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“Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.” Unknown

Distractions are not all bad. In fact, some are good and necessary. Here’s proof.

Definition of distraction: a diversion or recreation.
Synonyms: amusement, entertainment, diversion, recreation, leisure pursuit.

A second definition shines a less positive light: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
Synonyms: diversion, interruption, disturbance, interference, hindrance.

The third definition reminded me of author C.J. Darlington’s answer to an interview question about her becoming irritable when she didn’t write. The definition: extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Synonyms: frenzy, mental distress, insanity, mania, agitation, perturbation.

“When I don’t write, I’m turning my back on that (my calling to write). It’s taken me a long time to realize this, but I think it’s true for any of us when we don’t do what we know God’s called us to do,” she said during our Interview with C.J. Darlington, Part 3.

The last definition best fits what I’m writing about in this blog post.

I wished for C.J.’s kind of irritability, the kind that feeds our focus. Instead, I got irritable when John ran late in the afternoons. Time he pulled into our driveway, I let go of the guilt I felt about another day of not writing and I put on my wife hat. For at least a year, I postponed writing in anticipation of our dinners together.

I sound hungry for anything but my own life, don’t I?

Pretty ridiculous, huh? I’m as baffled as you must be and I’m as embarrassed as you probably think I should be about how I drummed up that much distraction around 30 minutes of eating.

From Gerald May’s book Addiction and Grace, I vaguely remember his explanations about addiction that could also apply to distractions. He talked about forming attachments, as well as addiction according to mind, body, and spirit and all sorts of addictions we conjure up. The same makes sense when we replace the word “addictions” with “distractions.”

The thing I clearly remember from reading May’s book is his explanation about overcoming addiction.

Stop it. Quit. Don’t do it anymore.

The same is true for distractions. I’ll write a lot more about them because I have a lot of them (see the list below) and because I distract myself often, but know that at the end of this blog post and the next one and the next one, there’s only one way to #GettingYourOwnLife. It’s to get your own life.

Begin it. Start. Do it every day.

Profound, I know. But beginning, starting, and doing it every day are not as easy as they sound in the midst of distractions.


In the next few days, I’ll post a video about a time I practiced #GettingYourOwnLife. I hope you’ll tune in. This evening, I’m posting just for fun a partial list of ways I distract myself from it.

  • Shopping at Belk
  • Changing nail color
  • Reading old magazines
  • Saving articles to reread
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Shopping for grandkids
  • Playing counselor
  • Playing God
  • Replaying my past
  • Baking and eating
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Organizing photos of grandkids
  • Holding drama marathons
  • Signing up for too many activities
  • Saying “yes” to the multitudes
  • Doing things to kill time
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Bragging about grandkids
  • Pinning on Pinterest
  • Replaying what I should have said
  • Shopping at Steinmart
  • Shaping my eyebrows
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Ordering things for grandkids
  • Organizing clothes by color
  • Organizing shoes by color
  • Organizing underwear by color
  • Organizing my desk
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Organizing grandkids’ toys
  • Organizing coupons
  • Shopping at Target
  • Cleaning blinds (desperate distraction)
  • Obsessing about relationships
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Posting on Facebook about grandkids
  • Wollering because I’m frustrated
  • Napping when I should be writing
  • Talking about writing
  • Complaining about not writing
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Looking for Christmas gifts for grandkids (in June)
  • Walking in place with my Fitbit
  • Researching and re-researching
  • Hitting the snooze button
  • Cleaning under beds
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Posting on Facebook about grandkids (again)
  • Dusting ceiling fans
  • Piddling
  • Checking Fitbit steps
  • Scrolling Facebook
  • Making lists about grandkids
  • Making more lists
  • Rewriting lists
  • Exercising for hours
  • Etc.

There are plenty of worthy activities on this list, but none of them move forward my writing. Also, what I name as my distraction may be the way you get your own life.

The diet plan to starving our distractions is for each of us to decide what #GettingYourOwnLife looks like and focus + act on it so we can feast on the life we want.

What focus are you feeding? What distractions do you need to starve, at least for a little while? #GettingYourOwnLIfe

In This Together,


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