Let's pretend this is a catchy title
I've been thinking a lot about the plans I had for 2020 and how they just...they didn't just get sidelined. They got flung. Flung way far out of sight and replaced by a whole new life or something. And I know everyone's 2020 was haywire. Life taking a different direction during a worldwide pandemic isn't unique to me. But I do feel like maybe I got a little more distracted than I should have.
When things go wrong, I want to help. I'm dying to help. Oh my God, PLEASE let me help. But for some reason, I never want to help myself. I have this need to help everyone else and I put my own life on the back burner. I have done this repeatedly, for years. And I always end up in the same place - more than a little burnt out, kind of sad, resentful, and starting over.
The good news is, this usually runs in a two year cycle and this time I caught it early. Not quite before the burn out started, but before the resentment and "I have to quit" kicked in. In January of last year I labeled the year #NoTravel2020, with the goal of staying home and focusing on my business and my home. And I was dedicated and ready. I was doing the things I needed to do! I was working on my website and creating tutorials and blogging! Annnnnnnd...My last blog post was the end of March 2020 and of course, we all know how the world started turning by that point.
Because I am easily distracted, the world was in chaos, and I like to fix things, I started volunteering. A lot. I volunteered with a local harm reduction clinic, first putting together supplies, then organizing donations, then delivering lunches for people who were food insecure, then becoming a full time volunteer outreach worker for people who were homeless. And my life just got away from me. By the end of 2020 I was not creating art, my house was a disaster, I had co-founded a 501c3 not-for-profit, gone back to school to be a drug and alcohol counselor, and had not taken a paycheck for the entire year.
Like I said - I get distracted.
So around November I started to feel the burn out creep in and I had to make some tough decisions. I love working in outreach, I truly do. I find it necessary and meaningful and rewarding and full of love. But it is also mentally and physically exhausting and I get paid exactly zero dollars to do it. And at the end of the day I had to remind myself what I wanted and where I wanted to be in life. And I'm not an outreach worker. I don't want a career as a drug and alcohol counselor. I'm an artist. I want to be an artist. That doesn't mean that I won't still do outreach work or that our non profit will fold or anything like that. It just means that, once again, I'm shifting my primary focus back to where I truly want and need it to be.
So I guess this is all to say - I'll be spending more time on this website of mine, talking about art things, doing the art things, living the art things. I'm going to try to stay focused. My husband and I recently had a discussion about ADHD and whether or not we think I might have it. We both agreed that it seems possible, if not likely. However, because I'm already on anti-anxiety medication and a migraine preventative, I don't feel great about re-introducing any other drugs into my regular routine at the moment. So for the moment we're going to act like I DO have ADHD and explore natural remedies, tips, techniques and habits that will help me stay focused. Because while I know it may seem like I have it really together, I am actually so all over the place, all of the time.
I've already started actively working on forming new habits to minimize distractions and keep my focus, but I would so love to hear what you do. How do you stay focused? How do you keep your eye on the ball? How do you keep from being distracted when absolutely everything is a distraction?