Heather Ricks

Storytelling and Facilitating
Focus in the Storm of Thoughts

Focus in the Storm of Thoughts

My brain is like an epilepsy inducing animated movie that never stops playing. Ever. Not even for sleep.

Some days I’m better at controlling it’s playback speed or can ignore the flashes of bright lights, other days I sink into the fact that the station manager is in charge and will play it any speed they want. This is a frustrating way to be wired, but it is what it is and I have learned to deal with it. I’ve learned ways to make myself focus over the years, most of which are only effective in specific circumstances and involve being able to do something I like.

Today is a day I’m not in control. I’ve been distracted since 6 AM, and there is a good chance I will not be super productive today. I’ve had to learn to accept that over the years, that some days I will feel I didn’t give 100% to my work or other activities because I simply cannot focus on one item long enough to get to my 100% mark. This is very hard for me, going back to that whole wanting to be perfect thing I said I strive for and am learning is okay to fail at. It makes me feel that my functionality and the way I’m wired is “wrong” or “not useful”. I’ve been sitting here trying to make myself work for about 3 hours now, and this short post is all I’ve gotten out of it. I’ll get up and move around in hopes it will help me focus, but it doesn’t. I did my coffee ritual hoping it would help, it didn’t… Today is just a day I won’t be able to hit slow mo on, and I have to be ok with that.

I can’t be, but I have to be.

If I’m not ok with it, then I let the mishmash in my head win, and I slowly spiral into self pity and that isn’t helpful at all. At least I showed up. I put butt to chair and hand to keyboard and stared blankly at my projects for a while. At least I did this post. This is how I choose to look at days like today.

I do find though that the focus that comes after unfocused days is amazing. Sometimes I’m able to push through the bright lights to make myself be productive, and that gives me a sense that I’ve “beat it”, but also it is often some of my best work. The days I’m legitimately just focused after an unfocused day are usually super productive and creative. It’s when I’m able to write the most and feel like I’ve knocked out a huge chunk, but also when I feel I connect with my characters or audience better.

On days when I can focus I try to work double time to make up for the times I can’t, hopefully it all evens out in the end. I think I have a lot more focused days now that I’m older, but who knows? Maybe the unfocused ones are so unfocused I’m not remembering how many there were clearly. 🙂

Or I’m old and losing my memory.

Either way, I’ll happily take the truth/my ignorance and think that I’ve become more focused and not less.

 

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