Parenting & The Challenges of A Home Office

Sometimes I think that the home office lends itself to “interesting conditions.”

I wrote the words below several years ago but they are applicable today.

My Brain Is Stuck in Neutral

It is approaching that time people refer to as late morning and my brain is stuck in neutral. Yes, you read that correctly the pea sized object that resides in the great melon that rests upon my shoulders is on, but operating in the neutral setting.

It is a silly way of saying that I am conscious of the giant list of things that must get done yet remain undone. The great lies before me. On a yellow writing pad that is placed in front of the computer monitor I see line item after line item of things that I have to work upon.

In fact as I stare at the pad a pen magically stands up and adds 5,987,087 more things to be done to the list. Somewhere in the distance I think that I can hear a little girl whispering “they’re back!“

Ok, none of that really happened but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. The giant list is daunting in its size, overwhelming. Yea, overwhelming is the right word. That is why I am busy staring at it and not working. It is not like I haven’t been up and chipping away at it all for hours because I have. But I just don’t feel like I am making the sort of progress I want to achieve.

It reminds me a bit of the few times that I have gone cliff diving. When I walked up and just jumped I was fine. But if I made the mistake of looking down first I always found myself frozen in place, my mind racing with all sorts of thoughts.

“Hey stupid, this is an all stations alert from the legs. We have no interest in being broken into tiny little pieces. Someone slap some sense into the brain.”

“Yo legs, it is the hands. We have got your back. Take a look at this we are about to smack the brain silly.”

“Dear Legs and Hands, this is your brain. I command this ship and I order you to immediately cease and desist.”

If you haven’t had the pleasure of engaging in your own civil war let me encourage to try and avoid this. Aside from serving as potential blog fodder it is not the least bit interesting. And did I mention that it can be quite embarrassing.

In the age of YouTube you really don’t want to be the person that ends up on ten million blogs. Or maybe you do. Maybe there is a way to monetize it. If you can live with the humiliation you just might be able to turn it into something positive.

Say, did you notice how for the last two minutes I haven’t mentioned a word about the brain being stuck in neutral. That is one the finest plays in Jack’s playbook. It is a tried and true standard that is good for gaining yardage and eating up the clock. It is a give and go that I use to step beyond the thing that is holding me up.

In just a moment I’ll take a deep breath and look at the list again and try to identify three line items that I can take care of…quickly. Just need to feel like I am making a bit of progress. Just need to feel like I am not walking in quicksand. Small steps that lead to a giant victory.

Aww…Who am I fooling. Someone get me a giant cup of coffee and get out of the way. As my pal Ben Grimm would say, “It is clobbering time!”

And we are back in the present. I have been battling a funk for most of the day and it has been one hell of a battle. I have a writing assignment that is due and I am frustrated.

I am a writer. Every day I work with words and create content that tells a story. Some of my pieces are more compelling than others but that is ok with me because I don’t need to hit a home run every time at bat. All I need to do is get on base.

That is my attempt to use baseball to express my belief that everything I write should be considered “good.” Notice I didn’t say good enough. I want better than that. It would be wonderful if everything were “great” but that isn’t always going to happen.

Some days you just don’t have it like you do on other days.

I have had some strange experiences lately that have made me wonder if I don’t have as good a grasp upon people as I had thought. Some reactions to things they said or I have said have made me scrunch up my eyes and think “WTF.”

I want to say that it is them. I want to say that it is not me, but them. They are responsible. They went one direction and then suddenly veered in a different one.

But it takes two and it is possible that it is me. Maybe it is because I am standing on the outside looking in or maybe it is not. I have a lot more to say but no time to say it right now.

I’ll be back later to post again. That might be the post where I talk about the myth of blog frequency. You know, the one that “experts” use to say that you can’t update multiple times a day because it is “bad.”

In the interim read this and don’t forget to check out the rest of the participants in the Just Write Project.


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  1. Jack February 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I know that story. Great concept, poor execution. 😉

  2. Bruce Sallan February 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I have an Open/Closed sign on my door. Great idea…doesn’t work!

  3. Angel Collins February 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Balancing between the work and parenting duties make them feel parenting is a stressful and challenging task. Parents need to manage several requirements of life along with the essential parenting duties.

  4. LaRae Quy February 29, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Hi Jack

    Great point about just needing to get onto base every day without worrying about hitting a home run. I need to remind myself of this more often.

    BTW, you do a great job at both . . .

    • Jack February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Hi LaRae,

      Thank you. It is really hard for me to remember to try for the base hit and not the home run.

      One of the reasons I don’t play golf very often is because I want to hit the ball as hard and as far as I can.

      That is not always the smartest or best way to play.

      So much of this blog is me speaking out loud to myself.

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