Driven to Distraction.

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(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:


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.

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


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!

  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!

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