A Fine Distraction

Makes Me Tired

Distraction gets a bad rap.  Motivational-type folk would have us paint it neon yellow and stick it in a cage.  It’s anathema to focus and achievement.  It leads us astray, eats our time, keeps us from becoming superheroes.   Distraction is the slithery serpent holding us back from paradise.

Well… no.

Mind PalaceOne of the many lessons my bipolar disorder taught me was that distraction is vital.  When one’s focus locks onto the pain and confusion of a tumbling mind, a trapdoor to another room can keep pain from turning into suffering.  I’ve spent years moving slowly from self-destructive and unhealthy distractions to ones that, at least, cause no harm.  My list of What To Do When I Get Wonky hangs on my Mind Palace door in case I need reminders (I like to think my Mind Palace is like Sherlock Holmes’—a tidy place where everything that needs remembering can be accessed immediately.  But, it’s really more of a Mind Dumpster).

cookie JamI’m finding it’s just as important to use distraction in the midst of physical illness.  I need something to keep me from cataloging every pulmonary gurgle and wheeze, to take my mind off how everything except Ramen noodles tastes like school glue.  So, I made my Winter Solstice cards and played lots of Cookie Jam on my iPhone.  I’ve tried to watch movies, but generally nod off half way through.  Same with reading.  I keep apologizing to Henry for dropping my book on his head.  He is not amused.

Now, between naps, I’m working on the “swaps” I’ll take with me to ArtFest in March.  I’ve never done anything like this, but I’ve heard about it.  When artists get together, they trade little pieces of their work, or bring goodie bags with samples of their favorite supplies and materials, or chocolate.  It’s a cool way to get to know people and appreciate the kind of work they do.

Since Teesha Moore is known for her art journals, I thought I’d journal for a few days with white gel pen on card stock as an hommage, then use that as the beginning of my Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  I like working in miniature, so these tiny cards (3 ½ X 2 ½ inches) are fun for me (fun being a relative term when muffled by antibiotics and inhalers).  The finished ATC isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but my stuff generally runs wild, and I’ve learned to get out of the way.  I like it.  This piece will represent me well.


So, anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Distraction.  Don’t let the Anthony Robbins’ of the world make you feel bad about it.  Focus can’t untwist distorted thinking or clear fluid out of lungs.  Setting goals can’t change a diagnosis.  But distraction can make all that a little easier to bear.  Paint that in yellow neon and put it in your Mind Palace, Tony.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LindaNoel
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 15:59:26

    THANK YOU! Hmmmm a Mind Palace……..xoxoxo


  2. LindaNoel
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 16:02:00

    About the Mind Palace on the door: I have been putting many of my thangs INTO my computer’s Bookmark list….have zillions….and have become aware that I need to get them OUT of the hidden computer and UP on the Walls ! Thanks for the tip!


  3. Cheryl LaVille
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 16:17:33

    Love the art work–especially the “trading card.” Nice way to distract yourself!


  4. Littlesundog
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 16:25:41

    That was an inspiring and positive view of distraction. I’m terrible about seeing first, the negative in everything. You have made me realize distraction is a benefit to me most days – I see some animal outside the window and I drop everything to grab the camera and next thing hours have passed by. I often wonder if distraction is really a great stress reliever for me! 😀


  5. Karen
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 17:30:30

    I have found over the years that distraction is a very important part of handling my anxiety and sometimes even depression. It also can help center my mind before tackling necessary tasks/duties.


  6. Sherry Hotchkiss
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 17:36:07

    I love love love your writing. You make me think, you make me laugh, you make me cry. Distractions sometimes drive me crazy and when they do I know that I am trying to do too much, too soon, too fast.


  7. Val Boyko
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 18:27:45

    When we are aware that it is distraction and is what we need … I get it 🙂 I also like procrastination for the same reason. Awareness is everything Sandy Sue!


  8. David Kanigan
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 18:28:11

    Love the close: “Paint that in yellow neon and put it in your Mind Palace, Tony.” Still laughing.


  9. Secondhand Surfer
    Nov 23, 2015 @ 21:17:39

    like it ~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 183,850 hits
%d bloggers like this: