multitaskingI love my computer.  It tries hard. But between you and me, it has a very tiny mind.  Mostly, this is not a problem.  We stick to one thing at a time and it chugs along fine.  But – attempt something complex,  (opening 2 programmes at once) and sure as sausages:  it panics, freezes and then shuts down.

This is also my brain. Born to uni-task – but no further.

For example: In theory, I have a driving license. In practice it’s been 17 years since I got behind the wheel*. I drive brilliantly –  in straight lines, when no-one is speaking.  Ask me to perform A Parking Manoeuvre  and it’s a different story, (one where all the pedestrians die). Synapses fire – but not the right ones.  Instead of parking, I wonder: why is manoeuvre spelt  manoeuvre and not manoeuver?  Who invented cat’s eyes –  and where are they now? What’s the best flavour skittle? (Green). What’s that honking noise? Chillax people: there are lots of tasks in my head and I’m sorting them through.

But it’s not just in the car that my brain falls to pieces. I wake up and before the shower hits my skin, I’m drowning in choices. Have I sent those letters? Is it going to rain?  What happens when I die? When is the hospital appointment? What cereal should I eat? Did we transfer the money? Who’ll collect my mum? What should I say to X?  Are the cats getting enough protein?

All these questions seem equally important.  All of them are urgent.  But like the computer, they send me into overload. I panic, freeze and then shut down.

What’s happening?

  • I follow my heart, (which is lost)
  • I’m frightened of a life I can’t control so I focus on what I can. This means there is no small stuff and all of it is sweaty. Every decision is scary and every consideration is big. This means
  • I must make the Right Choice – but I’m paralysed by indecision.
  • Instead of talking to my fears I listen to them.
  • I need distraction because my real fears are too big to face. So
  • I look to circumstances to make me safe.  I obsess about yoghurt  and coconut water – because in the face of death and disease, THIS IS ALL I GOT.


If I won’t trust God, I gotta put my faith in something else. But nothing else stands up.


*I passed first time. But driving home, I was distracted mid-whoop by  other cars flashing and honking, (presumably to offer congrats). Turns out I was going the wrong way down a dual carriageway: fastest 7-point turn ever.


5 thoughts on “Mono-Tasking

  1. This is great Emma – just what happens to me too! Wonder if anyone else has the same problem? I think monotasking is definitely the way to go – and in that spirit I’ve just turned off the radio…

  2. “I need distraction because my real fears are too big to face”

    This is my life story in a nutshell. So true, nothing else comes even close to being able to stand up.

    Step 1 We admitted we were powerless…
    Step 2 We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves …

  3. This is so so true – when I find life / decisions etc so scarey and daunting I focus on food. What have you found helps to stop doing this???

  4. Hi Ruth – I guess what helps me is praying (and getting others to pray out loud for me). Also thinking through (by talking or writing) what I’m scared of: articulating the fears sometimes shrinks them – plus it’s a reminder that I don’t struggle alone.

  5. Hi Emma
    I have been enjoying your posts for a few months now.They are refreshingly honest. I have been depressed all my life even though I have been a Christian since I was 18 (and probably since I was 5 even) until 3 years ago when I learnt how to meditate. I mean properly meditate. It gives your mind a real rest, better than sleep. I say to all my circling thoughts ‘Hey it’s Me Time. Come back and worry me after.’ The worries don’t go away but I can deal with them just fine after meditation.I always say the Lords prayer beforehand and I didn’t take up a Mantra. My teacher was curious as to why not, and I just explained I had the Holy Spirit to help. So I may get unhappy from time to time and stressed for sure but I don’t get depressed. So a miracle! And no drugs!

    Love Vanessa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *