1.31 Distractions

TORONTO, ONTARIO: Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, large and small, completely unintentional and totally on purpose. Working on my own for so long, I have become all too familiar with distractions and understand their value and loathe their timing. However, they usually seem to come when something just isn’t working and I reluctantly welcome them. Other times, the phone rings or that email comes that needs an answer immediately. Unfortunately, they appear when staring at- Who invented the jackhammer? The construction outside is unbearable. And when will it end? I should get up and peer out the window to evaluate progress and silently scorn the construction workers for distracting me. They can feel me give them the evil eye.

-a blank screen, unsure of what to write or where to go from here. I think it comes from experience to see distractions as a positive force. The ability to pause, re-think and perhaps even re-consider my approach. Naturally, there is the danger of distractions mutating into full on procrastination. The realm where very little gets done. A dangerous place, procrastination, where sometimes-

I looked out the window at the construction workers and am reminded of the previous day. The construction has attached itself to my own house. My landlord thought it was a good idea to renovate the front porch. They removed the stairs and for a time, there was only a tall ledge with a deep moat between my front door and the street. On my arrival home, I stood in front of the moat, unsure of how to cross. There was no drawbridge. A construction worker up on the porch offered me his hand while another one took me by the waist and guided me gently to higher ground. It was strangely balletic and I wondered about performing a plié on landing.

-you can get lost and discouraged. After all, there is a myriad of items to check off on the list. Working from home, you’d think distractions could be contained. But there are blogs to write, other people’s blogs to read, online dating profiles to check and tweets to tweet. There’s Facebook: The ultimate time waster. The Internet in general. I just can’t help but think there is a reason for these distractions. Something greater-

I should really go to the gym. It would be nice to go for a swim. But I should eat first and they say you shouldn’t swim right after you’ve eaten. I need to do something, perhaps just a quick bike ride. I need to get this work done. But my grumbling stomach is a greater distraction than even the jackhammer.

-is perhaps at work? I have a young skating pupil who gets distracted by my shiny earring. I tried to steer her away from it, be surprised: “How did that get there? Someone must have sneaked in while I was sleeping.” I started taking the earring off for our lessons but then she was distracted because it was gone. Backfired. I couldn’t seem to win on this one. Perhaps that little girl was on to something. Maybe distractions are about noticing the details about a person or a situation. Without distractions, we would be too highly functional and efficient. There would be no fun, no digressions and-

I didn’t sleep well last night. I can see my bed in the other room from my desk. Maybe I should take a nap. A short one. Yes, it would be refreshing, would help clear my head.

-no questions. Anyways, it would be nice to be distracted by hearing about some of your own distractions. Everyone’s are different and they come to you in a variety of disguises.

It is time to wrap this up as I must get back to work. But before I return to my other writing, my phone is ringing and I must respond to an email that has been sitting in my mailbox, taunting me for five days. The jackhammering has stopped – I need a coffee so perhaps I’ll grab one across the street. There’s a library book that needs returning as well. It’s sunny out, I should enjoy the warm weather before the winter sets in. There’s the mail carrier, I can check my mail…