Saturday, January 2, 2016

Distractions, Clutter, and Creating Problems for Oneself

Why is this blog called Art, Music and Other Shiny Objects? Maybe it's for the same reason I haven't posted in the past six or so months: I tend to get a teensy-weensy bit distracted. Can you relate to that? It's ridiculous.

I pet sit this dog named Mac. Mac is awesome. And, it turns out that Mac LOVES snow (go figure). It gives him a bit of DADD (Doggie Attention Deficit Disorder).

Mac is about two and a half years old, and finally starting to mellow from a wild puppy-hood. But he still has tons of energy. It's my job to take him out and throw the ball a whole lot, running him like mad so he'll be too tired to cause any mischief. The goal is to use up a great lot of his energy, and in the summer this is not an issue. I throw the ball far (thanks to the Chuck-it; whoever invented it should be a millionaire), he runs for it, runs back, and we repeat until he's wiped out.

However, in the snow... not so much. I throw the ball once, he gets it, and runs off to frolic in the snow. He eventually brings it back, but he goes straight to a big snow drift and plops the ball in it. The he pushes it down with his paw and buries it. Then he digs like mad to find it, only to bury it again. So basically, Mac creates problems to solve them. He loves it. He has a great time. But alas, Mac is not focused on our goal.

You may think it silly for me to expect a dog to focus on, or even be aware of or care about a goal. And, you'd be right. But stick with me, because this is not about Mac the dog. This is about me, and perhaps about you, too.

I have a really hard time staying focused on the goal. And actually, like Mac, I don't even care about the damn goal when I'm lost in a world of snow. "Snow" for me being Facebook, the internet generally, articles, memes, friends that want to hang out, music videos, wine, food, all important cat videos... you get the picture. And if that's not bad enough, I too create problems and solve them.

This really needs to stop. And the beginning of a new year seems like a good time. But how?

I'm starting to realize that I'm a terrible decision maker. This accounts for the clutter on my desk and in my apartment, and that all leads to a cluttered mind. Just a few minutes ago I wasn't sure where to go with this post, and I suddenly found myself surfing Facebook on my phone. While sitting in front of my computer! I hardly remember even reaching for my phone. I think it's just a habit; can't decide what to do? Reach for a distraction.
It seems that distraction is a symptom of indecision. And why would a person not want to decide? Because we don't want to make a wrong choice. Or we don't trust ourselves to make a right choice. It's easier for me to look at Facebook, or to go find a snack, and then forget where was and what I was doing before. And this really is a form of procrastination.

So, this year, I want to be a great decision maker. Which is not to say that I want to make great decisions - I do, but my first intent is to just make a lot of decisions. With practice I'll get better at it, right?
New affirmations: I trust myself to decide. Deep down I know what the right decision is, and if I pay attention, it will be obvious.

As for Mac, I think I'll just let him have fun in the snow. One of the perks of being a dog.