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Continuous Partial Attention

We are ok. Limping along through our new routines. I have the privilege - and guilt - of being able to work from home, and to have our groceries and household essentials delivered to us. But there are days I feel overwhelmed and I have far more difficulty focusing now than ever before. And that’s saying something. I need to take more frequent breaks to get through the day. Recently I took an entire Friday off, which helped. Even though I have nowhere to go, I still have loads of vacation time to use and I may as well give myself a break. In the past, blogging or journaling has been helpful. But after struggling to concentrate all day on work tasks the last thing I want to do is document my thoughts and feelings. I know I’m not alone, at least. Even the creator of Black Mirror says the world is too bleak right now for season six to happen.

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We passed a few significant milestones in our household. Events that had been scheduled to happen that are meaningful to us but have been postponed, obviously. Like Free Comic Book Day and the Heart of the Beast’s May Day Parade. Those are major highlights for us every year. And I was slated to travel to Austin, TX for the first time ever this week, to present a session at an accessibility conference. I had been very excited about that. Not to mention all the live music shows we won’t be attending. Even if this micrashell personal hazmat suit goes into mass production (I imagine it would be cost prohibitive).

The therapist I’ve been seeing since 2014 just returned from maternity leave. Last week we had our first telehealth session. She spotted my cat Olive in the background and got SO excited. I’d never heard her voice do that before. Olive is really cute though. We had a nice check-in. I have learned a lot from her over the years. I’m able to better identify when I’m struggling and take action to course correct. I’ve found this circle of control graphic to be particularly helpful lately.

I have gratitude for:

  • My son, as always. Last week he ordered a beautiful Mother’s Day cake for me from Vegan East. I realize he just really wanted some of their cake so this was a great excuse to get one, but he did ask which flavor I wanted. Chocolate salted caramel, of course. We took a long walk together that day, through the nearby cemetery. Then I prepared a delicious vegetarian sushi spread for our Mother’s Day dinner and we watched Knives Out. Perfection.
  • Our Imperfect Foods delivery included a mini watermelon and it was wonderful.
  • A book I pre-ordered back in November was released last week and it did not disappoint. I tried to savor it but finished reading Network Effect, the fifth book in The Murderbot Diaries in four or five days and it was a goddamned delight.
  • The other day I needed a change of scenery. I got in my car and drove up the Minnehaha Parkway, which is beautiful right now with the leaves coming in on all the trees, and parked near Lake Nokomis to walk around a different lake than my usual. It helped.
  • Early on in the lockdown I was consuming too much news, even in my podcasts. Lately I’ve switched over to more comedy. Not sure how I missed the Adulting podcast last year, since I adore Michelle Buteau, but I just binge listened to all episodes over the weekend and into this week and it was the BEST. I also have a serious Jordan Carlos crush now.

This post has been in draft mode for weeks. Fitting, given the post title. But I am about to hit the Publish button and will hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment. Or a slight dopamine rush.

Man wearing t-shirt of Adventure Time's Jake th4e Dog character while holding a beautifully frosted cake
Young man with a scruffy beard and orange hair wearing novelty hypno glasses with black and white swirls
Slices of watermelon on a green cutting board
tray full of homemade vegan sushi

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