Are You Hungry for #GettingYourOwnLife? (cut out distractions)

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“Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.” Unknown

Distractions are not all bad. In fact, some are good and necessary. Here’s proof.

Definition of distraction: a diversion or recreation.
Synonyms: amusement, entertainment, diversion, recreation, leisure pursuit.

A second definition shines a less positive light: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
Synonyms: diversion, interruption, disturbance, interference, hindrance.

The third definition reminded me of author C.J. Darlington’s answer to an interview question about her becoming irritable when she didn’t write. The definition: extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Synonyms: frenzy, mental distress, insanity, mania, agitation, perturbation.

“When I don’t write, I’m turning my back on that (my calling to write). It’s taken me a long time to realize this, but I think it’s true for any of us when we don’t do what we know God’s called us to do,” she said during our Interview with C.J. Darlington, Part 3.

The last definition best fits what I’m writing about in this blog post.

I wished for C.J.’s kind of irritability, the kind that feeds our focus. Instead, I got irritable when John ran late in the afternoons. Time he pulled into our driveway, I let go of the guilt I felt about another day of not writing and I put on my wife hat. For at least a year, I postponed writing in anticipation of our dinners together.

I sound hungry for anything but my own life, don’t I?

Pretty ridiculous, huh? I’m as baffled as you must be and I’m as embarrassed as you probably think I should be about how I drummed up that much distraction around 30 minutes of eating.

From Gerald May’s book Addiction and Grace, I vaguely remember his explanations about addiction that could also apply to distractions. He talked about forming attachments, as well as addiction according to mind, body, and spirit and all sorts of addictions we conjure up. The same makes sense when we replace the word “addictions” with “distractions.”

The thing I clearly remember from reading May’s book is his explanation about overcoming addiction.

Stop it. Quit. Don’t do it anymore.

The same is true for distractions. I’ll write a lot more about them because I have a lot of them (see the list below) and because I distract myself often, but know that at the end of this blog post and the next one and the next one, there’s only one way to #GettingYourOwnLife. It’s to get your own life.

Begin it. Start. Do it every day.

Profound, I know. But beginning, starting, and doing it every day are not as easy as they sound in the midst of distractions.

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In the next few days, I’ll post a video about a time I practiced #GettingYourOwnLife. I hope you’ll tune in. This evening, I’m posting just for fun a partial list of ways I distract myself from it.

  • Shopping at Belk
  • Changing nail color
  • Reading old magazines
  • Saving articles to reread
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Shopping for grandkids
  • Playing counselor
  • Playing God
  • Replaying my past
  • Baking and eating
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Organizing photos of grandkids
  • Holding drama marathons
  • Signing up for too many activities
  • Saying “yes” to the multitudes
  • Doing things to kill time
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Bragging about grandkids
  • Pinning on Pinterest
  • Replaying what I should have said
  • Shopping at Steinmart
  • Shaping my eyebrows
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Ordering things for grandkids
  • Organizing clothes by color
  • Organizing shoes by color
  • Organizing underwear by color
  • Organizing my desk
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Organizing grandkids’ toys
  • Organizing coupons
  • Shopping at Target
  • Cleaning blinds (desperate distraction)
  • Obsessing about relationships
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Posting on Facebook about grandkids
  • Wollering because I’m frustrated
  • Napping when I should be writing
  • Talking about writing
  • Complaining about not writing
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Looking for Christmas gifts for grandkids (in June)
  • Walking in place with my Fitbit
  • Researching and re-researching
  • Hitting the snooze button
  • Cleaning under beds
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Posting on Facebook about grandkids (again)
  • Dusting ceiling fans
  • Piddling
  • Checking Fitbit steps
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Making lists about grandkids
  • Making more lists
  • Rewriting lists
  • Exercising for hours
  • Etc.

There are plenty of worthy activities on this list, but none of them move forward my writing. Also, what I name as my distraction may be the way you get your own life.

The diet plan to starving our distractions is for each of us to decide what #GettingYourOwnLife looks like and focus + act on it so we can feast on the life we want.

What focus are you feeding? What distractions do you need to starve, at least for a little while? #GettingYourOwnLIfe

In This Together,
Kim

 

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11 responses »

  1. Kim, as you know, I don’t always relate to every post, but this one hits home. I have used most of those distractions except grandkids and cleaning the blinds. You forgot commenting on other people’s blog posts (lol). My biggest distraction is tending to every need of my “disabled” husband, and the visit to his family has confirmed what I suspected. They see me enabling him far too much and have told me to stop. So, yes, too much caregiving is also a distraction. You’ll be happy to hear that I did finally start writing my next post last night while drinking a glass of wine. Is wine a distraction? Thanks for another post that keeps me honest and focused.

    • You’re right, Mary. I should have included commenting. In fact, I thought of at least 10 more, but I didn’t want to brag. LoL. You should try blinds. It’s a long distraction if you have 18 windows like we do. 🙂

      I figured the trip would shed some light. Not that you didn’t already know, but hopefully it’ll offer some relief and permission to back off some. That’s really easy for others to suggest, but it’s difficult to do. I remember how hard it was to let go of our teenaged kids. Also, I’ve watched family members nearly kill themselves helping others. I’ve done it myself and felt like I was going to die trying to let them go. You have to have our type personality to understand how hard it is to let distractions go (especially if they’re people) and live our own lives.

  2. Ouch! You’re so right – if I wrote 1/10 as much as I TALK about writing or 1/100 of the time I spend procrastinating, the book would be written and the sequel would be well underway! Off I go to get some work done! Thanks for the nudge!

    • Me too, Shel! I thought of another 10 ways I distract myself. Well, actually, I distracted myself with 10 other things and jotted them down while I was doing them. I think I’ll share them too. Maybe all this confessing will make me more accountable. LoL.

      I’m headed over to Word now … going to write also.

  3. You could have named this Distraction City. You missed one :” painting eggs on the ceiling”.

    For some Life is a distraction!

    • Hahaha, Bob! It took me a minute to figure out “painting eggs on the ceiling.” John didn’t remember either. What were we thinking? We must have been desperate that day for a distraction. 🙂

      You are so right! For some, Life is a distraction.

  4. truly meaningless facebook quizzes—especially ones that I have some expertise in, and see where they’re going with the questions and answers but they’re all wrong. If I can find one I did today I’m going to write a post on it. And if there was money to be made would design them..

    • I need to add Facebook quizzes to my list, Pia. I love those things even though I KNOW they’re inaccurate and a waste of time. I’ll answer 20 meaningless test questions before I’ll write a meaningful paragraph for my manuscript. LoL. Find that Facebook test and write your blog post. I want to read it! Thanks for stopping by. ❤

  5. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    Klaudia Jurewicz, Mary Ann Zumpfe, Anjana C. Duff and 4 others

    2 shares (Mary Ann Zumpfe, Katrina Owens)

    Nancy Launi I hope it includes chocolate!
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · June 4 at 2:46am

    Kim Henson You know it does, Nancy Launi. I wasn’t ready to admit how much chocolate, though. 🙂
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 11:30am

    Mary Catherine Sargent We NEED our chocolate fix every day Kim. 🙂
    Like · Reply · June 4 at 1:47pm

    Kim Henson Mary Catherine Sargent, we sure do. I never go long without it! LoL.
    Like · Reply · June 4 at 9:36pm · Edited

    Summer Turner Exercising for hours? Really? Lol! They say that interest needs to become commitment to accomplish something. Then other things fall away or get done in an incidental way. I’m experiencing the truth of this.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 9:58pm

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, it’s true. I’ve stayed at the gym for 3 classes = almost 3 hours because if I’m home, I’ll either have to write or feel guilty for not writing. I could be the skinniest non-writer you know. LoL. I’ve experienced the falling away/get done thing also, but not so far with my manuscript. I think I have commitment issues.
    Like · Reply · 2 · June 4 at 10:22pm · Edited

    Summer Turner Maybe you can think of it as something other than “writing.” “Jotting down roughly what eventually will be in my book.”
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 10:38pm

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, I’ve done a lot of that. The chapters just aren’t coming together, but I think it’s because I work better under pressure. A lot of pressure. Today marks one month from the deadline I set for myself, so maybe things will get better now. LoL.
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 10:51pm

    Summer Turner Ok then. I want to see half the ms in two weeks. How’s that?
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 10:53pm

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, hahahaha. That’s even more pressure. It might actually happen! 😀
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 10:56pm

    Summer Turner I’m counting on it!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · June 4 at 10:57pm

    Kim Henson Summer Turner, keep in mind, I may be exercising that week. LoL. Seriously, I’m on it!
    Like · Reply · 1 · June 5 at 12:46am

  6. Pingback: Ditching Distractions for Life | S. Kim Henson ~ Getting Your Own Life while Loving the People in It.

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