Death of dreams by digression into distraction

There are times when I appear on track and times when that track might as well be on the moon. I always have things to do and too often don’t know where to start, and when I do start, I don’t seem to get much done, most especially this week. My head is all over the place. Ironically my obsessive need for tidiness doesn’t suffer. My mess of don’t know where to start is in neat bundles. It is always in neat bundles. I know how crazy that sounds.

When we reach for the stars, fear undermines us, and then we find ourselves in situations that move the stars further away, most likely into another galaxy. What exactly am I saying? I guess, I am beginning to realise that the closer I come to my goals the more roadblocks materialise, and quite possibly I am the one manufacturing them. I need to be working on my second novel. Instead I have spent a lot of time on my poetry books. I thought of them as cathartic, a therapy of sorts for someone with anxiety and depression, at least that is what I have told myself.

They were but they took up time I needed elsewhere. I took on two volunteer positions knowing full well they would be consuming but they were so interesting, and the people involved, wonderful. Too bad my anxiety levels disagree. I think they may be smarter than I am.  I’m not complaining about the things I do because I like them. I’m stating facts, putting pen to paper about the things I do when I get close to what I really want to do. In this way I can justify why I haven’t completed the thing that matters most. Anyone else do the same?

The worst part is that I enjoy all those extras, but the timetable gets a little off-centre by digressing. Okay, it gets thrown out the window completely. I am juggling how to fit it all in and my second novel sits, waits patiently for me to return. I will when I finish…what, another poetry book? I tell myself those books, the poetry, proved I could not only finish something but I could simultaneously learn more about polishing my work. I may sound biased but I liked my first novel, loved my characters but it was a learning curve, one too often painful as I learned about editing, and more editing and even more editing. The poetry gave me breathing space to gather courage for the second novel without losing momentum. I thought putting my angst out there, sharing with others in the same position would be encouraging for them and me. It was, is, but, and there is a but…

drew barrymore

It’s a problem for most creative people – allowing digression to distract.  You are still working hard but not at the thing that matters the most to you. I call it death of dreams by digression into distraction (just adding some alliteration into the mix). We do need to stay open to new ideas; they can be a means of relaxing, but we need to maintain a disciplined vigilance if we have chosen a path to travel. It is harder again if you have anxiety issues. They are insidious, waiting for the opportunity to block your way under the innocent guise of taking a break. Even the most unlikely people suffer from this. Drew Barrymore says: “Sometimes life can just get to you and take you down for a minute…Some days are great and beautiful… What I can’t hide is that some days are difficult and not so pretty.”

I read an article recently about what some successful people do to prepare their day by Alexandra Hayes, a Multimedia Reporter at Thrive Global. It didn’t show me anything new, but it enforced a concept I had been taking for granted. Small things are achievable. Small things achieved build confidence, and confidence sets the pace for the daily chores necessary to stay on track. Everyone has a routine that works for them. For instance, according to the article Chrissy Teigen makes her favourite breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon and avocado. Melinda Gates spends time stretching, meditating, or doing yoga, and interestingly, so does my eldest daughter who has a pretty hectic work schedule.

It makes sense; it’s like making the bed in The Consistency Equation. This was a post I did some time ago and in it I discussed making the bed in the morning as a small achievement. It sounds trvial but once a small thing is accomplished the resulting satisfaction gets us to the next point in our day, our life. Alexandra’s article was very brief but she included a video clip and  I have borrowed it for this post. Clink on the link. She makes it look easy and more than that, sensible. Choose a routine and stick to it. Maybe it is that easy.

They say it takes three weeks of doing something to make it a habit. I read that somewhere (don’t ask). Wish me luck because I am going to try it, well, I will as soon as I decide what is most achievable for me in the morning so my day flows smoothly. I am open to ideas. Please, feel free to offer suggestions.

Alla prossima



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