3.5 Time Outs: Paying Attention

Thanks once again to our host Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy, who is proof dark lords must have many skills.

It's still the New Year. I know because I keep writing the wrong date on my checks.


There’s a short list of things I can only do with 100% concentration:

  • Clean my desk.
  • Order a new toner cartridge.
  • Read Pope Benedict.

I’m sure there are others, but those are the one’s I’ve noticed.


Which is why it is taking me 10,000 years to get my review done for this book:

So I’ll just tell you it’s a good book.  At least, the first half is.

–> But last week, St. Alphonsus Liguori was our saint for the chapter for religious ed, and of course I knew he was going to rock, but I secretly thought he might be a boring saint, but look, he’s a Doctor of the Church, and hey I have this partly-read book and maybe he’s in it.   Sure enough, yes, Liguori rocks.  Seriously cool saint.  Definite patron-to-catechists action going on.

Funny story though: I always research our saints because usually kids prefer a good re-telling with lots of dramatic (but censored) details, and I didn’t want to show up at class and just read from the textbook.  But I told the kids to flip to the page in their book with the big picture so they’d have something to look at . . . and they just wanted to read aloud.  So I let them.


Today I discovered one thing I can do with a steady flow of distraction and interruption: Work on the homeschooling book.  Indeed, sitting on the couch staring at the backs of two children who have to be watched constantly in order to get their homework done?  It practically inspires.

I think I can knock out a 1,000 words a day just between 11am and noon, after littles have been sent to recess, and I’m sitting there playing overseer to the big people.


The other thing I do to keep from going barking mad while kids are doing school homework and can’t really be left alone but also don’t need help the whole time?  Mindless cleaning jobs.

Which is how I finally got around to asking what I’d started to ask last time I attempted to clean the porch: “Why do we have a bread bag full of dirt stuffed in a pillowcase?”

5 thoughts on “3.5 Time Outs: Paying Attention

  1. I love this post. There are lots of things I can only do with 100% concentration, but I wouldn’t have a clue what those might be.

    I will say, though, that Simcha is totally showing us (or at least me) up by writing with such eloquence during that newborn phase of dead-brain.

    As to 3 and 3.5, I really need to find something better to do with my time while being chained to the watch-my-kid-not-work job.

  2. Simcha rocks. Someone needs to print I-heart-Simcha t-shirts.

    I was reading American Girl mysteries. Of course I’d get sucked into them and end up reading too long. So I had to quit that. I never get so sucked into actual work that I end up doing it all afternoon without realizing. :-).

    1. It’s a pretty good book, actually. You just have to have both quiet time and a desire to learn about the saint in question. If you *want* the info, it rocks. But big words and complex thought. Requires minutes at a time of uninterrupted reading.

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