Help! I’ve Become a Fribbler!

By Gail Blohowiak

(fribble, fribbler, fribbling,etc are real words)

I have learned to fribble. I’m a very good fribbler.  Fribbling and writing are not compatible.  

My pandemic life is full of useful and useless items.  I try to focus on useful and productive items.  

 It seems that some weeks Zoom has taken up my life.  I Zoom with my two writers’ groups, my two book clubs, and two friends’ groups., and a critique group.  I Zoom a lot.  I even Zoom Happy Hour with a group of friends.  

Other times, I fribble.  I fribble a lot lately too.  

Fribble is those times when I go to do something productive and end up doing something unproductive.  

I make it to my office and open my document files with all the good intentions of doing edits. My motivation is lax and soon I check emails and FaceBook posts. I know I should silence my phone and iPad, but I don’t.  I attend each zing or new notification!  It might be a video of my youngest grand doing something cute!  I can’t miss this!  

 I get distracted by listening to the news on the radio of on the T.V. playing in the background.  I get distracted by the need for coffee, water, or a potty break.  

My intentions are exemplary!  However, I quickly descend into fribbling away another good hour or two until a Zoom meeting begins, until it is lunchtime until someone distracts me with a lawnmower, trimmer, or garbage collection.   

The mail is another distraction – I can now identify the exact time the mail carrier arrives at our mailbox and I can identify the hour the Fed Ex, or Amazon drivers drive our cul de sac.  I am vigilant with these tasks.  But, when it comes to editing or writing, I fribble! 

I never used to be a fribbler!  I was always focused on the job at hand.   I spent my time engaged in productive endeavors.  

Now, on the way to the kitchen for a refresh of coffee, I watch the birds at our feeder, or I count the seeds on the ground and wait for the squirrel or chipmunk to come around for cleanup duties.  This isn’t a true fribble. I now call this ‘being in the moment’.  It’s not.  It’s fribbling! 

If any of you reading this has suggestions or a foolproof cure for fribbling, please contact me via an email, text message, FB post, or Zoom Room.  I still have my notifications on.  I have not gone silent.  I will not add this to my lists of fribbling activities.  I will count it as an intervention to put me back on track to writing and editing.  Please Help! 

Copyright 2020. Gail Blohowiak. (920) 360-6235. gailblohowiak@gmail.com

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