Concentrate Dammit!

My mom could sit and read her magazine or book with complete chaos going on and not take notice at all.  Us kids could be creaming ‘Mom! She poked me in the eye!’ and her attention would never leave the page she was reading.  As a mom of two, I don’t know how she did it.

It’s fascinating to see how someone can be completely engrossed in what they are doing. I am not one of those people.

My mind is like a search engine, always looking for the answer to 12 different questions at once and I have no capacity to stick to one subject.

It’s why I was no good at practicing piano, or flute or gymnastics or any other interest I tried out over my lifetime so far.  I lose concentration and get distracted too easily and have trouble sticking to what is in front of me. Even as I am writing this, I am planning dinner, including a stop at the grocery store. I’m also mentally reminding myself to text my daughter to fold the laundry when she gets home, as well as considering whether to send Christmas cards this year.

At any given time, I used to have so many projects going at once that I would often become overwhelmed and abandon them completely.  When we moved a few years ago I packed up boxes and boxes of unfinished baby blankets, sewing projects, half painted pictures and stacks of unfinished projects and donated them.  I wonder if someone at Goodwill ever bought any of them and finished them. It would be nice to see one of those projects in its completion.

I quit buying books because I had so many that went unfinished.  There is always a new book, more interesting that grabs my attention. For me to read a book from cover to cover it has got to be fascinating. I prefer historical fiction and get one free book a month with Amazon Prime.  This works for me because I don’t feel bad if I don’t read it all the way through.  It was free.

I’m fascinated at anyone who can sit for hours concentrating on a project or book and not become distracted. What are they thinking with their head over a giant puzzle trying to find just the right piece that goes right there? It baffles me. Maybe they aren’t thinking at all.

Because of my constant mind chatter I don’t often listen to music when I am driving.  I need absolute silence so my mind can run free.  Music distracts my ability to carry a thought to its completion. And, don’t ask me a question with the stereo on, especially is there is a commercial.  My mind will go completely bonkers and I will most likely forget where I am supposed to go.

One of the ways I deal with the constant mental chatter is to always carry a notebook with me. As I’m thinking these millions of thoughts, I write them down. I do a brain dump every morning and evening to clear my brain. I’m also constantly adding things to my to-do list in my phone.  But when I get home in the evening and review the list of things I thought were so important I usually end of deleting them all.  They may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but that moment has passed and I’m thinking about something completely different now.

If you are one of those people who can be fully in whatever you are doing and block out the outside world, I would love to know how you do it. It’s a skill I want to cultivate.

And here is where the train takes off: I will probably go on Amazon to find a book on the subject. I may also go on YouTube and search up some information.  I’ll write out the 10 steps suggested and then throw it out when I get home. Next!

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