Thursday, March 15, 2012

Progress and Distraction

A friend called recently and asked how my book was coming.  "My book?" I asked forgetting for a moment my whole plan behind this blog.  "Oh, right.  The Year Of... .  Well, slower than I had hoped."

Maybe I am just too distractible for this kind of thing.  I have already started a couple other projects, a book of poems, a Twitter feed (@poetrynotes), write blogs for a friend on the side, all while taking care of Bubba full time--not to mention Boog and Dr. Sweety.  Sometimes I wish I were more like Dr. Sweety who seems to have the unnatural ability to focus in on a task--be it her statistics homework, cooking dinner, or completing an impossibly tricky "Paint-doku" puzzle--with her whole mind and body until she gets it done.  Don't get me wrong.  She can procrastinate with the best of them, but once she sets her mind to something she completes it fully.  I'm always driving her nuts by leaving a couple things for later.  A lone dish in the sink.  A couple items from the grocery store I forget and have to go back for.  A small pile of the kids' laundry that doesn't get thrown in with the rest of the laundry.  "If you're doing 'x' why don't you just do all of it?" she's asked on many occasions.

I don't really have a good answer.  But maybe distraction can be a good thing as long as eventually things get done.  And if it takes me back around to the original project with new material or insights, perhaps distraction could even be a useful way of working--though maybe not so much with household chores.

Reading A Year In Provence recently has got me thinking about moving to Rochester and what I can figure out about the local character here in the way Peter Mayle observes the French.  So here are a few observations I've made over the past six months or seven months.

1.  People in Rochester tend to drive on the slow side.  Or maybe driving in Boston has permanently damaged my driving habits, since I still believe in jumping the green light and being ready for anyone to cut into my lane.

2.  A lot of newscasters seemed lost when there was no snow this year.  Though most people I talked to in every day conversations seemed perfectly OK with it.

3.  Just like southern France, there are local vineyards, mountains, beaches, and farms.

4.  Unlike southern France there is not a lot of sunshine or warm weather.  (Though it has been perfectly sunny and warm the last couple days.  Maybe with the advent of global climate change, Rochester will be the new Provence!)

5.  Western New York and the Hudson Valley might as well be in different states.  Most people I've talked to here--parents, teachers, other parents--come from around here.  Few have connections to a different part of the state, let alone another state and have that 'that must be interesting' tone of non-interest when I tell them about New Mexico, Albany, or other places I've lived.

6.  There's a general niceness in Rochester.  I was in the Tops grocery store across the street from our apartment where I'd left Bubba's bag in the cart not once but twice on different occasions, and a woman who worked there smiled at me when we came in the store and said, "Remember not to forget your bag again!"

7.  More observations and tales of local color to follow.  Wouldn't want to finish the job quite yet . . . .