A Squirrel Infestation

No, I’m not talking about those cute, bushy-tailed critters that are currently making a mess under our orange tree. I mean those distractions that keep me from finishing tasks, including blog posts.

Don’t let their cute little come hither looks fool you.

I’d love to tell you that my computer desk is neat and tidy, but that would be a lie. It’s covered in squirrels. Every time I sit down to write a post, at least one of them starts nipping at my arm. As soon as I turn my focus away from my keyboard to attend to that squirrel’s needs, more squirrels begin clamoring for attention.

The same thing happens in other areas of our house. Recently I started going through my closet to purge clothes I no longer need only to be distracted by squirrels on my dresser, next to the bed, and even hiding in the linen closet. It is impossible to complete a chore while being bombarded with their incessant chatter.

The squirrels in my living room and kitchen are in competition with each other. If I’m in the living room, the kitchen squirrels start to make a ruckus. If I’m in the kitchen, the commotion the living room squirrels make is hard to ignore. (Of course, the kitchen squirrels have a distinct advantage since they can tempt me with food. The refrigerator squirrels are particularly good at vying for my attention.)

My squirrels have been especially active lately. There are multiple partially finished tasks that I really need to get done. I have sewing projects, writing projects, arts and crafts projects, and house projects, as well as organizing, gardening, and trip planning to complete. Unfortunately, once I finish my morning coffee and the daily Wordle (the newest squirrel to take up residence in our house) all the other squirrels start demanding equal attention.

I obviously can’t please them all, so I’m trying to be more selective in responding to their seductive cries. In fact, as soon as I tidy up my desk squirrels, I will finish this blog post.

If you are reading this, you know that I was successful… at least this time.   

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

152 thoughts on “A Squirrel Infestation”

  1. When you finish your de-squirreling please come here and help me. I have many in every room, and while I mean to banish them I never quite do.

  2. Congratulations in triumphing over the squirrels on your desk and finishing this blog post. I find that I am much better at ignoring squirrels when I know I will be alone in the house for the day, with nothing else on my calendar. Yesterday was such a day. I Marie Kondoed the heck out of my closet without (too much) squirrel interruption. I did not stop for lunch, snack or break. Why? Dreadful fear of squirrels! Said closet is now successfully organized. 😀

  3. I have had nothing but squirrels to deal with this week. Or a better name would be alligators. I was hoping to deal with squirrels. I enjoyed your post so much!

  4. Thank you, Janis! I am so glad it is not just me. I’ve never heard the many (infinite!) ways that I can distract myself referred to as squirrels, but it makes sense! I watch the squirrels in our backyard every day (while I’m trying to write a blog post or get other work done) and they are completely insane. So, yes! I’m blaming everything on the squirrels, LOL!! Now please excuse me while I go peruse the refrigerator…

    1. I think the term first came from the animated movie, Up. Dug the dog kept getting distracted by squirrels. It’s very good if you haven’t seen it and Dug is adorable. I think squirrels are the perfect thing to blame everything on, including unscheduled trips to the fridge. 🙂

      1. Oh, how could I forget?! I absolutely loved that movie, and of course that’s where your reference comes from! I need to watch ‘Up’ again. I remember it being so uplifting. 🙂

  5. I can relate totally. The thing is I used to call it multi-tasking before retirement. Now there seems no reason to focus because I have all the time in the world, or so I tell myself!

  6. So far I have kept the Wordle squirrel from setting up residence in my house (and mind). I have too many other squirrels living with me already. Oh boy, I can relate. Thanks, Janis – for giving me a cute fluffy tree rat visual instead of the demonic ones I was blaming on my distractedness 😁.


  7. Congrats on your success against the squirrels! I had never heard of this expression, but it’s so fitting. (And, yes, that squirrel in the pic is super cute.) Best line: The refrigerator squirrels are particularly good at vying for my attention. 🙂 Good luck getting everything done!

  8. Oh, I laughed all the way out. Attending to squirrels?! That’s a pretty good joke, my dear Janis 😂. I almost thought you meant rats 🐀. Seems these darlings can be this pesky too then! 🤗😂

  9. Problem is, once you know squirrels are the source of the ‘problem’ they soon become more an excuse to not focus on what needs to be focused upon rather than a mystery as to why nothing of consequence seems to come from such work! (Spoken by one who is at the end of a squirrel run and not really wanting to get on with the task(s) at hand!!!!!)
    Thanks for the laughs and I’m with ya, lady!

  10. My first thought when reading this is how squirrels have been the bane of my existence ever since our lab, Copper, came into our lives. Nothing else excites him more than those speedy, bushy-tailed rodents. 🙂 This is hilarious and so true!

  11. Wow! Squirrels in the house, even imaginary ones, would shock my wife to death. As long as they are outside, she would consider them cute and worthy to be photographed and posted on Flickr. Haha!

  12. Success over those pesky squirrels and getting the post finished is what counts, good job! Thank you for the smiles and giggles. I loove this post.

  13. So that is what these are, Janis, squirrels! I thought we escaped the squirrels when we moved away from Sacramento! Alas, like you, they are still everywhere to distract me! Great to see your post and have a great weekend!

  14. Janis, Yup. And yesterday one squirrel took me down a rabbit hole… is that mixing metaphors too badly? Do share when you have a squirrel eradication solution.

  15. Ha ha. You’re describing my first nine months of retirement! I think I just tune out the squirrels these days. There are still lots of unfinished and even unstarted projects, but their existence no longer bothers me.

  16. Too funny! We leave peanuts in a squirrel feeder in the backyard. They must be sneaking inside to distract me without my knowing it. Thanks to you, I have an explanation for my distractions!

  17. I’m very familiar with those squirrels as well and I’m not a fan! For me, it helps to live in a smaller space like a camper – less squirrels to take care of. But, there are always uncountable squirrels in my head. I wish you success straightening out your squirrels. Or better, getting your squirrels in a row. 🙂

  18. I love your analogy Janis. I too, am surrounded by squirrels. Today, at least, they are letting me READ other people’s blogs!

      1. The “unpacking” squirrels are competing with the “daily routine” squirrels. But, we are loving our new town! Thanks for asking.

  19. Thanks for my Monday morning giggle. This blog post is a squirrel in disguise as I’m supposed to be updating a project plan for the day job.

  20. Way to chase the blog writing squirrel to the finish line! I’ve been battling with the squirrels too. I just said to my daughter on the phone last week, “Squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, I have one more thing to tell you that just popped into my head!” Thank you for the fun distraction from my tax prep. I LOVE Wordle too 😉 Happy squirreling to you.

    1. I love what you said to your daughter! I know the feeling when you have so many (squirrely) thoughts in your head that it’s hard to keep them all straight. I’m happy that I was able to distract you (hmmm… does that make me a squirrel?) from your tax prep for a moment.

      1. Thanks – my daughter is one of the few people who can follow my squirrel thoughts without too much pause. Yes, you’re a beautifully creative squirrelly thought person that can easily distract me into the joining the fun of the blogosphere. 💕😁

  21. I never heard the fleeting thoughts as squirrels. My brain starts tons if things everyday and if I’m lucky I get a couple done. I thoroughly enjoyed your chase.

          1. Yes indeed. Thanks for the follow. I took my inside trash cans outside yesterday to empty them and wash them out. I just went and brought them back in. Thanks for the reminder. Lol

  22. I definitely have this problem. In fact, that’s why I’m reading your post right now. It keeps me from writing my own!! I also have this problem with cleaning and organizing. You start in one place and end up in ten other places, never finishing any of them. Glad I’m not the only one.

  23. I’m right there with you, Janis, including inviting the squirrel Wordle into my morning! LOL! It doesn’t take much for me to let the squirrels in these days!

  24. hahahaha! Thanks for this early morning laugh 😆 Should I mention that I’m reading blog posts instead of attending to all the various squirrels demanding attention? I’ve become very passive-aggressive with them 😉

  25. I’ve avoided Wordle as I have enough squirrels although I live by lists and I don’t let the squirrels in charge of the pen. Being detail and goal oriented helps a little with the squirrels but for sure retirement allowed them in the door. Bernie

  26. What a fun way to think about all those distractions, Janis. They are pesky indeed. And Daily Wordle is my newest squirrel too. Ha ha. I’m glad you got your blog post done. One squirrel at a time…. 😀

  27. Perhaps an invasion of squirrels is why many bloggers go to coffee shops to write. Of course, my squirrels would probably follow me there! Thanks for the smile. You beat the squirrels today and that’s all that matters!

  28. I’m perpetually behind in Reader Janis and despair that I have such a problem getting things done anymore. I blame it on not having a better work/life balance and tell myself “well maybe when I retire, it will be better and I’ll be more together.” After reading this post, now I worry that it may never happen. 🙂 I’ve not jumped on the Wordle train yet, but I do play Word Wipe once a day and like it and Klondike Solitaire three a day … for purposes of keeping the brain humming along of course.

    1. The thing about retirement is that we bring our nature with us. I’ve always been the type who gets easily distracted. At least with work, I had solid deadlines (not saying I miss having deadlines, mind you). I don’t know the games you listed and it’s best that I keep it that way. 🙂

      1. It is pretty easy to go down a rabbit hole sometimes and not emerge right away. I allow myself those games, sometimes like a “sorbet” when I most need it at work. That’s why I’ve not wandered into Wordle – best not to. I have a few retired friends who do Dordle too (some other similar version) and the one friend was a math major in college and does a Wordle-type puzzle that is math related.

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