Wednesday, at least for this semester, is something of a “me” day. Not that I am somehow entitled to my very own day of the week, it has just turned out that my schedule is such that I have been graced with a semester full of Wednesdays to do with as I please. That is not, however, as liberating as it sounds. I still have numerous responsibilities – school and otherwise, but mostly school – that need to be prioritized. Wednesday is like a bucket that I can throw a great many of those tasks into. It’s a safety valve and one that has increasing utility as the semester winds to an end.
Although it is true that I have no scheduled classes on Friday, Saturday or Sunday either, those days (or at the very least, large sections of them) do tend to get filled with other obligations – some decidedly social, but obligations all the same. I cannot count on several uninterrupted hours to do with as I choose like I can on Wednesday. Often that choice is no choice at all, indeed, this is not free time in that sense. But I am free to stay home, or not, and I am free from outside distractions (although avoiding internal distraction is always an issue - writing this is an apt illustration). In a very real sense, Wednesday is my “work from home” day.
It sounds nice and most of the time it is, but staying focused on anything for any sustained period of time has always been difficult. True, I have my house to myself and also true, it can be as quiet as I want it to be, but there are myriad things to do that can and do take me away from what I should be doing. It is often necessary to extricate my research and myself and go elsewhere; to the library, a coffee shop, a park, anywhere other than here. If I am alone with only my work, it leaves me nothing else to do.
There was a period of time in my life where exercising at the gym was a regular routine. On several occasions, I decided to save myself the cost of the membership and instead spend the money on home exercising equipment. Without fail I would discover that, for me, the problem with “home exercising equipment” is the first word – home. Although dragging myself to the gym was often the hardest part of working out, once there I was able to go about the business of exercise – there is nothing else to do there. I apply the same technique for when I find myself too distracted to concentrate on the task at hand, wherever that happens to be.
I have not run into that issue yet today. This particular Wednesday, so far, has yielded some completed work. It’s not done yet, however, and it is painfully obvious that I am not working on it right now. But if history holds any insight, this little exercise of expression will serve to refocus my efforts on the task at hand, it will have satisfied my desire to wander. If not, my car is in the driveway, or even better, my Harley is in the garage… both are gassed up and ready to go – just in case I am not.