Yes, I’m late to the game, as usual! Years ago, amidst the fidget spinner craze, I bought one and it has sat inside my desk drawer ever since.
My children didn’t go to school. Our family not being the overly social type, we weren’t involved in many kids’ groups, so I only knew about the fad because I saw the comments on social media. We were curious though. Anything that gets that much hate on social media, should be checked out. What was the fascination? Only one way to find out! We ordered one from Amazon.
When it came in the mail, we were excited to play with it. Everyone had one of these. They were disrupting classrooms. And old people were grumbling about “Kids these days!” They must be fun! But we missed the point, I guess. It was interesting for a few minutes, but then it went in my drawer never to be seen again.
I have habits, my friends, and many of them revolve around food. I eat not because I’m hungry, but because I’m bored and I need to curb that, maybe create different habits that serve the same purpose but with fewer unburned calories.
One of my morning rituals is to grab a cup of coffee and read for an hour before moving on to yoga and then writing, breakfast, maybe a bit more reading if I have time. I love to read. I love what I’m reading. And I carve out as much time as I can to read, setting aside many, probably more important and productive things I should be doing. But guess what? I have a terrible time focusing on what I’m reading and tend to fall asleep no matter how much I love the material.
And it’s not just books. I do the same thing watching TV and driving long distances. I can’t seem to sit still and focus without drifting off to la-la land. I do get plenty of sleep and I eat fairly well…most of the time. I’ve created tricks to keep me awake though! I knit while I watch tv and I chew gum while I drive and listen podcasts.
While I read, I eat and there is the problem. I’m not hungry. I’m just doing something with my hands or mouth while I’m reading. It keeps me focused and awake. Each hour I read, I consume about 200 calories of something I do not need like Cheerios, crackers, and pretzels. I tried fruit but it goes to quickly and it’s messy. Carrots work, but at 5am with a cup of coffee? No thanks.
This morning it came to me: what ever happened to that fidget spinner? Instead of grabbing a bowl of dry Cheerios to nibble, I went and found that toy. One hour of reading later, I realized I was on to something.
As an example of my “lack of focus,” I suggest you read another post of mine, “Unproductive?” from almost two years ago.
Crazy, huh? My youngest son is the same way with focus. He has always had to be a tad distracted with something else to listen better. My older son, not so much. He’d lay there still as a board, doing nothing else, and listen for hours to music, books read aloud, or nothing really. I found it so strange. The younger always had Legos out, or a video game, or some small toys to mess with. It was a running joke to test him on what was going on in the room when we believed he was completely distracted. He never failed.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to find a non-food focus help like a fidget spinner while I read, but I’m glad this one came up. I’m laughingly telling myself this is all I need to lose a few pounds. It’s not the Taco Bell, the bag of potato chips, or the pie that is making me fat, it’s the cheerios while I read in the morning, dammit! Hey, it’s a piece of the puzzle, right? One more step in the right direction, and I’m getting to read more too.