Thursday, 9 May 2013

Attention! Attention!

This explains so much. That I already knew. Except that it never reached my long term memory because a cat video kicked it out. No, that's a lie. I have many ways to waste time, and get distracted, but cat videos are not one of them.

I KNOW I can be more creative than this. I KNOW I can learn more, use my intelligence better. But I just meekly hand over my intellect in exchange for (reading) another blog post. This is why I left Facebook a few months ago. this is why I gave up checking my Google Reader during Lent. (They shut down in protest.) This is why I ask my parents to turn off the wifi by 10 pm. This is why I'm not planning to even have an Internet connection at home when I move out next month.

There have been improvements. I started a blog, which I write fairly regularly for. I have written articles for other websites, which necessitated actually THINKING and putting my thoughts together in a coherent way. But I still have quite a way to go.

I have three blogs in my draft folder, with not more than one line in each of them. An idea hits... and instead of working on it, I let it hit, and then walk away.

In the past few weeks, I have read a grand total of ONE physical book. Because physical books don't allow me to do three other things at the same time. Which working or reading on my laptop does. It demands my full attention. My full attention is outraged at being invited to participate. It has become a recluse, who never comes out for anyone.

I have not written in my journal for weeks. My journal serves as my thought-processor. I take my discomfort, my uneasiness, my emotions, and thrash them out. I go to the source, and logically deal with them. I come to conclusions. I feel emotionally and intellectually satisfied by the end.

Alas, my journal too is on my laptop. If my laptop is open, there are so many good reasons to do so many other important things.

The result is that thoughts don't get processed. My only thought-processing happens at bedtime when I play Snake on my ancient cell phone, listen to Joshua Radin and fall asleep. And then I have crazy dreams, because my subconscious says, "If YOU won't process your thoughts, I'LL have to." And I wake up, tired.

My prayer time is often distracted too. The million thoughts, ideas, memories, arguments, theological debates, what-ifs, and to-do lists hammer at the door of my mind, and without waiting for me to open the door, march in and out and dance around, making themselves completely at home. And Jesus waits in a corner, patiently.

It's time to learn how to barricade that door. To invite in one guest at a time, and then shoo everyone else away, lock the door, and sit down for a nice cup of tea. Or cold juice, in this weather.

The video ends with the words- "The best thing we can do for our minds is to find some time every day to unplug, calm down and focus on one thing at a time."

Or vice-versa. I'm off to pray. And make a birthday card. But not at the same time.

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