My apartment is very quiet this weekend. I left my piano at school, due to the fact that I’ve been having an absolute blast with the kids, singing and playing in some of our free time this week. I wanted to bring it home, so that I’d have something to distract me at home, but I’m glad I kept it at school, so that we could have more fun with it next week. I will say, though, that I’ve had a much more productive weekend due to the fact that my piano has not been at home with me.
Distractions are interesting in that way. They provide us a temporary release from our current realities. They give us an opportunity to ignore what’s bothering us and what seems to be standing in our way. But I wonder if distractions are actually good for us. I wonder if distractions are healthy. Intuitively, it would seem like they’re good. It would seem like it’s good to give ourselves a break from reality every so often, to provide ourselves with some relief from what’s bothering us. But it seems to me like the distractions only prolong the feelings we so desperately need to confront.
What’s the difference between distracting ourselves, compartmentalizing feelings, ignoring problems, and moving on? How do we avoid perseveration while still continuing to process feelings in a healthy way? When is it appropriate to cast aside feelings, and when is it appropriate to confront them?
The woman next to me is slurping her coffee really loudly.
See, distractions can be bad, too. Distractions can also make it so we don’t accomplish anything. Distractions can be little inklings in our ears, little flutterings within our heart, that make it impossible for us to focus and concentrate, until those utterings and flutterings are so loud that they’re screaming at us, trying to get us to move or squash the stimulus that is distracting us so.
I really wish that woman would stop slurping her coffee.