Tuesday, October 15, 2013
It's Easy to Tune Out
I have a problem. When I read, I cease to hear things around me on a conscious level. I think it stems from when I was a child. I grew up in a family of ten children, so if I wanted to be able to read, I had to be able to concentrate even when a lot of noise was going on.
So, I learned to tune things out.
Saturday, we went to the local library for the first time. It is amazing! I picked up eight books and then we came home. I read a bit on Saturday, and then I finished two more yesterday.
A few times yesterday Grig tried to talk to me, but I didn't notice until halfway through the conversation.
This is how it goes:
A movie is playing in my head. It's intensely interesting. I'm part of the characters even as I'm watching them. I know their thoughts and their feelings, and I am part of those too. Suddenly, like a swimmer deep under water, I notice something on the surface. I struggle to break away from the fascinating world underneath the water. It is a difficult struggle and suddenly I'm free to hear....
"...and if they don't get it figured out soon, there's going to be trouble."
I shake my head and realize that my husband has been talking to me for the last ten minutes. I quickly search my subconscious of the last few moments and am able to pick up the gist of the conversation.
Quickly I apologized and asked him to repeat a few things, telling him that it was hard for me to hear other things when I was reading. I do pretty well with reading and watching the baby. If I put forth effort to pay attention to those around me, I can sometimes do two things at once. However, once Grig gets home, my mind recognizes that there is someone else around to help and it takes a vacation.
This is why I don't read that much anymore.
I think in life we sometimes get so focused that we don't notice the things going around us. We become trapped in our own little worlds and we turn other people into characters in our story. Therefore, they are supposed to act a certain way, behave in a set pattern, and never do anything that would surprise us. Fortunately, people are real. They make mistakes and they make their own choices. We have no control over them, but we can appreciate the wonderful diversity that they bring into our lives.
Books, computer games, and other distractions are fun. However, they should never replace or get in the way of the truly important things in our lives. I'm still struggling to learn that.
It's not so easy to always be there for those around you. It's easy to tune things out. However, the satisfaction that we gain from being tuned in will far exceed any story that any author could conceive.
Real life is better than fiction, because we can choose who we will become. It will always have unexpected twists and turns and there will be REAL risks. We can choose how we react to others and how we spend our time.
I just pray that we all spend it on what truly matters so that we don't look back at the end of our story and say, "What a boring book!"