I’ve struggled to come up with a post lately. One that resonates with people; one that transcends what you or someone you know or I might be going through. That’s what these posts I do every Monday are supposed to be.
I decided on distractions. Those things that we focus on to keep us from doing something else, maybe those things we say we really want.
It’s Normal, But What’s Normal?
As I grow older and face those inevitable things one does in different stages of life and as I look at life in general — how this or that is supposed to be, I’ve come to a conclusion. We all do the best we can at any given time and we rely on distractions, this, that, to keep our sanity.
I wish someone had written a rule book or guide book on how to deal with all the shite that comes our way. But there isn’t one. We all just figure it out as we go along.
I love the ways in which our lives have opened up. The fact that I can write this, and someone will read it and think, “Yes, I’m there, I understand.” And, I know the flip side of that from my parents. They grew up in an age where you didn’t reveal intimate details about yourself. You stayed strong. You only revealed that to family and maybe, just maybe, a friend.
I don’t know what is the “better” way. I don’t think it matters. As I’ve watched a loved one struggle through something, I’ve learned things about him I’d never known. Would there have been a different outcome had he had someone whom he could have confided in on a broader scale? I don’t know.
Maybe it’s all just distractions. We all put things off — the things we say we really want to do — by doing this or that. Getting this job or that one. Making this amount of money until we finally DO WHAT WE REALLY WANT TO DO. Or we don’t.
I had a conversation with my loved one as we were in ICU one night. We were watching a program about Arizona, a place he’d always wanted to go and did, ten years before “life” caught up to him. He said, “When I went there, I felt as if I was home. We bought a camera for that trip and then lost it before we got home.”
Then he started crying.
“It doesn’t matter, you’ve got those images here and here,” I said, pointing to my head and heart.
It wasn’t the camera he was crying about. I think he was thinking about those wide, open spaces he loved so much and maybe how he got distracted by the things in life that we all get caught up in. Those distractions that keep us from sometimes appreciating the things we really love, the things we say we’re going to do “someday.” The things that make us feel joy.
We all go through these pivotal events that change us forever and I think they teach us the most valuable lessons about ourselves. That we can screw up and “fail” and it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that at some point, we do those things we say we want to do and live life the way we want life to be. And not give a good damn what anyone thinks.
Until then, we let things distract us until we’re ready to become who we’re supposed to be.
That’s what I’m going to take solace in. All those distractions and voices inside my head that tell me I can’t do this or keeps me from getting what I say it is I want.
That giant inside us that distracts us and gives us false information sometimes.
“My giant goes with me wherever I go.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s up to me to tell my giant every once in awhile, “Leave me alone, you’re staying here and I’m going to do want I want.
Happy Monday everyone.
What’s been distracting you lately from doing what you want? What are you going to do about it? I’d love to hear your plans/suggestions!
I’ve mentioned what is holding me back right now, but, I know that will lift (I must believe it will) and I’ll be able to move forward. I’d love to travel again, just fly somewhere without the panic I associate with travel. I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish that feat, still, I have faith it can and will happen. One day. Soon.
Addie, my friend I do know what you mean. I’m not referring to those things that you cannot control. I admire your strength and honesty. For myself, I was talking about those unwarranted fears or distractions that keep me stagnant. I have absolute faith that you’ll do whatever it is you set your mind to because you have that kind of kind and strong spirit!
Ah, those fears. Well, they stop me, too. When they swirl in my head, I find if I say “STOP!” aloud, they do on occasion. Or, I’ll write them down. Once I have them out of my head, it really seems to help in the getting rid of them blues, as it were. Does that make sense? Once the block is gone, you can move to where you want to go!
That sounds good, Addie. I’ve done that too! It makes perfect sense — thank you. :).
For me, distractions are the chattering voices that try to drown out the messages from my small still voice. They’re the things bouncing up and down in my field of vision saying “look at me, pay attention to me, made you look!” that try to draw my attention outward. Seemingly paradoxically (did I just commit a grammar faux pas?), when I tend to the directives of Spirit, the needs of body are taken care of with ease; not so when the process starts from body. That’s my experience…How wonderful that your loved one did have the chance to experience that place of “home” on Earth! Now, if we could only just remember how to be in that space no matter where we physically are…xoxoM
That’s it for me as well, M! Those “chattering” voices that we’ve grown accustomed to, for whatever reason. I think you put it beautifully, as always, when one takes care of the spirit, those things fall into place, huh? Thank you. xo
I am looking for a new job and not having much success, but not giving up either. Happy Monday:)
Hope you find the perfect one for you, Craves. Happy Monday!
Don’t give up. It’s taken me a year to find a job in my new Country and it came when I least expected it. Goold luck. 🙂
Hi Teresa! I’ve missed you and so glad you’re here again. You’ve been through enormous change and I remember reading some of your posts about it. It sounds as if everything turned out great though. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon. (and read more about what’s going on with you). :).
I’d like to rise above my inner distractions — silence myself for myself. make sense? I can muster the strength in the outer world never the inner..brings me down– a giant squashing.
Isn’t it amazing what you learn about your loved ones while faced with serious uncertainities? I just wish we did not wait til these stresses to unleash our souls to learn.
Even when you struggle on what to write, you always get me thinking Brigitte.
ps forgive my typos
what typos? 😉
Silence is always a good thing if you can clear it all out! The weird thing that’s the only way you can, right Audra? I agree with you but I think, for whatever reason, it brings out the best in us. Thanks, Audra because I am struggling these days. ;). xo
seems to be the theme lately. It is like the flu
Oh no, not the flu!! 😀
I know about distraction, believe me. It’s definitely an Achilles’ heel. My own treacherous brain distracts me at every opportunity. I’ve had to learn various tricks and methods to get myself to work and finish projects. It can be very frustrating, because even with the best intentions I find myself so easily side-tracked. I try not to make excuses for it, but it’s something I fight literally every day.
Regarding your father growing emotional regarding Arizona–I’m not sure if it’s a feature of the generation or the age of the men, but my grandfather, toward the end of his life, got very emotional about his WWII experiences–and not just the ones which were violent or in which he lost friends–just every day stuff. When you get to be that age you’ve seen so much–so much beauty and some pain too (you can’t live that long without losing someone you love, you know?) that maybe everything makes you emotional. I guess I’ll find out. Hope I do, anyway.
I know exactly what you mean. My brain’s like a monkey in a cage sometimes. Such an original statement there, but whatta ya gonna do? I fight it as well, my friend.
My Dad was just a kid during WW2 but his generation was still about keeping things private. Could be a Southern thing or growing up in the country thing — not sure. But he has seen alot and experienced a lot so you’re right about that. I hope you find out too, Smak. (And me too!)
Like you and everyone else, I wish I could turn down the noise in my own head. Lately it’s like a cacophony of voices making me anxious, telling me what I “should” do, what I shouldn’t do, etc. As therapists we always tell our clients not to “Should” on themselves! ha! And here I am doing it to myself! I think my anxiety about the future is causing me to feel paralyzed and so I just want to crawl back in bed.
The funny thing is, I know if all of my circumstances were normal and healthy, exactly what I’d be doing. I think we all have little scenarios in our heads of how we’d like life to go — not fantasy, but real life desires. (the bit about the Arizona conversation makes me sad. )My life stuff, logistics, the way things unfold, always seems to block me from getting to those dreams. Mary Engelbreight has an illustration with the quote – “Bloom where you are planted.” Easy in concept but difficult to do.
Another great post Brigitte! Like Audra said, you always get us thinking. 🙂
Have a beautiful, distraction free day!!!
I just bet there is (alot of noise in your head), Lisa. I like that — don’t Should on yourself! I’m going to remember it. Those big life-changers will do that to you if you let them. The rational you knows that this will pass and sometimes it’s alright to crawl back into bed.
You are so right. What is it about us to think about that road not taken? The answer isn’t there, really. It’s what you do with what you have now because that’s really all we have — now. I love that quote and I didn’t to make you sad!!
You guys get me thinking too – with your insight, your posts and your comments. You have a wonderful day too and thanks so much, Lis. xox
I was distracted for many years until I decided it was now or never. Unfortunately, one’s life circumstances determine whether one can ignore those ‘distractions’ and do what he or she really wants. But I suppose where there’s a will there’s a way, even if it takes years or decades to get there. It’s no mystery why they say the things we most regret are those things we didn’t do.
Wonderful post, as always. 🙂
I hear that Carrie. Ain’t nothing to it, but to do it, right? I’m glad you enjoyed the post and there’s always chocolate, right? That’s a good distraction. ;).
The BEST distraction…
My best distractions are writing and reading all my favorite blogs. It is a hard question, how do we do all we want, yet accomplish what must be done as well? How do we get to the wide open spaces of AZ sitting behind our cubicles earning the money to get us there? Man Brig, if you can figure that out I bet you make millions.
Good to be back among friends. I missed you too. 🙂
Rep, you have some valid points to ponder and perhaps that COULD be the next “big” thing. Hmmm. Worst things have been, if you know what I’m sayin…have you watched those morning shows sometime? Good grief, I’m pretty sure I could come up with some kind of “how-to” to suit the masses. But hold on, first I have to….
Good to have you back and missed you!!
When I struggle with a post, I think it’s obvious in the final product. 😉 When you struggle, you create a magical piece! As I get older, I find myself more easily distracted from both my work and my relaxation. That frustrates me to no end, and I’m still searching for a way to maintain focus. Sometimes we need that break and to let our minds and muses wander where they will. But other times, we need to stay on track, no matter how difficult it is.
I think you’re right, JM. Although not sure if you mean this post…but, anyhoo I love constructive criticism. (no I don’t…I’m a big baby and get my feelings hurt easily). Just kidding. I know what you mean though. The struggle teaches us things — what not to do and what we don’t want and that’s a very good start to getting what you DO want. Thanks so much, JM.
I’m just now getting the WONDERFUL comment you paid me. THANK YOU. And sorry I was distracted….
I am saying, “I am there”. I think my distraction comes from taking on too many projects at one time. I ended up not being able to deliver for any of them, so I had to cut some of them out. It was hard to do that, but I would rather complete fewer projects to the maximum quality they can be, than a million ones half- assed. I am glad I got a moment to visit you today!
I’ve been there as well, Becca. Not sure why saying no is so difficult sometimes but I really like your thinking. I’m glad you stopped by too, Becca. It’s always great to see you here and thank you.
Sent from Brigitte’s iPad
Anxiety about the future and too much thinking about the past – try to think only in the now.
That’s great advice, Ruta! Thank you!!
Sent from Brigitte’s iPad
hmmm… I’ve been distracted lately by the little guy on my shoulder telling me it’s not good enough that I’m working part-time right now… I need to get full-time work like I’ve always had, like all respectable people have…. steady, 8-5pm work with 2 weeks vacation a year. But my plan is that if I can just work enough to cover expenses, I will allow myself this opportunity to use the rest of the time exploring creative endeavors, things that really wake me up as a person, make me more interesting to ME. I’m boring the heck out of myself with all this I-ought-to-do-this and I-ought-to-do-that. What’s distracting me is that constant chant I’ve heard ever since I’ve been old enough to call myself an adult. But you know what… with your prodding, I’m vowing as of this moment to stop looking at the darned Help Wanted ads every other day and just stick with Plan A; work that part-time job, be satisfied that it is enough, and get on with the stuff I’m much more interested in. That’s it. Stop looking at the ads. There. I feel better. LOL.
Sue, I do the same thing because I work at home. I’m very busy sometimes then it’ll die down. Ignore that voice and explore your creative endeavors. It sounds as if this is what your heart has been telling you to do. Don’t ignore that because I think that can lead you to all kinds of wonderful things. I tell myself this all the time! Sounds to me that you do know what you want. It’s the doing it and ignoring those voices that’s scary. But scary can be motivating sometimes, don’t you think? Thanks Sue.
True. Scary things aren’t always awful things. Sometimes, they are just exactly what we need! 🙂
My distractions usually come in the form of “can I really do this?” and other related voices of self-doubt. I’m also prone to weighing pros and cons in important situations/decisions so I can get really caught up in trying to emotionally calculate (if that makes sense) whether the pros outweigh the cons or if I can withstand the cons that come. I’ve experienced enough at this point though to know that we’re all stronger than we think we are and it’s really just a matter of exerting our willpower to kick those distractions in the butt and focus on what it is we really want. As always, thank you for another thought-inspiring post!
Yes! I know what you mean, Lillian. It may even be something I’ve done before. And the over-analyzing thing I do as well. But then when I finally make a decision, I ALWAYS learn something. As always, thank YOU for lending your great insight and experiences.
In terms of what I do in my daily life whether it’s writing a blog post or working on other writing, I am forever procrastinating, possibly that is what you might also refer to as a distraction. I know I do have the capacity to focus, but when I don’t, it is so easy to just screw around. It is uncanny how I suddenly become interested in something I normally have no interest in at all, such as bee keeping, simply to avoid doing what I should really be doing.
In terms of Big Picture ideas such as putting off visiting someplace important, like your loved one waiting so long to visit Arizona, at least he did get there once. I think that’s very important because there are so many of us that don’t get to where want to go ever. These days, at least for me, having so much less disposable income is a huge distraction, or as I prefer to say it, obstacle. I don’t spend what I don’t have.
Procrastination — yes I know it well, V. Why do we do it??!! I agree that if we’ve got a burning desire to go somewhere, we should try and make it work somehow. I’ve found that once I get an idea in my head of someplace I want to visit, I’ve normally been able to “make” that happen. It may take decades but maybe if it’s something we really want, things start shifting into place to get us there — literally and metaphorically.
And I’m with you. Living below my means is something I do because as long as I do, I’m happier and it usually works out I can do at least some of those things I SAY I want to. Thank you, V.
I’ve come to realize that many of my own distractions are actually the things I grew up believing had to be done first before I could do something that would be considered a distraction. I felt that I had to (fill in the blank) make the bed, do the dishes, clean the bathroom – whatever it was that needed to be done first before I could do something creative. Then I realized that I had not done anything creative. Now I try to balance those “distractions” with something more fun, more creative like writing, photography, knitting. I get the other stuff done too, but it doesn’t end up getting done first all the time. And I am a happier girl for it. Thanks for a great post, Brigitte.
You’re on to something here, Cathy and so right. I too get caught up in those things that I “have” to do first and they can be “mundane” things that normally can always wait. Not sure why, maybe because I can control those better? I think sometimes diving into creative ventures — which sometimes are spontaneous and we can’t predict the outcome — is scary, unsure. But most of the times, they bring us the most joy. Children do this. Animals do and you can actually witness that joy thing. It’s that thing of not having any preconceived notions, not getting attached to the outcome and “what ifs”. And thank you, Cathy for reading.
I so agree. It think you’re right. It is about control and not being able to predict the outcome of our more creative pursuits. I’m getting better at laying aside the “shoulds” these days and going more for the “wants.” It is a journey…
Yes, what is it that makes us want to control things? We kid ourselves thinking we can when really all we have control over is how we react. The rest, well there is a rhyme and reason to it all….
Er, social media and scrabble :). I also agree with Cathy – I have this idea (clearly from my mother, and rightly so) that all my jobs should be done before I play. To stop that taking up the whole day, I put a time limit on house work – and whatever I get done in that time is enough.
That’s a good plan. Putting a time limit on those “job” things and sticking with it. My problem is getting distracted while I’m doing those and then the entire day is gone! I think your idea is a great one and thanks, Sara.
Lots of distractions for me too Brigitte. Distractions or excuses! I can resonate with Cathy Ulrich’s comment too. I haven’t been to visit for a while – too many distractions! Great post as always Brigitte. 🙂
I bet you have had many distractions, but of the good, scary and exciting kind, huh? I’m glad you visited and thank you.
I too wish there was a rule book setting out how to deal with things that you do not understand, or situations that happen that are beyond your control. Sometimes I think distractions are buffers–they give us the time to heal or evaluate, or just shrug off the bad things.
Distractions can get out of hand and get in the way of progress, but sometimes they are a way to cope.
Right, I know! But then I guess everyone’s rule book would be different, huh? And you’re right Lou Ann, sometimes we need those distractions. I think the secret is not letting any of them rule us. Figuring out that balance is the hard part. Thank you and nice to see you here!
To weight in on this conversation- distractions really have been an issue with me lately. My advice? Pick one goal that will help solve more than one of your problems. This will motivate you to move forward and leave the distractions behind!
Hello to you and WELCOME! That’s a great way to approach it — now if I could just settle on that one goal….
:). Hope you’ll be back soon — thank you!
I get so far behind in reading, that sometimes I forget about why I read people in the first place. Then I show up, and like in this case, remember why it’s a pleasure to be here. You write wonderfully, BB. A story teller with heart.
Anyway, back to the question at hand: I’m deeply addicted to distraction. I am so damned afraid of life that I spend all my time avoiding it. I know I’m doing it, but it’s a hard habit to break. BUT, I can see it, and therfore, I’m closer to beating it. But right now, I need to watch a movie and eat popcorn.
Hey Sara — nice to see you!! I’m the same way, I’ve not been good at reading and commenting lately myself. That’s so nice of you to say that, Sara — thank you. And I’m the same way as you, putting things off for this reason or that — I don’t know why I do that. I’ve been very good at avoiding things lately. I’m hoping that will pass soon! Movie and popcorn are the best and I can’t tell you how many times, we’ve said we’re going to do this or that and instead settle in and pop a HUGE bowl and have a movie marathon — one of the BEST distractions there is. Hope things are wonderful in your world and be well, my friend. xo
Brigitte..well It’s Friday and I am just replying to your Monday post.. My apologies..seems kind of apt to this post although I did not intentionally put it off, WP just popped it in my reader (4 days later???)
Procrastination is one of my flaws..I will tackle important things head on, but the smaller issues I say “Oh that can wait, or I’ll get to it later”..I miss alot of good moments but doing that so yes, I must admit that area of my life definitely needs an adjustment.
This post is a great reminder .. Oh, happy Friday!! 😉
I wonder about that freaking reader sometimes! I don’t like the changes!! That’s okay, Lynne, you’re always welcome — anytime. I do that as well, put off little things and then they become bigger. Happy Friday to you as well and let’s hope WP doesn’t get distracted anymore. ;).