about razor blade scrapers. But I regress.
I remember stating the obvious, that in our store we would NEVER use that much tape, it would not happen. I couldn’t believe that people needed notes for everything. Why didn’t they just use their brain and remember stuff? Well guess what? The monster-o-tape has found me. We now have tape dispensers everywhere, within reach of everything. In our store, house, cars, garage… You get the idea. Now I know what is meant when someone says, “Never say never!”
I’ve come to realize that the tape monster has an evil sibling. I now have a post-it-note monster too. Brightly colored sticky notes are left in my wake wherever I go. But do you know that those little colorful papers sometimes don’t hold? You see, they work by suction. The man who invented these lifesavers was on TV once, (an educational show that I only watch when even the re-runs are re-runs). Well come to find out the sticky part is little tiny bubbles of air and when you push the paper you pop some of the bubbles and that causes a suction and your oh so very important note is stuck up. Until you pop too many bubbles then–can you guess what I do then? Yep, I tape the little sucker up! Admittedly I have been known to tape and sticky up a new note up. Just to be sure.
It’s not easy to knuckle down when your focus is out of focus. There are of course games to play or books to read to train your brain to focus. Can you imagine how focused you would need to be if you were say a brain surgeon? Or astronaut? Even as I write I need to keep my focus, least you my so appreciated reader will zone out and cast me aside like day old fish. My knuckling down to keep focused is ascertained by remembering my father tapping his knuckles on the table as I did my homework saying it takes nothing to be nothing, but it take something to be something. Lots to that line for sure. But as I sit here deep in thought, looking out my window at the mountains, grass, birds flitting by I think, “I need to go to the store and buy eggs for breakfast.” That’s about as deep as I get. Excuse me while I make a note…
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.