Training for Distraction

Take that pile upstairs while you’re on your way up.‘  ‘Don’t leave the room empty-handed.’ These two admonishments were companions in my childhood home. ‘Take this while you’re going that way.’ I guess I can keep remembering the many ways I was trained in distraction. My favorite is ‘Don’t think about yourself – think about other people’s needs.’ Whew – that was distracting information for an evolving sense of self. ‘Can you drop this off at her house if you’re in the neighborhood?‘ Sure, it’s only a few miles/minutes out of my way. ‘Can you return this for me – I don’t want to go back to that store.’ Yes, I’ll take responsibility for that.

And that’s my distracted childhood environment in a nutshell. It was all delivered day after day with a kiss and a smile and a badge of being a good child to my mom. It was different with Daddy. ‘Can’t you see what’s in front of your face?’ he would say coming up behind me when I couldn’t see what was in front of my face that he had sent me to retrieve. It was either momentary blindness or paralytic fear of his anger that completely blocked from my view whatever it was he wanted. I was trained in both physical and emotional distraction.

I remember asking one of my kids to get something for me that we all knew I was capable of retrieving on my own. I didn’t get anywhere with them. My Irish grandmother would tell us cousins to get something for her because our feet were younger and healthier than hers. But my kids knew my feet and legs were quite healthy, thank you very much. Have I trained them to be distracted, too? 

I believe we were born distracted and then endlessly drilled to develop it more fully, helplessly/naively hoping that someone in the world around us had a better handle on attention than we did. (Excuse me while I pick up the letter to take to the mailbox. I’ll just take that cup to the sink while I’m on my way out and maybe stop and pet the dogs which reminds me I have to buy more food and what’s that collar doing under the bureau? It sure is dirty – I better take it to the laundryroom…

Will I ever make it to the mailbox – oh, well there goes the mailman and my neighbor Jeannie is outside so we can talk about our flowers and…

What was the name of this blog? 

What’s your intention today to stay attentive and feel good about it?