Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today is January 11th, 2011.  In abbreviated form, that makes it 1-11-11, as I realized when I read my friend Judy's blog this morning. 

Those numbers kept rolling around in my head all day.

At first (there's another 1) I put meaning to it when I heard SWMBO stir and I went to the kitchen to make her a cup of tea.  Normally I get her teabag and grab a packet of sweetener at the same time to put in my second cup of coffee.  But today those numbers had me thinking about something I'd read recently about multi-tasking.  We seem to have become accustomed to multi-tasking, doing two and more things at once.  For example, surfing the Internet while also checking our e-mail and half-listening to the news coming from the nearby radio or television set.  Add to that thinking about tasks coming up ahead in our day, wondering if we have some English muffins in the kitchen, re-living last night's exciting football game, considering whether that was what kept me from getting to sleep until nearly 3 a.m., and a plethora of other things.  It's enough to make anyone more than a little addled as the brain struggles to keep up.  The article I read said that multi-taskers generally don't do any one of the tasks well.  We have become adept at keeping many balls in the air but we're finding less and less applause for our act.  It's the old thing of heading into another room to do something but forgetting what it was you were going to do.  That's usually blamed on getting older.  But I think it's more and more because we're all trying to do too many things at the same time.  At least, thinking about doing them.

So, I resolved to try to change that and do just one thing at a time and to try to concentrate on that one thing.  But it's not easy.  For example, just now I was thinking ahead about where I want this little essay to go in the next paragraph while I was typing this one.  That may take multi-tasking to a ridiculous extreme but I think you can get the idea.

O.K.  It's another paragraph and this is the second thought I had.  It came from the television newscast where a scientist of some type or another was saying that Jarred Lee Loughner, the man who murdered a handful of people in Tucson Saturday morning, was almost certainly schizophrenic.  He claimed this was 99 percent certain because of things we have learned about him since his heinous act.  And various pundits are now saying words to the effect of "he may not have been influenced by right wing talk radio or Sarah Palin and her map because, while he seemed to be a fan of Ayn Rand and the gold standard he also seemed to favor the Communist manifesto and books like 'To Kill a Mockingbird'."  Maybe his brain couldn't handle all that multi-tasking and just . . broke.

So where do I go from here?  I don't believe I have any good solutions to anything right now, except to go to sleep tonight and be thankful that tomorrow will be merely 1-12-11.