Driven to Distraction.

Via on Feb 6, 2012
(Photo: Jomadado)

Feeling distracted? Me too.

{Found out you can get the above as a t-shirt…so excited!}

The past four hours have been an exercise in futility. Stretched out intending to study. Fell asleep. Got up and started editing. Constant interruptions. Settled down to write. Distracted. Sigh.

(Photo: Jeff Gunn)

Part of it’s just how I’m wired, I’ll admit. I do have issues with AD…oooh what’s that on the floor? Hmm…I’m hungry. Gee, I wonder if we have any popsicles left. Popsicle sounds weird if you say it over and over. Popsicle. Pop. Sicle. Popsicle. Pop. Si. Cle.  Yeah, I don’t think we have any. My foot itches. Itch is a funny word too. I wonder if that’s considered onomatopoeia or not. It sort of sounds like itself when I itch my foot. I mean scratch my itch. Itch. Scratch. Hmmm…still hungry. What was I talking about?

Yeah. Distracted.

It’s been a problem my whole life. On the upside, I learned to read early so I always did well in school. Had a tough time paying attention in classes, but could remember most of what I read the first time, so I always got good grades (much to the consternation of certain teachers who were positive I was goofing off and should just pay attention already dammit!) Then, when I got to college, my doctor decided that Ritalin would be helpful. Who the hell gives Ritalin to an anorexic college student who likes to drink? Dummy. So that was short-lived and didn’t do anything to help with my distrac…

(Photo: Odd Sock)

Hmmm….looks like the fire is going out. Maybe I should put more wood in it. Haha that’s what she said! I’m thirsty. Water or tea. Water or tea. Water or tea. Too impatient to make tea. Water it is. I hate how people from New Jersey pronounce water. Wuuhder. What was the name of that girl I worked with who was from New Jersey? Meredith? No. Molly? No. Molly Molly Bo Bolly Banana Fanna Fo Folly.

Oh, I could have a banana! Banananananaanana. It just wants to keep on going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Do they even do those ads anymore? I always had a special place in my heart for that bunny. That bunny is me. When I’m working on something I am passionate about, I’m all in. I’m like a dog with a bone and I won’t give it up until it’s gone. But other times…when there’s a little wiggle room…every little stray thought likes to pull me away.

And then I’m an Energizer Bunny with no drishti and I bounce around from daydream to mental list to song stuck in my head:

YouTube Preview Image

 

Energizer Bunnies need to be reined in in order to get things done, right? All of these distractions can’t be good. Distractions bad. Me no like. But then again, I do. Some of the best stuff happens in the spaces between what you’re supposed to be doing. One of my favorite things is an unexpected “interruption” from a friend I love to talk with. And (maybe most importantly) distraction is good exercise for my mindfulness muscles. I love my meditation practice, but there’s no utopian silent Zen space in my life to do it in–I do it in this. I do it in my popsicle-banana-Energizer Bunny-random daydream-itchy footed-silly life.

And that’s a good thing:

“If you can practice even while distracted then you are well trained.”

~ Tibetan Lojong as taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

I’m not there yet. But there is no there. I just keep at it.

That’s why it’s called a practice.

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter

1,308 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal—but don't worry—you don't need an account with PayPal.)

Elephriends - Mindful Affiliates

28 Responses to “Driven to Distraction.”

  1. ADOS — Attention deficit OOOOOH shiny ;)

    I hear ya sister.

  2. Haha two things are very funny about this piece right now:

    1. I am sitting in a class reading it instead of paying attention

    2. Today's class discussion is on ADD and ADHD/overdiagnosis of Ritalin with children and young adults!

  3. agurvey says:

    Are we related? I mean, your entire thought process resembles mine. Wow!

    • Yes…you are my brother from another mother, Andrew. Oh look, something shiny! Hey it's a full moon…I wonder where I put my keys. Yeah.

      • agurvey says:

        Oh man. That movie was AWESOME! I love movies. I saw The Big Boss, which is Bruce Lee's first movie.. Should I add an emergen-C to my water? I should go to bed. What was I doing a second ago? Hi.

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    "Some of the best stuff happens in the spaces between what you’re supposed to be doing."
    Or perhaps all… :)
    Love it Kate.

  5. Capri says:

    hah! yup. :) creativity, totally a good thing. a naturally flavored banana popsicle would also be a good thing.

  6. Ha ha ha ha! This is great! I LOVE reading all the meanderings of your mind Kate. And you're kinda sexy when you do that, you know? ;-))

  7. saturnwoman says:

    Thank you for this reminder for us to be gentle with ourselves as we practice.

  8. Well, I found out last year after being psychometrically tested (is psychometrically a real word?) that according to Jung, I am yellow. I’ve always felt like the easiest distracted person I know. Also the amongst the most creative and also the least likely to get anything done that is in any way boring. Sadly, lots of life is boring, which presents me with a constant battle! Anyway, being yellow I thought would be a step nearer the door as basically, the personality attributes of yellow aren’t that great in a corporate environment, at least on paper. Turns out, the opposite (thankfully) is true. Red people drive ideas forward, Blue people organise the ideas, Green people make sure we all get along as we do it. The Yellow person is a) rare and b) likely to have been the very person to amplify a fraction of an idea into the genius we’re all implementing. Being easily distracted is tough, it really is, but most of the best things I have ever thought of are a product of it. This I suppose makes it easier to live with. And after reading your blog, I loved the fact it’s not just me – other distractables are making meaningful lives for themselves all over the world! Great Blog – stay on track and keep delivering!

  9. [...] time ago in a galaxy far far away. Still, sometimes I feel like “woman” just sounds so mature and serious. Lady…hmmm. Maybe. Depends on whether it’s used as “She’s such a [...]

  10. [...] week I’ve also felt a lack of presence in my own body. Spaciness. Dissociation. Distraction. Just like locking ourselves up in the attic to sand, shop-vac, and paint, I have locked myself [...]

  11. [...] bay. Try to socialize, to see friends or family and to get outside. If nothing else, it’s a distraction from indulging in thoughts of “woe is [...]

  12. [...] fun singing at the top of my lungs and dancing my ass off. It felt amazing. I felt free. Why? Because I was being silly. I was acting without a care in the world and I didn’t care who was looking or what they thought. [...]

  13. [...] move between poses with a sense of determination, blocking out any and all distractions in the room, the passing glances and shocked expressions of those unfamiliar with your [...]

  14. [...] this day and age of the 21st century, it is incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from the plethora of distractions that tempt us at every [...]

  15. [...] during our meditation practice by learning to be patient with ourselves. When thoughts come up (which they like to do) we can label them “thinking” and return to our breath. The idea isn’t that we [...]

  16. [...] bring this home, according to some, I’ve had mental illness my whole life. They couldn’t calm me down. I was this energetic but sensitive boy that just couldn’t seem to pay attention to anything [...]

  17. [...] I like to use music when I practice at home. Love it actually. I get distracted easily, and sometimes the focal point of having music helps me focus. In classes or even with a video, we have the teacher’s vocal cues keeping us on track. Sometimes without that, I get a little….drifty. [...]

Leave a Reply