Now That I Have Your Attention


For real, in the time it took me to write the title and first sentence of this blog, I’ve already checked email, Facebook (old person here), and meandered over the playlist pre-selected for me on YouTube.

When I want to work, I have to place my phone at least twenty feet away from me, face-down, notifications off, and on a little boat where it will set sail towards an island that can only be reached again if the moon is right and an obliging wizard is willing to lead me across the wild and treacherous sea.

But even then – EVEN THEN (!) – I find myself getting on that same boat and wandering to that same island so I can flip over my phone to see if anyone said or did anything mildly entertaining. (With the excuse lined up in my mind that I’m just checking in case there is an emergency.)

I would like my attention back. I know I put it somewhere. I just have to find it.

I would like my attention back. I know I put it somewhere. I just have to find it.

The other day I was having a bad time of it. Nothing special. Just one of those days where the universe conspires to throw every unhealthy thought at you until you are deep in the shit of it and wondering what the hell happened. At the time, I was looking out the window, trying to think my way out of thinking when a funny thing happened. I started to focus.

There’s a tree across the street, just outside my bedroom window. It’s bare, save for a few brown keys that never lost their grip, and it was swaying back and forth in the wintery wind. I noticed the wrinkled bark, the little pockets of snow clinging to the crevices, the rough bit where a branch snapped off and left behind a tan-coloured scar. I watched that tree for a long time, long past when I noticed my heart slowing down and my breath settling back into place. It felt good.

It’s still there, doing its thing. Swaying, bending, settling where it can. I glance at it every now and then to remind myself that I can still focus. But man, it’s hard sometimes.


Do you find it difficult to focus? Have you thrown your phone into an impenetrable safe yet? Comment below ↓

2 thoughts on “Now That I Have Your Attention”

  1. I can relate. Lately, I often loose my focus on my own work my following Chantel Kreviazuk on is a cool can watch an artist create music. Distracting but also inspiring so maybe my loss of focus is good thing. Maybe we need to loose our focus to help pull out creativity?

    I loved how you described finding your focus my observing nature. It’s amazing how that can happen if we become more present in our surroundings.

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