Monday, April 7, 2014

DISTRACTIONS!!!.....Oh, I Forgot...Wait a minute...What was I saying, doing...?

I loved the movie UP.
I particularly related to the dog who would be focused on one thing and then his brain would register "SQUIRREL!!" and off he would bound after the elusive squirrel:)
My brain at any given time while I am on a task can look a bit like this!

 AS I sat down to write this, I was distracted by trying to figure out how to find and insert an UP arrow onto the blog text which took me down three rabbit trails.
Then a robin on our deck started fighting with his reflection in the deck windows and doors...he's still at it...and I HAD to go over slowly to observe him more closely!
And then the timer beeped signally that my tea had steeped long enough!
Anyway, you get the idea.

So, I have been meeting with a lovely small group of women for six weeks growing together in five areas of our lives. They are Food, Fitness, Faith, Focus, and Friends. My main goal area to grow in was...F-O-C-U-S. Ha!
The idea is if you have these areas in balance and are pursuing improvement for the glory of God with the added benefit of an accountability group that is full of grace and on the same wavelength, you WILL improve! It has been amazing and so good for me. It has reset my thinking a lot!

This is all part of a bigger journey I find myself pursuing at this time in my life.
Eliminating those things that are distractions so that I don't get bogged down by details that drain me and the always "urgent" sirens that also deplete my drive and narrow my vision.

I will say that I have been aware of, as I think we all have for years that we are in a culture and so is a lot of the rest of the world in some way or another, that we have increasingly become distracted from living full meaningful lives. We are trading that off for instant connectivity to every technology and screen enhanced item we can fit into our lives, our pockets, purses, or onto our bodies.

Really, the industrial revolution started this "snowball rolling down the mountainside" effect and even though we see the effects of it and lament it we act as if we are powerless over allowing it into our lives and into our peace and serenity and relationships.

So, I am trying in my own little way to step back, for a time and then from time to time, from social media, emails, web-surfing, youtubing, and multiple other distractions.
I just did this for almost an entire week getting off of FaceBook with a couple of "drop-ins" to promote a musician reunion worship service at our old church and to check on the status of a friend's child that is once again in the hospital and I am committed to praying for. (By the time of this post he has been home for a while!!!)
The email fast was the same as I had to access it to reply to a vendor and also a medical appointment mix up, but for the most part it's been much "quieter" inside of me!

I filled in the rather, embarrassingly LARGE blanks with other things.
Some were good, some were not worth spending my time on, but it's a learning curve that I will embrace.

One of the main reasons for limiting FaceBook is it sucked my writing energy and any creativity I have right out of my brain cells. Speaking of those brain cells, I also know that the less screens and "blue light" exposure my ever changing, ever adapting brain is exposed to the better. The brain is an amazing gift from God and I feel I have abused and disused it often.

Yes, yes, I am sure hormones, stages of life, and a host of things contribute to memory loss, brain fog, insomnia, etc. but since I have become so much more plugged in, I feel there has been a real shift in my ability to process and deal with anything from "Where are my keys, glasses, etc.." to "Why am I so unable to deal with certain things and emotions that are no big thing or that should NOT be a big deal?"

SO, in addition to eliminating the clutter of an overstuffed closet, over-stocked pantry, too many books on shelves that will NEVER be used again, and in general,  just the clutter of a consumerist culture, I am trying to unclutter what my eyes and my thoughts are focused on for more time than need be.

We'll see how this pans out and how effective it is over time as far as getting back on the wagon of writing and pursuing those things that are nearest and dearest to GOD's heart and not my immediate gratification meter.

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