As it gets later into the evening, I have to admit to myself that this will be another late post. What can I say, I was a little distracted today. It’s not easy living with a three-year-old, life can sometimes be filled with stress and distractions. It’s too easy to lose focus as the litany of daily dramas play out. We all could use a kick in the pants sometimes to get back on track, and parents need this as much as children.
Some distractions are innocuous, like playing video games or checking Facebook. However, some can be more harmful. Self-doubt comes to mind, as well as despair. At times, distractions can be downright dangerous. My three-year-old tends to get easily distracted when she is on the stairs. She will just stop when she is halfway up, and begin to dance. I always admonish her and tell her, “Don’t dilly-dally.” Then we go through our rules of stair safety:
“One step at a time, don’t dilly-dally, always hold the rail.”
Rinse and repeat, over and over. I believe the constant repetition will some day instill the urgency in her mind. At least that’s what I want to believe. We’ve had a couple of close calls on the stairs already. So often enough, it’s time for Drill Sergeant Dad to come in and bring her into focus.
As parents, getting distracted can lead to serious issues. An unsupervised child can get hurt falling off of playground equipment at the park, or get lost at the grocery store, or worse. This brings to mind the famous scene from the movie Crazy Heart, where the character played by Jeff Bridges takes the boy he is watching to the bar in the mall with him. Bad Blake gets distracted, and the boy simply wanders off and disappears. A frantic search ensues, and the mother is furious when she finds out later. It was a chilling and tense sequence. All of this happened because Bad Blake lost his focus. Though this is an extreme example, in our own way we are all Bad Blake. We all let our demons get the better of us from time to time.
In the end, we’re just people—beautiful, and yet flawed. We have to be reminded of the need for self-discipline, the unending requirement to stay on task. In my last job, the workers would constantly complain about the workload. There was always someone making the rounds of the cubicles to see who would listen to their rant about how bad things were. It ended up being me as often as anyone else. The fact is, we could have been a lot more productive if we just simply stayed on task. We were all put here on Earth for a reason. Even if some of us don’t know what it is yet, we all have a calling. We shouldn’t let anything distract us from our respective passions.
That being said, why does it seem so much easier to lose focus because of something negative? If we’re going to be distracted, it might as well be because of something beautiful, wonderful or hilarious. Also, haven’t we been told about how important it is to be creative? This is true, however, creativity doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive to personal discipline. Each day is it’s own maze, and it’s too easy to get lost. By staying true to ourselves and holding to our values we will make it through. It’s up to us to choose if we want life to be a maze, or a labyrinth. Are we simply afraid of getting lost, or do we wish to rise to a more contemplative state—a state free of distractions?
What is your biggest distraction?