CFS brain adventures: the Paper Cutter fiasco

Again, for your edification and amusement: how to deal with daily life when you have two functional neurons – and one is usually necessary for breathing – little stories on coping.

It’s 2:18pm. I got up when I woke up at 6am, even though I went to bed at 1am, because I was too anxious about getting daughter up at 8:30 – which DID turn out to be necessary (finals – and she’s overworked and under-slept) – to get back to sleep.

Then I had the usual bad period: trying to wake the brain up, surfing, etc., until I finally dragged myself to First Nap around 11 (instead of 9am when I SHOULD have taken myself to bed) – but not before first deciding in a burst of (false) energy, to at least cut sheets of cover stock into 1-5/8” strips (to finish the Gizzy bed project – the project wherein I’m making a cooled bed for the chinchilla). And, since we are so functional (NOT), to also (since I would be dragging the paper cutter out of storage) print me up some more business cards from the cover stock, as I handed a bunch out at the last Folk Music Sing.

So, set the business card sheet face down to flatten, while I did horrible attempts to get the math to come out to use the paper cutter to give me the paper strips (totally horrible – should have quit right then but was determined – oh bad decisions) I need to use as templates to figure out how to cut the wood.

Okay, so I finally get the strips cut from the first sheet of paper I took from the package before I started figuring out the math – got 4 cut (instead of the 5 I knew I should get) because of the aforementioned horrible math. I knew I needed more paper strips – since I will be using about 6’ of the 8’ piece of wood – so I reached for another sheet, and this time got the math right and ended up with 5 MORE strips, for a total of 9, which even at 11” each should be enough for the 8’ piece of wood. Right?

And, before heading for First Nap, decided that, if I just spent a moment and cut the business cards, I could put the paper cutter away, and have one MORE task actually done (of such tiny steps is my day).

Yup. You guessed it. The sheet had disappeared.

Didn’t take long to figure it out – I had reached for the second sheet, which had the business cards printed on it, because it was face down (looked unused), and it was right next to me where I sat on the carpeting with the paper cutter (no desk space – are you kidding? in this tiny crowded room? when I haven’t done paperwork in ages?). I didn’t have the brainpower to wonder at the foresight of placing a second sheet conveniently at hand BEFORE I even thought it would take more than one sheet.

Yup again – I had cut the business card sheet into 1-5/8″ paper strips.

After a good laugh at myself, I wisely left the re-printing of the business cards and the cutting thereof for a later time, and headed for bed, to emerge from First Nap almost two hours later with a somewhat clearer brain, and tidy the task away with no further trouble.

And I will KEEP those strips face down while I work on the Gizzy bed project. I don’t need to be reminded that I CAN ONLY DO ONE TASK AT A TIME.

But I may show them to DH – to get a laugh from him. He’s been living opposite this for 23 years.

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2 thoughts on “CFS brain adventures: the Paper Cutter fiasco

  1. Circe

    You made significant progress! Congratulations! It is so wonderful, maybe especially as a writer, or anyone who spends significant time at a desk or laptop, to create something tangible with the hands. Is a photo forthcoming? Sometimes I try so many tasks simultaneously that I merely stir things up: hourly reminders that I can do only one task at a time would be useful.

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    1. ABE Post author

      Scattered work used to mean I was making progress on all fronts. Now it merely means I’m switching from task to task to task without getting anything done on any of them. 😦

      Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get my pictures from my camera to my Mac! It is on the list: 1) read manual for camera (which is in a pdf file on my computer), and 2) if that doesn’t work start with the Google reasearch, keywords ‘Lumix camera problem mac.’ I don’t know why I’m so reluctant to read the manual – I guess I’m mad that just hooking the camera up as an external drive (the obvious instruction) put iPhoto into an endless loop and required restarting my computer, several times, and I HATE restarting my computer! (Thanks for making me clarify this to myself.)

      Each process has a ‘next step’ – which may be as tiny as ‘get measuring tape from basement.’ The ‘next step’ idea comes from ‘Getting Things Done,’ a useful, but not well organized, book by David Allen. He says to always know what the next step is on each of your projects. If I get that step done – that may be it for the day, but I got something done.

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