Due to the kind sharing of information, mostly by my husband, I’ve become more aware of an area of my life that can be concerning. At the very least, frustrating.
It’s a malady that is identified by a variety of names and traits. Rabbit trailing. Losing focus. Multi-tasking gone awry. Distracted. Crazy tangents. The inability to stay on task. Conversational inattentiveness.
I can be engaged in conversation, intent and focused. A thought train speeds through my brain, leaving in it’s wake an idea that I absolutely must follow. Mid-sentence, I’m on another topic.
It drives John nuts.
I identify with Doug, the dog from the Disney-Pixar movie, “Up”, who was very focused on what was being asked of him. But if a furry creature crossed his eye path, he’d lose sight of whatever was going on. “Squirrel!” And mentally, he was gone.
Conversations that go here, there and everywhere can cause confusion and frustration for the listener. I’ve seen that look on the face of the person sitting across from me, often without knowing why that look was there. Unless I’m reminded that I’ve hijacked the conversation, I rarely realize I’ve left the trail of talk and have taken it on a whole other tangent.
I don’t think I’m alone in this web of distractability. The eternal presence of media, social and otherwise, and the busyness of life combine to make focus difficult. Trying to blot out ambient noise that can undo me is difficult. If someone is watching TV in the next room and I can hear it, my mind is everywhere else but what I need to be doing. I’ll usually end up wandering in to see what’s on and end up staying till the end of the show.
I think this has something to do with my inability to compartmentalize. To shut out the unnecessary and only let in what needs to be seen or heard.
I have the mind of a five-year-old at the circus. What in the world do you focus on?
There are many things in life that aren’t worth my time or focus. Hanging on to grudges. Being critical of others. Jumping to wrong conclusions because it felt so right when I started. Sometimes I don’t go there intentionally–I happen onto a negative thought and choose to stay there.
Because sometimes the bad just feels good.
Jesus had another way of looking at it. More positive. More encouraging.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8
I know this is true. I do better when I’m thinking right thoughts. I like the me who encourages others. Who’s positive and hopeful.
Rabbit trails will happen.
The challenge is choosing which Trail you want to follow.