January 17th, 2012

procrastinate

Distractions

My task for the day yesterday was the makeup drawer in my bathroom, and I found that I am apparently reluctant to throw makeup away, even if I no longer use it. In my twenties, I succumbed to the siren song of the Clinique Bonus Pack, where you could buy a foundation and get a handy little travel case filled with sample sized skin lotion and other treatments, plus eyeshadows, blushers and several full-sized lipsticks. You never had to buy any makeup other than the foundation. But then they changed the price threshold for getting the bonus pack, so that it was a dollar or so over the cost of the foundation, which meant you had to buy something else in addition to the foundation. Since I already had just about every shade of lipstick they made, I figured I could move on to some other kind of makeup. Considering how long ago that was, I just threw away every Clinique item in the drawer, and that emptied a lot of space. What I was really surprised to find was a Merle Norman blush because that had to date back to high school, when the Merle Norman makeover was a kind of rite of passage (and a big reason why most of the girls in my school looked like they were in the circus, or at least on stage, and why my senior portraits involve a truly scary eye look). I have no idea why it was still in there, as it's certainly beyond use and I have no sentimental attachment. I guess I have issues with throwing away things that haven't been used up. I was also surprised by how many hotel hand lotions I have in there, and I found a few other things that I should have been using but forgot I had. I need to find a way to organize that drawer (possibly using some of those Clinique Bonus Pack cases) so I can find things more easily and put away more of the stuff that's on the counter.

Other than clearing out that drawer, I don't feel like I got a lot accomplished. It was a day when I needed to focus, and I got a bit of news that threw my focus off. Not bad news, but the kind of thing that made me start thinking about something else, which led to research, which led to more thinking, which led to composing e-mails in my head. I think I have managed to figure out the ending for The Book That Will Not Die, but I couldn't seem to focus enough to actually write. I know the person who sent the e-mail wasn't deliberately trying to sabotage me, but it was frustrating since there was no real time urgency to the message and nothing I could do about it at the moment, since it was mostly a heads up about something I might need to think about in the future. So my response was, "Really? Today, of all days, you decide to drop that on me and kill my productivity?" Though that response was in one of those mental e-mails that I didn't send. I might have done better if I'd written some of those mental e-mails, but on the non-Internet computer so they couldn't accidentally be sent. Then I would have them out of my brain instead of still composing them. I've read about a study saying that people feel better after writing a letter about something than they do after venting to a friend. People actually feel a little worse or angrier after the friend venting, but composing a letter, even if it's one you never send, does better for getting the anger out of your system and clarifying your thoughts. Not that there was actual anger here, just a lot of points that need to be clarified, and a little bit of "someone on the Internet is wrong!"

Speaking of Internet, as a word of friendly advice, do not visit the web site for a certain very famous anti-breast cancer organization (I'm afraid to even type their name online because they'll start stalking me again) or for their famous several-day fundraising walking event. Because then every single ad on every single Internet site you visit will be for that event, and the amount of pink will make you gag. We were talking about the walking thing in ballet class and couldn't remember the exact (rather high) fundraising requirement, so I was looking it up, and then I regretted doing so. I support their cause, and I even dealt with them when I worked at the medical school, and the people who run it are good people, but if I've gone to their site, I already know about them. I don't need to see their ads everywhere. I cleared cookies, cleared my browser history and finally resorted to clicking on any ad that wasn't for them. Now I'm getting a lot of clothing, furniture and jewelry ads, but I can deal with that. When your marketing makes people afraid to mention your name or visit your web site for fear you'll stalk them, you're doing it wrong.