The chaos theory

As I spent my morning sipping coffee and thinking at Al’A Coffeeshop, it occurred to me that my life feels chaotic. Not because I have so much to do I can’t keep it all straight. It’s more because I am not spending enough of my waking hours doing the things that are most important to me. I spend ridiculous amounts of time with silly, extraneous activities that keeping me from the most important stuff.

What are these most important things, you ask?

  1. My walk with God
  2. My relationship with E.
  3. My writing
  4. My health

All else: television, transactional relationships, blogging, food, shopping, Facebook, the dog, thinking about people who’ve hurt me, yardwork…these all distract me from the above four things. In fact, as I look at it, I spend much of my time pursuing distractions.

All this leads me to believe that I am – in some way – intentionally avoiding doing (and succeeding at) those things that are most important to me.

Is there anything you are avoiding in your life? What are your distractions?

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dayner
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 23:09:49

    Funny you should write this today.
    I have been off work since May 27th. Here I was believing that if I had more time at home, more time to myself, more time to write, and more time off of work I could accomplish so much more–hah! I tell you HAH! No so. I haven’t gotten much more done being home then I usually do when I work full time. Just today I was trying to decide what was slowing me down. I have an answer, everything and nothing. It’s pretty darn frustrating.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 14:21:49

      It’s a BIG LIE! I know we discussed this in our writing classes somewhere. I have been out of work since last year and it’s only gotten more difficult to manage my time well. Why? There’s always tomorrow! I can write tomorrow. I can fold that laundry tomorrow. I can call to get together with so-and-so tomorrow. I can pull those weeds tomorrow. It’s terrible!!

      Reply

  2. Parrot Writes
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 21:10:27

    Well, I am avoiding starting to write my novel. I think it is my lack of organization and/or perhaps my commitment that is stopping me. Is that something different now than before? Yes, because it is a new challenge and requires a stretch of my creative self and my time. I think I have always been creative in some ways – whether it has been in my role as a manager of people, a specialist in my field, a daughter, wife, stepmom, aunt, or grandmother. But writing a novel requires much more vision and dedication. Is it a significant change in my life? Kind of, but not really – it is just taking me in a different direction than I ever thought I would take. I have always set goals for myself to grow expand my horizons. My dedication to being a good, caring, helpful person is still there, just as the laundry, housework, gardening, and support person to my friends and family are. Will I pick up the pencil tonight and start the novel? Probably not just yet. But soon. Soon.

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 14:19:56

      My novel…yikes! Alot of my avoidance of doing more with my writing is a direct result of a fear of failing, something that has plagued me my entire life. I hate it. I would like to use writing as a way to get beyond that fear, and I am a little bit, but I think I need to do more.

      Reply

  3. Shaddy
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 16:39:03

    I’m avoiding relationships. I interact with my husband, my boss and coworkers, and that’s about it. I have online friendships through my blog but face to face relationships aren’t something I pursue, in fact, I avoid them.

    The amazing thing is that I’m happier since I’ve let go of the relationships I used to have. I don’t miss getting together with the friends I use to spend time with.

    My husband feels the same way as I do. When we decide to go somewhere or do something, we go only with each other.

    It seems that we experienced more negative results from our past friendships than positive. Perhaps we’ve been too critical and have expected more of our friendships than we should have.

    Oh well, that’s it from me. Presently, I don’t plan to make any changes. We’re happier doing life as a couple than we were with other relationships.

    Reply

    • darksculptures
      Jun 08, 2010 @ 17:19:10

      I completely agree with Shaddy’s remark. That is exactly how my husband and I live our lives. We have family for entertainment outside of our relationship with each other and the children. Online friends help me to keep the creative juices flowing and his work related friendships give my husband a certain outlet. Both of these arrangments provide us with a simplified bond that is far more unconditional and demanding than face to face relationships.

      I don’t forsee any great changes in my future either. Yes, I do at times become frustrated with my lack of productivity when it comes to writing, but those are just organizational details that I will continue to work toward improving.

      Reply

      • kathanink
        Jun 09, 2010 @ 14:18:21

        DS,
        I would say for me, I am in a place that’s beyond not being as organized as I’d like to be. It’s just as I said, I am spending way too much of my time doing things that just distract me from what’s important to me.

        I know that if I look deeper, there are reasons why that’s true…I think I need to confront those reasons and do a better job of dealing with them.

        Is that vague enough?!?? LOL

        Reply

        • darksculptures
          Jun 09, 2010 @ 19:35:11

          Not to go into too much detail, but I was in that position back in 2006. Between work, commitments, and quite a few dysfunctional relationships with those transactional personalities you have mentioned, I was near the verge of an emotional breakdown. Fortunately that is also the time that I hurt my back and so I was forced to live a different lifestyle for almost six months. When I tried to return to that old life it was simple to see how destructive and unhealthy it was for me. That is when I made major changes and set a few boundries with people. Since then, I’ve suffered zero depression, and almost zero anxiety. It was as if the burden was washed clean. If you’d like to ask some specific questions about my spiritual path feel free to email me.

          Reply

          • kathanink
            Jun 10, 2010 @ 16:56:08

            Yes, I have been moving away from some of those relationships (not cutting them out, but letting go of some of them…those types usually just float into the horizon if I stop doing all the work). But I would say I’ve done a lot of “work” in the last 18 mos., but now I just feel sorty of wander-y. So now it’s time to get down to brass tacks (which sounds like something a dad would say, but I don’t think my dad ever said it).

            Reply

    • kathanink
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 14:15:51

      Shaddy,
      There are some relationships my life (other than E) that I want to hold on to. There might even be some I want to pursue…but for me, I have developed a number of “transactional” relationships (what can you do for me?) and I don’t think they are really adding anything to my life. In fact, I am not sure if I am adding much to their lives either!

      I am a very social person, so for me to guard my time more fiercely is a hard thing to do. But if I want to pursue what’s really important to me, I know I need to.

      Reply

  4. altonwoods
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 16:04:35

    My Dear lady,

    Whenever I talk to or read about people who want to make significant changes in their lives I have to ask them,

    “What’s different now than it was before?”

    I ask this not to be flippant or to in anyway discourage them…I just feel as though it’s critical to understand why or how we got ourselves into the circumstances or position we now find ourselves. Our will power will take us a long ways, but ultimately just as with addictive behavior’s, unless we understand the cause of the behavior or the need we’re trying to get met and come to a necessarily different coping strategy it becomes a matter of (eventually) repeating behaviors and somehow expecting different results (insanity). If we’re not ready/prepared or we don’t know what to look out for it will come up behind us and bonk us in the head when we’re not looking!

    It’s a bit like in the ending a relationship, if we don’t understand what was our role in this failure and resolve to do differently by “thus and so” we’ll continue to make the same mistakes.

    Please forgive me and my rambling, I’ve said too much…I wish you well

    Reply

    • kathanink
      Jun 09, 2010 @ 14:13:06

      Thanks very much for your insightful comment…and I am way ahead of you!

      Actually, you’d probably have to read the last year of my blog to know some of the things that I’ve been dealing with (which I am not recommending!). While I don’t have a complete picture of how all of that is affecting my life now, I do realize that “pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving on” will not work to create any real lasting change in me.

      But you said everything wonderfully and you made a great point. Thanks for adding to my post!!

      Reply

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