Chad Dyar | Distractions and Then Some – I had to write.
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Distractions and Then Some – I had to write.

Distractions and Then Some – I had to write.

Unfocused. Hyperfocused. Is either better than the other? I’m not really doing what I would call traveling at the moment and when I’m not traveling, it’s difficult for me to find the right balance in focus.

Distractions are everywhere in a “normal” life these days. One second your Googling a review on Patagonia’s newest jacket and the next you’re ready an article about how carrying an extra down jacket in your pack can save someone’s life on a hike. Let’s not even mention the 4 other “keep warm” related articles you read before that. It’s easy to lose focus. And while I struggle with that when living in “normalcy,” I’m concerned with being hyperfocused.

Have you ever had one of those days where, at the end of it, you ask yourself – “Who did I talk to today?” All of the sudden, the questions and realizations start flooding in.

  • Did I look anyone in the eyes today?
  • What did I say to my mom when we talked?
  • Did I even smile at the barista at the coffee shop?
  • Who was it that told me something about their pet having to be rushed to the vet?


I’m not proud of it but I’ve had to ask myself these questions. My mind, so flooded with thoughts about the next tasks I needed to accomplish to be “productive,” completely blocked my heart from seeing the love it should have been giving (and receiving) all day! Like the guy who’s hunched over the salsa bar at your favorite, Mexican restaurant filling up enough condiment cups to feed a small village – “Hey buddy, can I at least peek over your shoulder and see if they have tomatillo salsa? Did you order carryout for the Cheaper by the Dozen family?” – my busy brain has played doorman to the feelings of my heart, bouncing them like the guy who wore flip-flops to the cocktail lounge.

When I have a day like that, I realize that I wasn’t very intentional that day. And because I know the problem, I can change something to fix it. I can…

  • Look people in the eyes and focus my attention on what they’re saying instead of what’s next on my to do list.
  • Meditate, quieting the busy metropolis in my head and intentionally control my thoughts (prayer works the best for me).
  • Smile, just smile, like a lot. It helps calm my nerves and helps me realize the important things in life.
  • Tell my mom (and other people) how much I appreciate them and what they do in my life.
  • Play my guitar, take a long drive, write (like this blog post) or do any other activity that helps melt my stress. Sometimes you just gotta treat yo’self.

I don’t know if this ever happens to you but if it does, I’d love to hear how you deal with it in the comments below!

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