In my folder or morning readings – part of a morning ritual of readings, affirmations, and review of goals – I have a sheet of paper I read nearly every day, an important reminder of something I slip into from time to time.
Why write about it today?
One of my readers wrote me the other day about rabbit-holes of distraction – so when I read this particular page yesterday it took on new meaning, and appreciation that for some (like my recently retired friend) this might be a bigger problem for them than for me, and it is no small concern for me either.
The page reads, simply:
IF YOU COMMIT TO NOTHING, YOU’LL BE DISTRACTED BY EVERYTHING
Everything can be a distraction – which is not to suggest we go through days with horse-blinder like avoidance of anything outside our focus, but that we should not lose sight (metaphorically) of what we should not lose sight (actually) of what we mean to be focused upon …
As part of my 2020 plan, my review process, I am asking this question of myself on many things, “Is this something I am committed to, or not?”… which has also given rise to some navel-gazing about, of those things which occupy my attention, how much of that is in the present and future – and how much is more connected to the past. I was triggered to think about that separation of future v. past by a radio show I was listing to on Sunday; the person being interviewed is a de-cluttering consultant.
The interview was about cleaning out garages, attics, closets, and basements. This didn’t inspire as much ‘thing disposal’ for me as encouraging me to think about ideas, projects, involvements I should shed because they are of the past rather than the future, because they are distractions, and/or because I am not committed to them. This has been easy – almost too easy, with some things. And hard – almost too hard, with others I am not attached to enough.
That triggers three things: a sense of loss or lost opportunity which must be recognized, some self-doubts about the wisdom of my choices and priorities, and opens the question of, if I free up all this time and focus, are the things I’m then focused on important enough to deserve that commitment?