Going in Circles, Scattered Brain Syndrome?

Bird Tracks in snow, a backdoor visitor in Saint Paul, MN

This wandering pattern, looking like quilting in the snow, was left by some little bird was eating the birch tree seeds just inches outside my back door.

Somedays my distraction level amazes even me, and I am glad my sons are not around to comment. I walked into the kitchen and stood there, noticed the pile of trash. Gathered up the bag, wondered why I had come to the kitchen in the first place. Set the trash by the back door, remembered there was more in the bathroom. While in the bathroom, took a little break, went back to my sewing, sat down, and thought, “I went to get a glass of water!” Finished going in circles by getting the trash from the bathroom, bringing it to the kitchen, and heading out the door with the trash.

No sooner than I opened the door, I looked down and stopped. I was not the only one going in circles at my house. These wonderful tracks left by my backdoor show pacing and circles as well. Forget the trash, get the camera! A gray day, not the best lighting, but what a delightful distraction.

Then I took the trash out, and came in to get my glass of water. Noticing a few dishes beckoning in my non-automated kitchen, I started running a dish pan of hot water. Steamed up the windows really well, but a look at the glider on the patio surprised me with visions of a Cooper’s Hawk having his lunch. Now where did I set the camera when I came in? The cell phone in my pocket has a low-end camera, so I snapped a quick shot through the steamy window before going to look for my real camera.

Cooper's Hawk in Saint Paul MN

As seen through a very steamy window, this Cooper's Hawk was dining in my garden.

Of course the hawk was gone when I returned. The sparrows and chickadees were warily filtering back to the bird feeders. The predator will return, they have established themselves in urban jungle quite effectively the last few years. A magnificent bird in flight, with absolutely amazing talons, they do charge the carefully managed backyard with flashes of reality. If birds are hatched in my springtime backyard, perhaps it is fitting that a few meet their demise there as well. Another way of going in circles.

I work on projects in much the same way. I start one, start another, see a fabric that beckons and am soon contemplating a third. Each gets worked on, in random order. I drift through them and enjoy the process until reality moves in and I decide to bear down and finish something, anything, to get one thing off the table.

This time of year, that reality is very holiday driven. Christmas can swoop in like a hawk, eating time, and requiring me to set aside my wandering. I am motivated by deadlines for gifts, and the desire to actually use my dining room to entertain people. Deadlines can be a good thing, making me weed out projects and clean up the house. It marks the few days of the year that quilts in progress are not sprawled out being basted, or the ironing board planted firmly in sight of football games on television.

chickadee eating in dads yard

Welcome little chickadee! Enjoy the peace.

I truly do enjoy that time but find, in the days after, when the dishes are put away and the house is peaceful, that the neatness and calm are rather foreign to me. I am out of my element. I wander in circles, thinking that it really is a pleasant home and I should enjoy the calm, read a book, keep it tidy. Then my eye catches a bit of fabric…

And I am once again in my comfort zone of scattered quilting, a bit of reading, and rare micromoments of cleaning. The magnificent holidays and all the entertaining have swooped through, delightful in their own way. But, like the chickadees back at the feeder, I am ready for some routine, some time to just enjoy the process. See? I am already looking forward to it.

However, this week is clean off the table and decorate the house week. I will be the hawk, the mess is my prey. I actually started about an hour ago, but then I peeked at my email, and thought about all my quilting friends. And sat down here, oh dear, I have wandered my scattered brain into writing a blog post. Time to log off and get back to work!

©2010, The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com.


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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13 Responses to Going in Circles, Scattered Brain Syndrome?

  1. Jansie says:

    Love your analogies. And this circling sounds very familiar! Beautiful photos too. Love seeing what others come upon in their back yards. 🙂

  2. Piroska says:

    Love it!
    (I’m so relieved…that I’m not the only one with this syndrome).

  3. Peggi says:

    It’s nice to know that I’m not alone with this scattered brain syndrome. 😉

  4. Val Laird says:

    Sounds just like home!!! Really enjoyed this post.


  5. Louise says:

    Oh my goodness! And I thought I was the only one with Scattered Brain Syndrome. I love that name for it, better than another Senior Moment. I do it all the time too, along with trying to multitask & then looking at what I’m carrying in my hands & ask, how did those get there & where do they belong?

  6. Sequana says:

    What a nice post…….and lovely pics of the birds. I do that “what did I come in here for?” all the time. I like to think it’s because I have so many creative thots running around in my brain all the time that the mundane thots just have to push themselves forward. Don’t you think?

  7. Jennie says:

    Oh good! Some one who understands enjoying a bit of chaos in life. Thanks for sharing. As for the poor little birdie in hawk’s hands… alas, so goes life.

  8. Martin says:

    Mary is for the birds today! As I kid I watched my mom drift about forgetfully, now I pretend I have purpose in all I do.

  9. Donna says:

    I for one am GLAD that you wandered over and wrote a post for us to enjoy today. Nice to share with friends.

  10. Cindy says:

    I’m glad to hear that there is another name for those actions. I was tired of hearing that it was another Senior Moment. You are not alone. Thanks for sharing. I do love your blogs.

  11. Sheila says:

    What a beautiful way to put regular ol’ life into words.

  12. Annmarie says:

    OH MY!! What a wonderrful post. You just summed up every woman’s life. thanks for the chuckle! great picture of the hawk too – great setting.

  13. vietnamista says:

    Thanks for this article, Mary. I got circly-scatter-brain
    syndrome BAD! See you tomorrow.

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