Outdoor humorist, Patrick F. McManus, coined the phrase the sequential vortex—the great trap of one thing leading to another, slowing sucking away any chance of accomplishment. I continually am in danger of being pulled into the depths—it’s tugging at my ankles even now. No, wait, that’s our new puppy. Let me get back to the vortex. Here’s an example (raise your hand when you see yourself).
I get up determined to write. I will write today. But first I have to get groceries. I must do only this one thing, and I will be ready to write. So I grab my list and I’m off. No, wait. My hubby’s check just hit the account, and I need to do a little online banking. An hour later, I’m ready to go. Half an hour later (a downfall of living in the boonies), I’m at the store. While there, I realize not only do we need groceries but the little pop-up pool needs chlorine and a filter. I throw the supplies in the cart. I check my watch. I’m doing pretty well. Only two hours at the store. I pull into the driveway a half hour later and get ready to unload. But I realize that if I go straight to the house, I will need to let the puppy out of her crate and then all bets are off. So, it’s best to do the filter and chlorine while I’m out here. I get everything set up, but when I step into the shed to plug in said filter, I hear the chickens clucking and realize they need their afternoon feed. I’m off to the pole barn to get grain for both batches of chickens. While I’m at it, I’ll go ahead and scrub their watering cans and get them fresh water. As I’m delivering the water, I realize the horse is in need of a little extra TLC and I stop off to hang out for a minute. Good thing the cold groceries are in a cooler. I check the horse’s tank. Might as well scrub and refill that while I’m at it. But it’s okay, because I only have to put the groceries away and I can write…I think you know by now how this story ends—six hours later with very little writing.
To the jaded, this may look like procrastination. To the vortex purist, this may look like so much flotsam clouding the water. The true vortex they say revolves only around the accomplishment of one thing (i.e. a desire to paint the wall means new drywall and molding first). But it’s my vortex and I’ll swirl if I want to. Come on in, the water’s fine.