Rudder Down

8:23 AM



These days, I’ll get my first cup of coffee (yes, there will be more), and cruise my phone while I drink it…then prayer and meditation. Often, unfortunately, I still manage to boomerang right back into mental stressing, massaging all of the potential possibilities for concern. I could teach a master class on worrying.

With that kind of stuff going on in your head, best to create a diversion.

My diversions of choice?

Putzing around the house doing mild cleaning; eating food I’m not hungry for, especially unhelpful sugary snacks; mostly, looking at my phone getting distracted by sound bites on Twitter or Instagram, or choosing an ocean of possibilities available on the TV through streaming.

I’m afraid to chart my day and see where my time goes. I have also been afraid that I can’t break the pattern. I’m streaming and viewing more than I’m living. That sounds dramatic. And it’s true.

I could blame it on the pandemic, but that’s an oversimplification; still, the pandemic has given me passive permission to fall full bore into this posture of, “whatever,” but I’ve been here before. It’s almost as if how I spend my time doesn’t matter. What to do?

First, as they say, admit there’s a problem.

Then, ask for help, and dream a little. What kind of life do I wish I could have?

I believe I can design a path, beginning with practicing regular awareness check-ins to assess how much time I’ve spent scrolling or staring. I can notice what gets in the way. (Avoidance, procrastination, doubt.) I can capture words of affirmation to recalibrate my expectations. And I can choose how I want to live my life and how I prefer to spend my time.

So, choose.

Although I know this isn’t an original idea I’m working with, it’s still helpful, so here’s a sort of template to shake myself out of the trance.

1. Awareness and acceptance.

“It looks like I’ve been sacrificing my day-so-far to the internet gods. Okay, I can’t get back what I’ve already given away, but I can accept where I’m at, and move forward.”

2. Consider small commitments with follow through.

“It’s fine that I’d like to decompress by watching an episode of Schitt’s Creek now, but I’m going to stop after one, and then get right back to investing in my values by working, cooking, exercising, organizing or writing.”

3: Make long-term, self directed changes.

“In order to be conscious about how I direct my time, my last activity of the day will be to assess where my time went throughout the day, and to make a constructive plan for the next one. No guilt, just take inventory.”

Finally, have a little faith!

Maybe, I got caught in the current again, but do I believe I can change what I’m doing with my life? Especially, if I am willing, and ask for help?

Yes, I do.

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