Way.ca.tion: A rest for the mind; an unconventional method of escaping the moment and returning refreshed and better than before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Four More Day’s till Christmas

Though I don’t have a lot to do to prepare for Christmas this year, I still find that I’m distracted by December’s activities and expectations.

For an upcoming party I decided to wear a great little outfit that had been packed away for a couple of years. Mindful of my spending, I chose to hand wash and line dry a cute little two piece dress. After a full day of line drying my outfit was still damp so, despite the label’s care instructions, I decided to use the dryer to speed up the process. When the cycle ended I saw that my outfit was still damp and for the next two days whenever I thought about it I’d try a new dryer setting only to find my outfit still lay damp and limp.

Fast-forward to day three, and my outfit was still not dry. I realized the dryer motor worked but decided the heating cycle was broken. This was the beginning of my unproductive tension. It started with one little negative thought, the beginning of beating myself up: “Now I have to wear something I don’t want to wear”, followed by thoughts of whether or not I should make a quick run to the store and buy another outfit; followed by thoughts of past transgressions which lead to this disaster and, of course, thoughts of the money I’d tried to save wasted on fixing the dryer to boot!!

I spent 45 minutes on Google looking for dryer repair people. Just before making the call, I stopped by my laundry room again. After days of multiples cycles and time spent filled with negative thoughts, like whirling dervishes in my head, I realized that the garment had never made it to the dryer. I’d been turning the dryer on but had never removed my dress from the washing machine.

To state the obvious: you can’t dry clothes in a washer it never work!

Being distracted wastes time. It’s costly and sure to make you angry at yourself or someone else. When you’re distracted you’re not focused. Once distracted you can easily move to a place called “unproductive tension,” where after an incident such as mine, you allow your mind to build thought upon negative thought—and suddenly your mind has run away with itself. At that point you’re a wreck and you’ve probably made a few other people around you “wrecks” as well, and yes, even angry.

During these holiday times we find ourselves terribly distracted: arguments in stores or at work; road rage; and melancholy while watching a Christmas commercial. This is why I think there are so many accidents, depression and arguments during the last quarter of the year. We are thinking so much more and pre-occupied with the past too much or are too far in the future and not present to what really should be a joyous time.

So as a specialist with tools my moments are short and far apart but at last the specialist is also human. What I say to you I say to myself: stay focused, stay present, notice what’s happening in your head before your thoughts have a chance to build momentum. The sooner you catch yourself in the act of building your mental snowball or mind tornado the easier it is to stop.

Jingle all the way…..

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