The common phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side" is often met with the rebuttal that "the grass is greener where you water it." And yet there I stood, in a scorching Texas July, desperately trying to revive my dying grass. I had spent most of my time helping a friend in need, which isn't a bad thing, but I had let all my own needs get pushed to the back burner. The realization that I had unfortunately become the physical manifestation of this metaphor because of distractions was both eye opening and embarrassing. But hindsight is 20/20. Until it happens again.
I have a feeling it's part of human nature to end up in this seemingly endless cycle of being sucked in to various distractions, whether it be watching too much TV, over-committing yourself to help everyone but yourself/family, what have you. In different seasons of life, what those distractions look like vary, but ultimately, what it boils down to is that we end up focused on things that aren't benefiting us, even if our intentions were good. Lord knows I'm beyond guilty of this! But I'm making the conscious decision to interrupt the pattern, re-calibrate, and do better.
Recently, my dad reached out to me and my sisters with links to some very informative videos about pattern interruption and creating new thought processes. Since then, I've been trying to be more aware of when I'm falling into a bad habit, no matter how small. When I catch myself, I say the words "pattern interrupt" and push myself to make the change that needs made. Usually, I'm doing this to convince myself to clean the kitchen at night when I'm tired instead of waiting until the morning, but I want to start using it on a much larger scale.
Having just ripped myself out of yet another cycle of distraction (over-committing myself, to be exact), I've really put that large scale pattern interruption to the test. I'm only about a week into it, but I have to say, so far so good. Since choosing to focus on my goals for myself, my family, and my house, I have been more productive, my kids and I have been more physically active (and outside more!), and I'm generally more relaxed. Oh, and probably the most surprising aspect? I started writing again! It's crazy that we don't realize how we hold ourselves back by allowing ourselves to get distracted on such a deep level.
Now, the difficult part is keeping up with the new patterns, right? In the initial stages of a big change, the excitement of everything gives you momentum. How do you keep that going? I believe that re-calibration is the answer. We have to focus and make these new changes the new normal. Then, we can't fall back into the old habits because they're no longer on our scale.
While I'm clearly no expert at this, I feel like the best way to go about the re-calibration process is to shift your perspective of things. If you think of your cycles of distraction as turbulence on airplane, you can feel like getting through it is a matter of life or death, when in reality it's just a bumpy patch you'll be through momentarily. Better yet, you can look beyond the turbulence and focus on the amazing view out your window. You have to make that conscious decision to look at it all differently. Finally, I think the ultimate way to break free is to be intentional with how we spend our energy. We need to decide for ourselves what we want to see in life. Do you want to write more? Make healthier eating choices? Spend more time with your kids? Then choose those things. Choose them every day, or several times a day if you have to. Just be intentional about it.
This is a learning process for me as much as anyone else who may be reading this post. I'm brand new at it and far from perfect, but I'm trying. This post alone is proof of pattern interruption, because believe me, in my current circumstances, I could have written a post that would've come out sounding very similar to my last post in 2016, but I consciously chose to take a different route.
I can't tell you where I'll be a month from now in this journey, but I'm promising myself it won't be standing in my dry yard trying to revive dead grass again.
Hello! I'm Lindsey. I'm a writer with a ton of random thoughts bouncing around in my head. So I share them here in hopes that they reach others with these thoughts.