As I sit here at my desk, in my classroom, after school, waiting for my daughter to do her homework and "getting work done" myself, I take in everything around me. I hear the voices in the hallway. I hear the piano lessons going on three classrooms down. I hear my daughter eating her snack. I hear her writing on the white board. I see her out of the corner of my eye. The rest of the edges of my eyes see the clutter that surronds me, a hundred broken thoughts from the day that has been. The heater is going and just shut off. The piano student just missed a note. Eliana just slurped some juice, then got another apple slice. I have stuff on the counter across the room, just within eyesight above the screen of my computer. I can't shut it all out. All of this has been going on around me, visually and auditorily since I opened up this window to write. My life is one giant wheel of distraction, and I'm not sure how to get off. Worse, I am not sure how to help my daughter, since I know what it is like to spend a life in this particular theme park.
I look at my desk and am hit with a thousand thoughts all at once. "I need to enter that stack in the grade book..." "That's a good book; I should finish reading it. I should recommend it to..." "I wonder if I still need those business cards? I don't even know if that student is still tutoring." "Junior Mints... mmm.... Junior Mints... oh. It's empty." I need to return those assignments. Wait. I need to take pictures of the best ones for future reference first." "Awww.... student art!" "I should count those tests to make sure I have enough copies for tomorrow." "I should also make sure I have enough answer sheets." "I didn't have anyone sharpen pencils today. Maybe Eliana can do that when she's finished homework." "Eliana, did you finish your homework?" "I think this will make a good project for next year. I thought it would make a good project this year, but I put it away and forgot. I don't want to forget again, so I'll leave it out." "If I highlight the edge of my master copies, I can copy them and not confuse the original with the handouts." On... and on... and on... it goes.
I am making an effort this week to head home earlier than usual. Often I don't head home until 6, but I think that aiming to be home by 5 is better for Eliana and for me. I have dinner thawed in the fridge and all I have to do is bake it, so an hour should be sufficient for that. But then the ideas start flowing and I get lost in time. I have more ideas than I could possibly implement, yet see the beauty in all of them. I start implementing the best ideas first, only to realize that I am planning for the future and may or may not have completed all the work required for the now. This is my life. I lead a life of distraction.