“Distractions” get a bad rap. They are usually associated with things people try to avoid.
The most common distractions are the unwanted rabbit holes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, television (binge watching), blogs, the internet in general and my personal guilty pleasure- the app Clash of Clans (don’t judge). Why are these distractions? Are we trying to numb our minds or procrastinate from the day to day hustle and bustle of being a mom, wife, daughter, worker/employee and friend? And to that I say “Guilty, guilty, guilty”.
But sometimes distractions are welcomed.
When my daughter was 12, she wanted to go to a sleep-a-way camp in Maine for 7 weeks. She really wanted to go, but I wasn’t ready for her to go. Because I am divorced, her dad and I have shared custody of her. I felt that my time with her was already limited, and I didn’t want that to include a 7 week chunk of the summer. But, she was persistent ( I know this persistence will payoff for her in the future)!
I acquiesced the next year when she was 13. I knew it was the right decision for her to go, and I just needed to get over it. I felt that it was selfish of me not to let her go.
That first summer she went to camp, I knew I needed distractions. In addition to my day job, I joined two books clubs, took tennis lessons, had many dinners with many friends, made lots of hand knits and mailed A LOT of letters to Maine. Needless to say, she had an amazing, life changing experience and continued to go away for several summers after that. The subsequent summers were much, much easier for me. I knew she was safe and she was so very happy. It was also nice to be free for seven weeks and have wine with crackers and cheese for dinner with my husband on the beach!
This year my need for distraction is different.
As I mentioned in my introduction post, I am working through grief. This loss has been so profound it is effecting every aspect of my life; my job, my lifestyle, my relationships with my husband, my family and my making. I continue to work thru, trudge thru, plow thru and sometimes laugh thru this grief. Four months after Betsy's passing I can see how grief shifts and changes. Sometimes I embrace it, sometimes I cast it aside, but mostly, I look for distractions from it.
I continue to make, I continue to see my therapist, and I talk about it with my husband and friends. I let time pass.
Some of my distractions this past week have been thoughts about gun culture in the USA (when will we make real, profound changes to our gun laws?), watching the Olympics (that Team Spirit- I love it), planning for my mom to visit for a few days, and embroidering on the cyanotypes I made last month.
Then there’s always the distraction of the new project.
This week I started dyeing cotton yarn with Indigo so I can knit a sweater (or two) for samples for a workshop I am teaching this summer (follow my Facebook page or Website for exciting details to come).
There will always be distractions, wanted or unwanted. There’s a (un)healthy dose of distraction to being productive, brainstorming, relaxing and just plain procrastination. I am looking to find balance in my distractions so I can stay centered, focused and mindful...not an easy task. Like grief, distractions take on different forms and different shapes. They both ebb and flow with us as we navigate a path forward.
I hope your next week is filled with things that will propel you forward. Thanks for reading. See you next Tuesday where the theme will be Evaluation. Peace, Cathy