Staying Focused

Staying Focused

Stay focused. Stay on task.

How do I even have a shot at independence if I can’t do these things?

I wake up this morning, full of hope because it’s morning. There hasn’t been enough time for me screw up, has there?

I peak out my bedroom door. The house is blissfully quiet so I go to the kitchen and take my first pill with a full glass of water. This one’s for my thyroid and must be taken on an empty stomach. So I take it and then return to my room and reply to a message on my iPod Touch.

As soon as I’m done, the ginger cat jumps on my bed and looks out the window. Something out there has peaked his interest and I look to see what it is. That’s when I see Reggie the packrat, a regular visitor who loves our prickly pear patch is back, just going about his business.

I haven’t seen Reggie in a long time. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too busy. So I grab my fancy camera and try and snap a couple pictures, watching for just the right moment as he dodges in and out of view until he disappears for good.

The cat soon loses interest and reclines against my pillow where the the natural light on him is too good not to snap a few pictures of him (while my fancy is camera out). Then I message my friend again to tell her of the rat sighting. This, of course, is newsworthy and she seems delighted. All my friends are animal lovers.

Suddenly it dawns on me that I might be able to snag a shower before my sister, who has yet to emerge from her room across from mine. So I gather my things but for some reason think I should turn my desktop computer on first. That’s when I see my planner.

I think, what an appropriate place for my analog planner! Right next to my iMac where I can remember to look at it every day and….oh shoot! I have an appointment this morning! I’m supposed to do my annual physical with my PCP and I’m late! I’m really late! I’ll never make it in time!

Frustrated, I call the doctor’s office and am immediately put on hold. Anxiously waiting, I watch the hands on the clock move past my appointment time, long past it. Of course, I made the appointment yesterday. The receptionist said there was an 8 AM cancelation and offered it up to me. Knowing I’d have to set my alarm, I foolishly made the appointment but forgot to set my alarm.

I knew I’d have to pay a fee for missing the appointment. Every doctor has a policy to ensure patients don’t abuse the system and waste precious time. I only hoped it wasn’t a crippling fee and that I’d still be able to make another appointment. I hoped, too, that my doctor wouldn’t hold it against me, considering I’ve been his patient for 27 years.

I’m polite to the receptionist when she says she’ll have to call me back, but as soon as I hang up the phone, I feel enraged. Tears come out of my eyes and I want to lash out at someone. But I know I’m the only one to blame. It’s my fault. Stupid, stupid me.

Meanwhile, my sister has gotten out of her room and snuck in the shower I’d hope to take before her. But I there’s nothing I can do about it so I take that time to go on a mad hunt for my cell phone that seems to be missing. I’d used the landline to call the doctor because it was more convenient then. But I needed my cell phone if I didn’t want to be stuck at home waiting for them to call back.

My sister finished her shower before I could find it so I grab my things again for my turn. No time to wash my hair. Thank God for dry shampoo and my ability to French braid my own hair.

The shower calms me. I even write a little note to myself on the waterproof notepad I keep in there. Not long after I finish cleaning up, the receptionist from the doctor’s office calls back. She says the fee is only going to be $45. Apparently my doctor was lenient because I’d just made the appointment the day before. Then I’m told there’s another cancelation and I make an appointment for tomorrow but much later in the day. No need to set my alarm this time. I will, however, write it where I can see it and tell everyone I live with so they can help me remember.

Finally I breathe a sigh of relief, relax, and find my cell phone with ease. Frustration always makes the finding of important objects harder. When my mind is clear of worry and anxiety, I have little trouble at all finding things I’ve misplaced.

All this before 10 AM. But now I’m calm and I know there’s still a lot I can do today. I just need to stay focused and stay on task.

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