Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Lost... in thought

Do you ever have so much on your mind that you cannot think straight?

On Saturday night, I crawled into bed and then remembered the laundry in the washer. I tried unsuccessfully to convince my husband to get out of bed and put the clothes in the dryer. I did not want to get out of bed. He didn't either. I fell asleep wondering if I would need to rewash those clothes.

Sunday morning I discovered that the clothes had not been washed. They were in the washer. The soap had been added. The washer had never even been started.

I get distracted all the time.

I often walk into one room, look around and wonder why I am there. Then, I have to walk back where I came from just to retrack my thought process.

I figured out my problem. My mind is too cluttered.

Just like clutter in my home can keep me from being able to relax. My cluttered mind can keep me from being able to be productive.

I think about too many things at once.

Not long ago, I sat in a meeting unable to concentrate on the topic being discussed. It was a meeting with people discussing a subject that I really care about. I began to make a To Do list just so I wouldn't sit there obsessing about the rest of my day. I got nothing out of that meeting. I also didn't make progress on my To Do list while I sat there. I had too much on my mind and I couldn't focus on what mattered at the moment.

I have decided to declutter my mind. I know it isn't going to be easy.

I have decided I want to be present in my thoughts. I am going to focus on one thing at a time. I will gradually improve.

I want to be present in my thoughts, actively engaged in what I am doing.

The last few times I have cleaned the kitchen, I cleaned it in record time. I didn't take one thing into another room and get distracted by something in that room. I didn't jump on and off the computer as I was working. I didn't remember a phone call I needed to make and stop and get on the phone. I focused on the task of cleaning the kitchen. It was simple and quick. I felt satisfied when I was done. I didn't spend hours trying to get the kitchen clean.

I want to be present in my thoughts, attentive to those that are talking to me.

I can have so much on my mind that I don't listen. I care about those around me and I need to show them by giving them my attention. When I am distracted by my agenda or my next question, I am not listening to my spouse. When I am thinking about what I need to do next, I am not listening to my chilren. I will give my attention to the person I am listening to.

I want to be present in my thoughts, less distracted by issues that affect my emotions.

The other morning I woke up and checked my email. I read an email that frustrated me. A few minutes later my husband told me something that I disagreed with. I was extremely irritated. We had a heated discussion. We ended up working it out that day. It was a day or so later when I recognized and apologized for letting an unrelated situation affect my emotions.

I am convinced that having an overactive, burdened mind interfers with my relationships, my productivity, my common sense, and my happiness. It enables overreactions and poor decisions.

I am paying attention to my thoughts. When I recognize a distraction, I refocus my attention. I am training my mind.

This was put on my heart this week when I realized that even when I am not constantly on the go, my mind can be swirling with out-of-control activity.

I encourage you to take captive every thought (2 Corinthians 10:5).

12 comments:

The Laverty's said...

Hi JA! It's a mother with young childrens' part time occupation to be overwelmed with your thoughts and life (i.e. what's for breakfast, feeding, changing, laundry, dishes, dusting, what's for lunch, feeding, changing, more laundry & dishes, what's for dinner, feeding, bathing, changing, and yet more laundry & dishes...)! Hang in there! It does get easier!! ~Christy

RLR said...

I understand completely! Now, off to clean the kitchen and see how quickly I can get it done! Of course, I'm doing some baking this afternoon, so it won't stay clean for long.... I've got orange-blueberry muffins on the brain :)

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Yes, I am constantly bombarded by things that need to be done! Love that washer bit...for real that happens to me all the time!

momstheword said...

I love that verse. We tend to forget that we don't have to think about or dwell on every thought that comes into our minds! Especially the negative ones.

I actually got out of bed last night and wrote something down so I wouldn't forget, lol!

Carrie said...

Oh, how I need help with this, too! I am distracted so easily! I had a load of clothes in the washer last night, too {they did get washed!} but I forgot about them...then I had to fold what was in the dryer so I could put the wet clothes in...{sigh!}

Something I will need to work on too! {do you get distracted playing with your little girls' Barbies or Polly Pockets? No, that's just me? LOL!}

Alicia said...

Amen to that!!! It's funny how our emotions set the tone in our homes. But, you're right. We need to hold those thoughts captive and meditate on things that are true, praiseworthy, noble..(you know the verse).

Wonderful post, and reminder for all of us!

Seth said...

That was a wonderful post. Thanks for writing it.It reminds me of all the things I get distracted by and that effect my attitude (Sunday nights and work mornings I am particularly vulnerable) has on my engagement level with the rest of the family.

He And Me + 3 said...

Girl we are living the same life. I totally walk into a room and forget what I went in for. The washer thing just reminded me that I need to go change the wash and put it in the dryer. BRB!
Ok, I am back...Thanks for the verse and this post. It is so me...I need to retrain my brain and thoughts too.

Beth E. said...

Wow, this is great! I am guilty of getting distracted my too many things. Thanks for such a thought-provoking post. You speak with great wisdom. :o)

annkroeker said...

This is so honest, so real, and full of such great resolve. I do hope you've been able to be *present* in your mind more and more.

Multi-tasking really challenges this. Multi-tasking, they say, often makes us less effective at some or all of what we try to accomplish. Research suggests we'd be better of focusing in on one thing at a time, as you described in your own experience.

annkroeker said...

Your post inspired one of my own at NotSoFast.com. Thanks for your honest exploration of this important topic:
http://notsofastbook.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/the-speed-of-thought/

Katie, Kevin and kids said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing.
I too need to be present in my thoughts, my action, and the lives of those around me. It will take practice!!