Thursday, March 22, 2012

Distraction

When I sit down to write this blog I usually just type my thoughts.  I try to capture what I have been thinking in the recent days and hours.  It is easy for me because I tend to have a lot on my mind.  I just transfer my thoughts and conversations to the computer.  But this month I have felt distracted, and my thoughts feel halted.  When I sit at the computer to type nothing comes.  I blame Pinterest.

I'll be honest I haven't felt much like thinking or feeling this month.  I think my heart and mind are exhausted, and I have moved into the easy complacency of distraction.  Instead of thinking, I mindlessly browse the internet.  Or when I'm feeling more productive I organize things.  I rearrange my cupboards, file papers, vacuum everything, refold clothes, and then I sleep.  Even now as I type I am also responding to emails and glancing at my phone.  I know that distraction pulls me away from the things that strengthen me, like praying and reading.  My time seems to be swallowed up in meaningless consumption, as if I'm on some sort of self-inflicted diet where you only eat lettuce.  Let's be honest, you can't be healthy when you only eat lettuce. 

So I find myself asking why.  Why would I distract myself when I know it drains my strength, and I desperately need to be strong?  Why would I spend time in the meaningless, when I am so buoyed up by the meaningful?  Shouldn't my intense heartache make me immune to distraction?

I seriously just looked at Facebook again...its almost a reflex. 

I think the problem for me is two fold.  First, I have way too much free time.  And my free time constantly reminds me that I am missing Jonah.  When he was with me I didn't know what free time was.  He was the purpose of my days, and the work of my heart.  My free time constantly reminds me of my sorrow, that something is missing in my life.  I miss the work of motherhood, but most of all I miss having my baby in my arms.  I ache for his smile and his laugh and his dimpled cheeks.  I see little boys that are his age and I know I can either cry or play words with friends...so I try to think of a four letter word that uses a Q and a Z.  Each day when I wake up I wish I was waking up to work, to make breakfast, to change diapers, to do something important.  Instead I wake up and immediately grab my phone, and let the distractions begin.  It makes me so sad if I let myself think about it.

Second, I am tired of crying.  It is hard to maintain the appropriate level of deep emotional angst.  It requires energy and effort.  It is physically draining.  I know that I have been shutting down the tear factory, little by little, by filling my mind with emotionless stuffing.  I am becoming "comfortably numb" just like Pink Floyd promised.

The problem is that I don't want to feel numb.  I want to miss Jonah and I want to cry sometimes.  I want my time to be meaningful.  I want to think deep thoughts and find peace and understanding, but I also want to be able to live a "normal" life.  Maybe the problem is that I don't know what a "normal" life is anymore. 

Again my struggle is about balance, and I know that sometimes I have to feel the instability of life before I pull myself back to the center.  I feel that instability now.  So I am trying to push away the distractions, and to carve out some peaceful quiet moments in my day.  I believe there is a time for mindless escape, but not all of the time.  I hope in the coming days and weeks I can embrace my heartache instead of ignoring it, and that I can avoid losing myself in distraction.  


I love this quote...I found it while mindlessly surfing the net:)

Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distraction...What matters is that one be for a time inwardly attentive. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

7 comments:

  1. I love that quote, thanks Julie. I love you!

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  2. Anne Morrow Lindbergh keeps surfacing... I think it is time for me to read Gifts from the Sea. I too often turn to distraction instead of meaning and richness as well. It is exhausting to always be present and alive. I know there is a good balance, but I know I'm not there.

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    1. it is a fantastic book. You will love it, and its a quick read.

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    2. I think I'll read it, too.

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  3. I have been trying to write a paper for two weeks now and it just won't come out! I am so close to being done with the semester and I can't focus (or don't want to) long enough to get it done. And yet, I feel so selfish. I have SO much to be grateful for but the ache is consuming me right now. My new favorite is the game draw something...

    I love you Julie. Somehow you are always putting into words exactly what I am feeling.

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  4. Hello Julie... you don't know me, and let me start by saying how sorry I am that you lost your precious son so early... I am a friend of Emily Johnson Hall, and she posted when you lost your precious little boy. I read your blog from time to time and it helps lift me up. I have never lost a child, so I definitely don't know what you are going through, nor am I going to pretend that I do, but while I am reading your blog, I can feel the love that you have for your family and for our Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ. Reading your blog helps me to keep things in perspective. We are all so blessed and sometimes don't take the time to realize just how much. Thank you for helping me realize how grateful I am to be a mom, a wife, and a daughter of our Father in Heaven!! You truly are a very strong and amazing woman!! Thank You!!

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