A little kick

After writing my previous post, I have started to think about how much I lose focus on particular situations. When I was little, I used to daydream during exams, and my mind would break free until I realised I had to finish the test. One of my teachers realised it and used to, softly, kick me in the head to help me come back. She probably does not remember me, I was one of many students, but those little kicks meant a lot to me. I have to kick myself softly from time to time to keep going. There are a few situations where I can’t maintain focus for too long:

When writing correlative numbers, there is a moment when I will start going backwards. For instance, in a series such as A49, A50, A51, A52, A53, chances are that the following number will be A52, A51, and so on.

If the numbers go backwards, this will happen way sooner: A99, A98, A97, A98, …

When I am swimming, I try to focus on the act of swimming: is my hand entering the water in the proper position, how far does it get, what side is my torso leaning into, are my legs kicking, how much, how fast, is the kicking happening while my hands are entering the water, how am I breathing, when do I take the face out to breath, can I keep the breathing longer… But this doesn’t last. These thoughts hardly last one lane.

I cannot count lanes. After three or four, I am already lost. I often swim with a friend, and she keeps count not only of her lanes but also mine —we go at different speeds that don’t always match.

Watching movies. There has not been one movie where my brain did not fly away at some point until a little kick brought it back into the story.

When I cycle, or when I walk, I try to go faster, keep a steady fast pedal or a quicker walking pace. But after a short period of time, I realise my speed decreases and its not (necessarily) because I’m tired. If I am not thinking about keeping the speed up, my body decreases the speed to default.

Focusing on something reminds me of my father. He has an in-depth focusing skills. He is more like a chess player, although he doesn’t play chess. He can read and focus and think ahead —he is a retired professor in chemistry. Like in chess, he can think of the next movement, and what can happen after that, and the one after that, and one more, and another one. He cannot, however, have lateral thinking. His focus is one thing and one thing only.

February 11, 2023