Focusing….

Winter lends itself to reflection.

I’ve been thinking about what I let enter my consciousness. Like a lot of you I get very torn between feeling I should know what’s going on in the world – no matter how ugly – versus feeling that my attention would be better served elsewhere. I am so sick of politics. I am sick of terrorism. I am sick of crime. I am sick of drugs. I am sick of focusing on everything bad, both micro and macro.

I really do believe that what you focus on is what you get more of in life. We’re made to feel guilty if we want to focus on ourselves, on enjoyment, on little things (or god forbid, nothing at all). How can we sit around and watch TV when the terrorists are planning horrendous crimes? How can I watch old Twin Peaks DVDs when every day there seems to be another national or world crisis demanding my attention?

I don’t have the answer but I am leaning a certain way lately. I am tired of letting my energy be siphoned off of me by unworthy sources. THAT’S what it is. I get sucked in too easily and for what? To what end? I’m talking primarily about the space that gets taken up in my head. I find myself getting worked up about things I really don’t even care about! If I stop and think about them. I do this on small local matters and larger world matters.

Too much time passes after which I neither feel satisfied nor fulfilled nor enriched. It’s my own doing. It’s where I’m putting my time, it’s where I’m allowing my focus to rest. I have a lot of say in that. I want to be more conscious about this.

There are certain shows I watch on TV, not habitually but sometimes, after which I feel kind of icky. Sometimes I read things on Facebook, posts with lots of comments, mostly local fare, and I regret it. I find myself getting all reactive (inside) as if it really mattered. I think: Why am I reading this? Why do I feel an urge to jump in (one I usually squelch)? Will it change anything? Will I be more enlightened? Will anything be solved?

Sometimes it seems like you have to wade through 70-80% crap to ferret out 20-30% good. And this ratio can be found in so many places: entertainment, online, in gatherings, etcetera. Those aren’t good odds. I want better ones. It’s kind of my mission at the moment to seek out those things (people, places, events, social media) that pay off regularly and to lessen or eliminate those which are hit and miss.

I’ve said it before. WordPress – blogging and reading other blogs and interacting in comments – is one of the best ways I spend time online. If I’m going to be online – and I am! – I want to read more of what benefits me and less of what mainly passes my time. Right now I’m looking for and following a variety of public people on Facebook  – authors, etc. – who I’ve liked in the past. If I think they’re adding something to my life (knowledge, wit, whatever) I’ll keep following. If not, that’s what the “unfollow” button is for. I’m ditching what aggravates or annoys me. I want to open up space for people who have something to tell me, something I need to hear.

Because I’ve been snoozing at the wheel I’m discovering that authors I’ve liked have published books – some several years ago and I didn’t know it. Where have I been?? I need to catch up. I’ve allowed my focus to become jumbled and fragmented in ways that don’t sit right. My last post about my “Kinda sorta New Year’s Resolutions”  is one concrete step (20 books, 10 visits to local lake, 10 new recipes) in that direction. The course needs slight correcting. I feel as if I AM steering a ship and am now throwing my weight and resolve into turning the wheel a few degrees. I can almost hear the creaking and heaving. 

 

Note: p!ease forgive a day or two delay in responding to comments, thanks.

9 thoughts on “Focusing….

  1. autumnashbough

    Yeah, I’m torn between wanting to make sure I know what’s going on in the world so I can be quipped to fight certain battles and coping with the despair that comes with being well-informed.

    Setting limits is good. I think director Ava DuVernay put it best recently: “You have joy to experience and no time to waste.”

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Good quote. As is yours about “the despair that comes with being well-informed.” Limits makes sense. I have the sense to do this when some catastrophe takes over the news; instead of taking it in constantly, I like to check in periodically, especially waiting for them to get the facts straight first.

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  2. Kate Crimmins

    I have watched more puppy videos in the past year than in my entire life. They keep me sane. I unfollowed people who post a lot of negative stuff on FB. I only follow bloggers who inspire me or make me giggle. I’ll turn on the mute button when I can’t stand one more bad thing. It’s the only way I can survive.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      You really do have to learn to be discriminating. Maybe for people stuff “rolls off of” it’s all no big deal but everything affects me. And I see chunks of time just gone and me no better for it. I’ll see your puppy videos and raise you watching the birds at the feeder. They calm me and give things perspective.

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  3. Pistachios

    Can totally relate. I often feel bad that I don’t know enough about what’s going on in the world (don’t watch News on TV, only listen to radio now and then, don’t read newspapers…) but I just don’t know where it would fit into my life. At least, for the important/major stuff, I find out through colleagues, friends, etc.

    I don’t think I’ve ever “unfollowed” someone on any platform other than FB (because they kept posting random/pointless things). I will, however, scroll past and skip posts that come up on my WP Reader if (1) the post doesn’t seem that interesting and/or (2) I don’t have enough time to read all of the posts, so I have to prioritise, and just read a few.

    I’m also guilty of scrolling endlessly of through FB comments (generally on posts about something that greatly interests/concerns me in some way – I’m just curious to see what other people think about things…)
    But that was more in the past – I’m a bit better at being stricter with time spent online now. A bit.

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  4. Pingback: So here’s how my “Kinda, Sorta New Year’s Resolutions” are going | WriterInSoul

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