I read somewhere recently (no: unfortunately neither can I remember where that was nor by who) that ‘multitasking’ is not necessarily a helpful aspiration because it takes us away form being fully present with the one thing we are currently doing. I liked that a lot, not just because I aspire to being more present but also I’m really bad at multitasking and that used to bug me sometimes – especially when people would comment on this with something along the lines of ‘but you’re a woman and aren’t women good multitaskers?’ Well, clearly not all of us are. So, not aspiring to becoming an ace-multitasker not only sits well with my desire to be more fully present but also with my feminist values of enjoying and celebrating diversity.
However, I would sometimes enjoy being able to multitask a bit better. Last week I reached crisis point between Tuesday and Wednesday when I tried to arrange dates for 6 different things (2 mediation meetings for my part-time job; a planning meeting for some freelance work; 2 planning dates as a co-director of deep:black (one involving 5 different people); a planning meeting for a new photography project; a mediation meeting for my role as a volunteer mediator) and to fit attending a 3-day workshop into it. Unfortunately by Tuesday evening things that I had already agreed had changed again and needed rescheduling. It didn’t help that most people had not yet got back to me about the dates I had offered so I kept holding whole bundles of dates in case this or that meeting would happen there. On Tuesday night I found myself in a house meeting at home where we also tried to arrange some joint work – and I was close to simply burning my calendar and live a life free and radical without meetings and planning. Quite aptly my mobile phone had died the day before and I’m temporarily using an old phone that doesn’t recognise any information on the SIM card making it not any easier to connect with people and diaries.
Good that on Friday someone reminded me of the word ‘surrender’ that had actually been my companion in 2012 – and good that o Saturday I happened on this boat on the canal with the number 93 written so excitedly in bright turquoise that the paint had spilled over everywhere just as my brain was trying to cope with 93 bright things and spilling over a bit with the effort. And good that it had the word ‘trust’ written next to it, surely a cousin of ‘surrender’.