Dust Motes and Have To Tasks

I’m remembering the days when I was finishing my degree. I used to settle in at the kitchen table, spread all my books and class notes around me and plan to spend an entire evening or Saturday getting ahead of things. It all sounded so grand and I imagined that all would be good at the end of it.

But then I’d notice the dust ball under the coffee table.

And the cobweb above the front door.

Or the smudges on the kitchen cupboards.

And wait!  Wasn’t that the microscopic Lego piece the boys were trawling through their toy chest for that I told them I didn’t have time to help them find?

Oh, and then there were the dust motes.  They drifted down from wherever they began in their dissent to the floor, just waiting for me to purse my lips and puff in their direction to watch their panic.  They were so distracting in the sunlight I wished I could venture out into to do anything but sit and stare at the work in front of me.

So much for plans.

And that’s what the past several days have been like. Without the dust motes. Not a dust mote in sight.  It’s not quite as romantic, but replace the dust with the monitor. It’s as distracting. More so.

The first day, I began my work downstairs. What?  You don’t think I know myself?  I had enough to read and sort through, so I wasn’t worried. But eventually, I had to go upstairs to do more investigating by way of the Internet. Sounds sneaky, doesn’t it?

It’s true. And so I did.

But the Internet may as well be a room full of bright and shining objects. A million dust motes reflecting the light of the sun, all determined to keep me from doing what I have to do. I know how children in dull classrooms feel trying to listen to something they have already deemed unworthy of their attention. Email that wasn’t worth glancing at is suddenly my link to an afterlife.  Desktop icons scattered across my screen are calling for my attention, annoyed that I’ve left them to exist in such a state of disarray.  I’m such a failure at this game. I used to be so good at it. I believe I’m used up.  One can only play so long.

Perhaps the maker of all things has put me in this position so that I will finally make a decision. Or the decision. The one I may have been too naive to make all those years ago. The one I’ve been stepping around for far too long. It’s a game we play, that maker and I.  I’m almost there.  But maybe this project is the cherry on the sundae.  Maybe when I’m done, I’ll actually get to the real task.

I have gotten some work done, but in memory of those days when my older boys were so young, and I so idealistic, I distract myself from my task with anything bleating for my attention.  Anything.

It reached the heights of hilarity today when I gathered up my fat, female cat — yes, the Yack-Star — and feeling sorry for the fleas she’s been enduring, lowered her into a sink full of warm water. She was less than happy about this.  Mind you, this was after I had used a regular brush, a flea comb, and a warm sponge on her feet to try and rid the white fur of ugly flea droppings.

But she outlasted the ordeal with flat ears and howls of horror while the water in the sink turned brown, and then mahogany from the droppings the fleas had left. At one point, I thought there was something wrong with her and that she was leaking.  Or something.

Afterwards, she purred in the towel as I rubbed her fur and murmured to her that all would be fine. She actually seemed fine, and maybe more comfortable for the effort of it all.  I would not have tried this diversion from my work with my black cat.  It would have been an ugly sight for the MoH to come home to if I had.

I would think that bathing one’s cat is quite a stretch to take to avoid doing one’s work.

It’s funny how I’m never distracted by anything when I’m writing here.


If there was a blogger’s god, she would pay me for this work I put my heart in to.

Wouldn’t she?

What if I promise to stay on task, keep my house spotless, and never say bad things about my neighbors again? Eat fish on Friday? Give money to the slackers that beg with signs at the busy intersections around town?


Fine. I’ll get back to work tomorrow. And stay on task. No memories. No shiny stuff. Just work.

I know. Quit whining.






7 responses to “Dust Motes and Have To Tasks”

  1. I am so familiar with the doing anything else but what I need to get done. Yesterday I scrubbed the stove…removed all of the knobs and everything….instead of answering some work related emails.

    Can’t say I’ve ever considered giving my cats baths though. It could be very painful…seeing as how my one cat weighs 16 pounds.

    Now stop moderating your comments and go get your work done. 🙂

    Sixteen pounds? Jeez Louise. That’s a fatty. And I am wondering why your comment didn’t trigger an email as all others do. Hmmm…did it say it was being moderated? That’s interesting. Yah, okay. Gonna go work. But only six hours. Downstairs.

  2. I have no idea what you mean. None. Not even a mote of a clue. So of course I have no sympathy. None. Not even a flea’s droppings’ worth.

    Although I will admit you had me at “dust ball.” But then I got a little distracted.

    You understand, yes?

    Seriously though, “funny how I’m never distracted by anything when I’m writing here” – if that resonated any more strongly, people around me would be shouting Earthquake! and scurrying for exits.

    Ahhh, RJ. Caught you, too. Now snap the hell out of it and get back to work. But dust your computer off first, then you’ll see those floating specks of distraction. Just try not to think about the dung left by the dust mites. Do you think the mites can float on the motes? Well? Do you?

  3. A stretch indeed! Giving our cat a bath is one of the worst possible experiences to be had at our house! I’d rather go mow the lawn with scissors.

    You will not be surprised to know that I have cut grass with clippers, will you? And yes. It was something I did when I was supposed to be doing my work. Hmmm…that would be a great post. All the things I do when I’m supposed to be doing work. Yawn.

  4. d-day approaches… well jump in honey… we are all doing it….yuck… i hate work!!!!!

  5. Oh this made me laugh!!!
    My home is always so spotless – not a dust bunny or hairball in sight -when I have WORK to do!!

    Now, get back to it, girl!!

  6. Im a CLEAN FREAK. I cant work UNTIL the house IS spotless. I cant write until I know all my CHORES / TASKS are out of the way.

  7. Earlene

    You know what the Maker says, All things in moderation (or something like that) Your writing is great and gives pleasure to many more than a spotlless sterile home. I would love to give Emily a bath. She only weighs 14 pounds. Love.

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