Noise

I have 10 browser windows open (including tabs… thank you Firefox), iTunes playing a variety of songs, a handful of other programs open mid-project, my inbox boasting a number of unanswered emails, papers strewn across my desk, my new pride-and-joy large whiteboard displaying several color-coded things-to-do lists next to a half-finished brainstorm, and a spiral bound notebook boasting a brain-purge list of everything on my mind that I haven’t yet taken care of.And I’m staring blankly at a wall.When the noise around me starts to resemble the static of a missing television station, I realize I’m no longer acting. I’m reacting. And not very effectively at that. I don’t think I’m alone in this experience. It’s the multitasker’s reality, the self-employed professional’s life, the modern American situation. We live at the levels we expect to live at. We expect certain levels of noise, procrastination, and disatisfaction. There’s a threshold of pain we don’t allow ourselves to go beyond, and there’s a threshold of peace we don’t allow ourselves to enter. We know our limits, we chock them up to reality, and we stay within them.It takes a lot of work to change those limits. Right now, I’m exploring the options for reducing the noise in my life, and battling myself in internal debates. Half of me is struggling to be more aware and make decisions to simplify the distracting stimuli around me, while the other half of me is fighting tooth and nail to maintain those comfortable levels of noise. I reduce one thing, another one pops up. I spend an hour examining my patterns, and then follow it with two hours zoning out on autopilot. Breaking habits is a process of negotiation.You can either jump into the cold water from the cliff and risk a heart attack and paralysis, or you can ease yourself in and take all day.

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One Response to “Noise”

  1. Nick Says:

    I am always asking myself to just do one thing at a time, I try. But I don’t want to. I set aside time for just one thing. I meditate. This helps but sometimes I upload or put something in the oven at the same time I sit.

    ‘the master said to the student when you eat breakfast just eat breakfast.

    the following day the student found his master eating breakfast and reading the paper.

    the master said when you eat breakfast and read the paper just eat breakfast and read the paper.’

    Still, all these desires to be more productive, to create more, participate more, and to have all the burners going, I feel really gets in my way of experiencing the whole of any one activity.

    Growing seems to be a weeding out of distractions. Finding the few activities (okay maybe eventually one activity) that I can go deep enough into in order to learn somethings universal and true to all activities.