Thursday, December 31, 2009

"You Lack Focus!"

My nephew, 8 years old, told me that I lack focus! (HE apparently lacks the ambition to live to be 9 years old.) OK, he was talking about my poor Wii Lego Star Wars game skills at the time, but seriously, “You lack focus, Aunt Leanne” is kind of harsh criticism.

Truth be told, I’m nearsighted and uncoordinated in the real world and these handicaps show up in my video gaming abilities. While I’m confessing things, I’ll also tell you that I collect chess sets, but tire of playing chess after about 5 minutes and people have been known to laugh at me when I dance. On the plus side, I’m pretty good playing soccer, so my eye-foot coordination is better than my eye-hand.

Oh, and even though I’ve been known to occasionally lead music in church, I can only direct the music LEFT-handed (unusual to say the least) and I have to concentrate really hard to keep the beat. To even things out, while I am left-handed, I can only use scissors with my right hand, but the scissors are often upside-down. (Don't ask, it just is.)

With all of my inabilities, however, the one thing I really don’t lack - at least when I’m doing bookkeeping - is FOCUS. When in the middle of a particularly interesting bookkeeping problem, or just busy day, I’ve been known to look at the clock and 2 or 3 (or 8) hours have passed unnoticed as I’ve been working.

Just yesterday afternoon as I was working on a client’s payroll, banks, and APs, I was surprised that 1:20 had become 3:45, even though I had accomplished a lot of work - checks were ready to mail, payroll was complete (checks cut and distributed, taxes paid and 401k contributions made) and made a lot of progress toward making sure the December banks are ready to reconcile when I get in next week. I remember vaguely thinking at about 1:30 that I was hungry, but never actually got around to eating. I didn’t lose my focus until about 3:45 when I was interrupted by a co-tenant telling me he was leaving and I was the last one in the building. I realized that I hadn’t been all day and really needed to visit the Ladies’ Room.

Time flies when you are focused.

So, what have you learned about me?

1. If you want to win at a video game, I should be your opponent of choice.

2. There is a valid reason I was picked last in gym class.

3. I do NOT lack focus when I work.

I’m pretty sure the last is the most important – unless you are 8, then the first is of far greater interest.