The first time I figured out how to open more than one tab on my computer I thought that was pretty much amazing. That I could jump back and forth between two things or two screens was mind-boggling. Keep in mind that in college I did my research from real books and periodicals, and we had microfiche machines, and I printed my papers out on a dot-matrix printer and tore the edges off after.
Multiple tabs. Yes.
It has come in handy when I’m writing. I wonder about a detail or something, jump to the top, click new tab, look it up and come right back to writing. No saving, closing, switching, closing, reopening…..EASY. FAST. EFFICIENT.
However, I have noticed that when I get slack about closing out all the tabs (confession, I have ten open right now–true story, I’m not proud of it, don’t judge), my computer gets sluggish. Sometimes a little spinning wheel comes out, and my IT specialist aka college junior tells me that. Is. Not. Good.
And so I usually will close a tab or two to see if it appeases the little spinny wheel. But it is rare that I close out of all of them deliberately. I am loath to give up all that information. All that ease and all of those tabs.
Tonight it occurred to me as the wheel started spinning again (yes, okay, I’ll close a couple of more), that this is my life. Maybe it’s yours too. I open up way too many tabs–I have too many irons in the fire–too many things going on, and I start spinning my wheels. And I’m good at none of them. If I focus on this one, I am distracted by that one, or something comes through on another one that I need to address.
It’s all just too much.
One of my Mama’s favorite lines to quote to us growing up was from M*A*S*H. Charles Emerson Winchester the Third, who was played by David Ogden Stiers, told Hawkeye and BJ in one episode, “Gentlemen. I do one thing at a time. I do it very well. And then I move on.”
Yeah, she loved to quote that one. Most of the time it had to with our chores–dusting, cleaning the bathroom, folding clothes. Focus. One thing at a time.
But it holds true for me today. With too many tabs open. With too many things I’ve said yes to. It is impossible to do any of it very well if we’ve taken on all the things.
And unfortunately, in real life, there is no spinning wheel with all its pretty colors to warn us to let go of something. We often don’t find out until it’s too late.
Tonight I’m thankful for the wheel and for my Mama’s words. Tonight as I watched that wheel spinning, it felt like Mama was speaking those words all over again. To me. Right now. I’m going to take that to heart. I’m no good to anybody if I can’t move for being overwhelmed. Because that’s pretty much what happens when that wheel starts spinning. You can’t do anything. Frozen. Paralyzed. No good to anybody.
Let’s make this a day of letting go. Of something. Of closing some tabs or even just one. Of creating margins in our life, so that good things can come and land. A day of letting go so we can just be and watch the sun set or listen to the birds (“They sound like the jungle now that Fall is here,” Cooter says)…..or share a cup of coffee with a friend.
Go ahead. Consider me to be your spinning wheel. Close a tab.
And may all the good things follow.
Love to all.