When I start working on something, it’s a toss up whether or not I’ll be able to focus on it long enough to finish.
I will finish what I start, if it’s a job I’ve been hired to do. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be trouble. If I have to focus, but find the task uninteresting, I’ll be having to push myself. And, I’ll make mistakes that I have to make up for (I’m responsible like that).
The fact is that I can focus on the most foolish of useless things, but things that have a clear benefit won’t necessarily keep my attention.
When I was 13 I had a tough time paying attention in school. I’d had seven years of practice by then, so you’d think I’d have gotten better at it, right. Well I had, I was much better at not paying attention. I’d learned to listen with half an ear, so that I had some key words that I could echo back if called on to recount what I’d learned. But mostly I just let my mind drift.
It didn’t help that I could usually grasp the lesson within a minute of it beginning, so if I paid attention I’d be in pain from boredom.
But back then when I was 13, there were other things that I could concentrate on. They just weren’t valuable things. They were projects that made no sense, made no progress, made no profit.
And is an example forthcoming??!?
For instance, I used to turn the family car around in the driveway. Nope, I didn’t steal the keys and back it out onto the road and then back it in. I could have, but that would be cheating.
I would slip the car (a Volkswagen Beetle) into neutral and turning the wheel from outside the car, I’d push it. It began as a test of my strength, I was a farm boy.
I also didn’t push it out onto the road to turn it. I pushed it back and forth in the driveway, which was about three feet wider than the car was long, turning the wheel this way and pushing the car backwards and then that way and pushing it forwards.
I thought the backwards beetle would bug …
I was industrious. The idea of my father coming out and finding the car in the driveway the wrong way around tickled me for some reason.
13 years of experience beats seven
But my father had had 13 years of practice at dealing with me. He might have rolled his eyes, may have shook his head, but if he noticed the car was turned around, or saw me doing it, he never let on.
I actually considered, on more than one occasion, leaving it turned half way around, but I couldn’t do that. I worried that someone might need to get going in a hurry. Besides,I didn’t want anyone saying I didn’t finish what I started … I didn’t want them saying that anymore than they already did.