The ability to focus

I admit that a large part of my inability to write anything coherent on this blog, amongst many other reasons, is that I have almost completely lost my ability to focus. After 18 months of this whole parenting thing, it appears I have literally undone many years of practice and completely changed my brain to be great at short bursts of random attention that do not form a coherent thought when strung together.

Yes, I can blame Sam for this, but the truth is my smart phone isn’t helping this. Unfortunately for Sam, I got my smart phone about 3 months before he came along so we’ll never be able to know concretely what the cause of my focus demise was, but in the end its here so I guess that’s all that matters.

Until I try to figure out how to reverse it.

The truth is I have ALWAYS been prone to quick, impulsivity. Its one of the great things that people like about me, right?! Um, or bugs them. I guess it makes things exciting.

One thing I know for sure that is good is to sit down and actually write these thoughts out and not just flit from topic to topic or just read through other random blog posts without taking the time to even type out a coherent response of original thought.

A few months ago my husband really noticed this as we had a conversation and I simultaneously had three other conversations – all with myself – by digressing like a…well, something that majorly digresses. A lawyer? That stapler guy from The Office? Anyway, the point of the original conversation got completely muddled (ironically, just like now). And I felt so badly for my husband. We used to have these great conversations and we would get lost in the nuances of arguments for or against the topic and have such fun boiling it all down and looking at things from all different angles. But my ability – and desire – to do that had disappeared. I think this was one unexpected aspect of learning how having a kid changes you. I knew it would change my body, our sleep habits, our priorities, etc. But I failed to realize that it might actually change my brain structure and my ability to have these intimate, personal conversations with my best friend. That’s pretty big.

Anyways, I don’t know if its because I’m getting better sleep these days or if I’m succeeding at using the smart phone with more discipline (probably not the later) but my conversational ability has returned. As of a few months ago the fog lifted. And then it helps that I’ve been reading books! Well, not really reading so much as having them read to me but, I’m completing books! And engaging in discussion about these books! And it is marvelous. A sign of both the desire and the ability to focus on something longer than 3.5 seconds, which is really just great for so many aspects of my life.

Which leads me to think, again, the purpose of writing this all out. I don’t know what’s to come of this blog. I am always a bit surprised to find out that other people who start blogs have the goal to make it a career. Ads and links slowly appear and I always think, Wow! I didn’t see that coming! But I guess its a natural segue: write, gain readership, then make money for doing what you were already doing. I just, never had that thought process or end goal.

And this blog has never quite been a personal blog in the sense that I’ve shared the daily details of my life. To be honest, I’ve been scared by too many big time bloggers that seem to fall off the divorce cliff by sharing too many intimate details of their lives online to make me think that this can possibly be a healthy way to respect their most important relationships we have in life.

So, I guess I’ll stick with blogging to help me hone my ability to focus and process thoughts. Feedback from the outside world is always super helpful. I read, er, heard, somewhere recently that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. So I guess here is where I can practice becoming an expert in focusing. And hopefully become more coherent at it in the process.

Gosh, I have a lot of practice to do!

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2 thoughts on “The ability to focus

  1. Wow, I can so relate to this!! But in my case I think it’s more about the distractions and the fact that I decide that I have to do everything at the same time and the kids decide to interrupt :) But the main thing I can relate to is in how long it has been since I had an actual conversation about a serious topic with my husband. Actually today, we did, after a long time.

  2. I wish that I could blame things like my phone or other more worthwhile parts of life, but thankfully I have rambly posts from 2.5 years ago to remind me that I lost my mind over nothing. But oh how I know the feeling of the loss of not being able to have a legit conversation with your husband. Not cool.

    If you decide it is worth sharing/safe to share I’d love to read posts about steps you’ve taken to try to improve this and how it worked. For other reasons I’ve felt the need to put aside my phone more recently and I’m still trying to figure out things like whether it is worth the inaccessibility to have the freedom of going for a walk or to the store without it.

    I have a zillion thoughts on blogging as a project but I’ve already started (and failed) to comment three times, so I’ll stop here.

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