Perhaps you’ve heard of “The Silence”, the Doctor Who boogie men that run things in the background that influence the parts of society that don’t make any sense. Today I’d like to introduce you to The Distraction. These beings (I need a better name) also exist in peripheries, and in plain sight. Looking for any moment or opportunity to take advantage of your short attention span.
They’ve always been there, at least as long as I’ve been around. They exist wherever work needs to get done. Even in your sleep they work to lull you into the comfort of your cozy bed and catch up on that much needed sleep deficit that you’ve been working on.
Perfectly nefarious, The Distraction has always been there to keep me entertained and prevent me from doing what I was supposed to be doing. In high school I couldn’t study, because there was always hope for something better on TV, or a high score to achieve on Tetris, anything to keep me away from my homework.
Last night I had that recurring dream that I was falling behind in my high school math class, because I had missed lessons and was behind on my homework. My Kafkaesque turmoil fought me every step of the way to get to my math class, and I never did make it. I had to give up my ride for my wife and kids so that they could make their classes, which are far more important than mine.
During my working career The Distraction has always been there too, perhaps a solitaire Vegas style, or the coffee room chat. Even work can distract you from Work, would I rather fix this or go see if I can fix something else that is more fun. The balance is never ending.
Recently, I read most of the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He calls the Distraction, the resistance. The resistance however isn’t an external force, it’s part of you, and supposedly you are supposed to own up to this pesky lost puppy of your Super-ego. Freud may have tried to illuminate this all with his Ego and the Id mumbo jumbo. I doubt it though, as I read in people magazine that he likely had Mommy issues.