I had a plan.
I usually have a plan. What doesn’t usually happen is any kind of linear arriving at the fulfilment of said plan.
My plan for this morning: get up. Get dressed. Do the lower-back stretches the chiropractor gave me. Eat a healthy breakfast. Write a blog post.
What happened: Got up later than planned because of staying up too late watching Stranger Things with Thing 2, who is now old enough not to have demogorgon-adjacent nightmares. Got dressed, did the stretches, ate the breakfast. So far, so good.
THEN. Went to the bathroom. Met a gecko.
The gecko was my first undoing. Because a gecko is a whole PROCESS. It goes something like this:
- Spot a gecko somewhere a gecko shouldn’t be, e.g. the tissue box in the bathroom.
- Chase the gecko. Geckos do not like to be chased and are so delicate-looking that I am always terrified I will break them, so this is a slow-motion kind of chase.
- Chase the gecko some more.
- Grab the gecko.
- Lose the gecko.
- At some point the gecko is like, Woman, PLEASE, this is embarrassing for both of us, and it just climbs on my hand.
- Interrogate the gecko as to why it couldn’t just do this to begin with.
- Take the gecko outside.
- Try to put the gecko in a gecko-appropriate spot and fail because NOW the gecko LOVES ME (I think it’s the heat from my hand after the poor little critter has been enduring the AC all night).
- Have A Serious Talk with the gecko about its life choices while sitting on the front step in my p.j.s, hoping the mail doesn’t arrive while I am doing this.
- Finally convince the gecko to relocate.
- Realize I have utterly lost my train of thought.
But that’s okay. This is Inspiration! Now I can write a blog post about a gecko.
As if, says the universe.
I make a cup of tea. I will blog! I will write lovely words! It will be like you and I are sitting down for a chat together. I will start writing about the gecko and in the process, I will learn what it means.
NO, says WordPress. For the umpteenth time, WordPress will not let me log in. It insists that my email address does not exist.
Reader, my email address exists. I know this not because I am tech-savvy (I am not), but because I am so very not tech-savvy that I will never, never, never change my email address. I cannot be bothered to learn another email address or remember one more flipping password.
But WordPress SAYS.
I Google this problem, which I Googled the last time I posted a couple of weeks ago and WordPress insisted my email address did not exist. I read articles written in tech-ese. I watch YouTube videos spoken in tech-ese. The article that finally helped me log in two weeks ago has apparently never existed because I can’t find it anywhere.
As a last-ditch effort, I go through my email file of blog-related stuff. I find an email that has a teensy, tinsy link at the bottom to “support.” I click the link. WordPress asks me to log in. Again. I despair. But I am nothing if not stubborn, so I try to log in.
I pause, envision my blogging future. Every time I post, I will have to go to this email, click this exact customer support link, and log in from this magical little glitch in the interwebs.
It could be worse.
I had all these things I wanted to think about, write about, tell you about. Sometimes–especially since the start of the pandemic–I feel like I have nothing to say. It’s paralyzing. And then, every once in a great while, I feel like I have everything to say.
That is when WordPress gets funky.
That is when there is a gecko on the loose in the bathroom.
I am so full of plans, and life is so full of distractions. I start to think about this, and start to feel panicky about how am I ever going to do ALL THE THINGS if WordPress is going to be forever funky and these frikkity-frakking geckos are going to be forever getting in the house and wtf motivates a heat-loving lizard to get in the sub-arctic climate required by my family in this sub-tropical land. My thoughts start to spiral, and not in a pretty, artistic way. In a Yeatsian widening-gyre apocalyptic way.
But then, a small thought intrudes, tiny and silent as gecko-toes. What if life is the distractions? It’s in the plans, too–it has to be–but what if it’s also, equally, in the moments of distraction, the getting off-track? There’s a kind of getting off-track that I think our culture encourages–the really aesthetic kind, the well-groomed-bohemian kind where you go where the spirit moves you and follow your bliss to an Instagram-worthy sunset. But the distractions, the annoyances, the pitfalls–life is there, too. Equally there. Life is in the workarounds and first-world frustrations and the dang geckos in the bathroom.
So my invitation to you is to notice what distracts you today. And maybe, if you can, find something to honor in the distraction, in your reaction to it, in the path upon which it sets you.