Distraction, Thy Name is Laundry

As anyone who works from home can tell you, distraction is a force to be reckoned with. Interestingly, though, I’ve been working from home for over 20 years and until recently, distraction hasn’t ever been an issue for me. I’ve always been pretty driven about my work, so working long hours very focused on a task wasn’t a problem.

To some extent, I think this is a factor of age, since my eyesight is going and my hands no longer want to spend that much time with a mouse or keyboard. In other ways, though, I think it’s just that the work I’m doing nowadays isn’t that interesting and therefore my brain would rather find ways to CLEAN. ALL. THE. THINGS. than to work on what’s in front of me.

It’s an interesting situation for many of us in my generation. Having spent our 20’s and 30’s climbing the corporate ladder, many of us are now finding that our careers have already peaked. At least for me, what that means is that I’m doing work I would have found interesting 15 years ago but since then, I’ve advanced to the point where it’s no longer interesting. Still, this is the work that the world seems to want me to do. I’ve been doing it so long that I’m not sure I’m qualified for anything else.

Which brings us back to the subject of laundry. If what you have to work on is boring enough, I guess your brain will find any distraction, including laundry. Odd that after many years of doing laundry for a family, I’d now rather do laundry than the paid work. In some ways, laundry is satisfying. It is one of the few things in life that is really DONE when you finish. It’s easy, quick gratification, and gives you a sense of tidiness, which the project manager in my head dearly loves.

Whether she still loves other things (such as writing yet another set of requirements for insurance software) is a different issue, but I think she’s going to have to get used to that. It won’t kill her, and it pays the bills, but it won’t erase global hunger or create world peace.

Which leads us to an interesting question, one which I think a lot of us struggle with: What do you do when what you do for a living doesn’t feel significant or feed your soul?

I’ll admit that I don’t really have the answer to this question but I think the solution lies in finding other ways to bring meaning to your life. That should give me something to chew on for a while.

P.S. For those of you who come to this blog for the knitting rather than the existential rambling, don’t despair. Along with ennui, I’ve also fallen into yet another knitting slump but I promise I’ll find a way out soon. Stick with me. In the meantime, feel free to talk about your own knitting, spinning or crochet projects in the comments. Maybe that will be the kick that I need to get going again.

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2 thoughts on “Distraction, Thy Name is Laundry

  1. Janet Brosh says:

    Are all your knitting projects done? It seems that I always have 4 or 5 in the works, socks, a vest, two tanks, even started a dish cloth. Also have two runs of weaving I have to iron, inventory and tag for a sale in October. I had many things planned to do once I retired. That was now 8 years ago. The mind seems to slow down. Let housekeeping go to weave. Leave the supper dishes and go to Knit Nite. Read an exciting book. Actually I still miss my career in the engineering field. It was always a challenge, frustrating, but seeing the finished project was always a great satisfaction.

    • Mardee says:

      I have a number of knitting projects in the works but they all seemed to get to a point where I need to rip back or solve a problem and there they have stalled. Also, I have to admit that the pain in my right hand keeps me from knitting a lot of the time and I probably need to see the doctor about it because it may be easy to fix.

      I love hearing the stories about your career – there’s nothing better than building something tangible that benefits people. There’s no doubt about the value in that.

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