Due to all sorts of things, I have become very distracted of late. The worst part is, I’m not distracted because of myself, per se, but how my family handles things. When my family is going through something I take on angst.

Why do I take on their angst?

Who knows.

Control issues?

Wanting to jump in and help and knowing that you really can’t help?

Wanting them to do things differently because I know better?

Probably a little bit of all of them. I see how they’re handling things, and I want to erase my daughters self doubt and angst. I want to make my husband wake up and actually look at the things in front of him. It’s hard for me to watch them have these periods of apprehension and unease and know that I am powerless. I mean, I’m the Mommy. I’m the wife. I’m the household Goddess with superpowers but apparently I’ve hit my kryptonite…

I hate it when I really can’t help the people I care about.

When I can’t help them I can’t focus on things- usually simple, non threatening things, but still- things get messed up…

I screwed up hotel reservations. I forgot to send a birthday card. I missed the deadline for a story contest I wanted to enter. I missed signing up for three classes I wanted to take.

Silly, inconsequential things, but still things that I was too distracted to pay attention to.

I have to remember that I can’t solve everything.

I have to remember to write things down and pay attention to my TO DO folder.

I have to take care of myself because if I don’t take care of myself I can’t take care of anything or anybody else.

So my goal is to try to focus better. To not let whatever my family is dealing with bring me to a point where I can’t get on with my life. I just wish I knew how to do that.

67 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Distracted

  1. Oh, LA you can’t control the world. But I do know what it feels like to feel helpless to fix things sometimes. And for moms who are take charge go getters who are used to solving problems and pretty much run the family you feel helpless when you can’t fix or control everything and every scenario around you. . I’ve been that mom. I was the head of the family. But…I couldn’t control everything. I couldn’t keep my husband from getting pancreatic cancer and from dying at age 55. I did my best to be there for him and for my children, I handled all the particulars etc. But we can’t always solve everything. I couldn’t fix that! I have learned I do the best I can. That’s all anyone can do.
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just do your best. Go easy on yourself. Give yourself a break. Do the best you can but still realize that there are some things you cannot control.

    Last week I was ready to accept my days were numbered because the chemo was so miserable and didn’t seem to be working . Talk about feeling helpless. And this week when I came in for more chemo I was told my labs were back and my cancer antigen numbers went down a 1000 points which is phenomenal. My doctor came running to the infusion room all excited shouting congratulations. Then he fist bumped me in congrats all while I’m hooked up to my infusions. Then he had the chemo nurse up my chemo and add another drug to the mix. He said we’re on a roll. . Lol so what seemed out of control for several weeks is now sorting itself out. Yeah I still have to go through aggressive chemo, but it’s working. Yay!
    You and your family will get through this.
    LA sometimes we just have to let the universe do its thing and wait things out. Then we can gain control again. I hope things get sorted out for you soon. Sending lots of Hugs until you gain your footing again.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Knowing how is the big question because I think the worry and distraction go hand in hand and are common responses for many of us. It’s not easy to remember to care for yourself, but you matter as much as anyone else.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I think from what you have said you do know how to do it. Keep caring, and if they are worth it they will appreciate you for it. We can’t solve all life’s problems and we are certainly in control. These 2 things do not fit neatly into productivity boxes, which I think contributes a lot to our stresses as you mention 🙂 Hope you are having a nice day

    Liked by 1 person

  4. (((Hugs)))) ❤❤
    A powerless feeling is awful when ir comes to our loved ones. And I totally know what you mean about being distracted and forgetting the little things. Its like those little things just tip an already overflowing plate!
    Thing to write on your To Do List: Go for a professional massage, come home and lose myself in a book in my fuzzy robe with a cup of tea. 😉 Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Morning, LA. I wish I had solid answers. I often feel the same — my driving force seems to be caretaking and there’s nothing worse than carrying more than we should…especially when we feel those most implicated/involved are less on-board or don’t share/hear our concerns, fears. I appreciate that you added the ‘brain fog’ aspect – forgetting things. I’m finding that in myself, too — need to focus more on what I’m doing in the moment because my head’s often in nine places at once. Sending love and hugs, love and hugs! xo!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. My daughter and I have adopted the mantra of “be present in our body” — because we both have the tendency to move without enough intention – so distracted by our “head games” some days. Forces me to slow down….which is never a bad thing for me! 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I heard Melinda Gates use the metaphor of a mobile (like a baby crib mobile) to talk about exactly what you describe. And she said that she could never stay in balance as the mom at the center of the mobile if any one or more of the fixtures was pulling down or bobbling too much.

    I really liked that metaphor because I think it’s a pretty good way to see what is affecting us. And maybe to give ourselves some grace when we are out of whack because we are connected to a lot of spokes! Sending you and your mobile my best!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can totally relate to this LA! Being a mom is a tough ass job and everyone looks at us to make them better, when we can’t we feel like we fail. Which causes our brain to produce a negative response on ourselves. We got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “I have to take care of myself because if I don’t take care of myself I can’t take care of anything or anybody else.”

    Yes. This. Me too. And I am learning to be hyper vigilant about the negative narrative in my mind. Pay attention to it, but be in charge of how it affects me. I am the thinker, not the thought. I am the feeler, not the feeling (Thank you, Susan David – Emotional Agility).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m distracted too. I hate it when my kids aren’t doing well. I wish I could fix everything for them. Also, I have to face going to Washington to spread my mom’s ashes. I keep procrastinating on buying a plane ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sorry you are going through so many things all at once, LA. You could probably handle each one individually, but they have piled in on you. Also, when my life is like that, I think that some of that anxiety, brain fog, forgetfulness is not because of my active attention to the problems, but the fact that regardless of what I am focusing on, all of the issues are in the background swirling around, not letting me truly focus on anything. Ages ago I read a book by Judith Viorst called Imperfect Control. It was good (except for my disagreement with her on euthanasia which is a whole other topic). I think “imperfect control,” is an accurate description of the kind of control we actually have in our lives. For believers, faith in God that He is working behind the scenes gives us comfort when we don’t see the bigger picture. I hope things get sorted for you soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Its Ok LA – You are just a normal loving caring parent! My wife is constantly concerned with our 5 married adult children and 6 grandchildren. One of our sons is now going through separation after 10 yrs of marriage and now having to co-parent their 5 yr old daughter with his wife who left him. We ended up purchasing half of his townhouse just to stabilize his situation and now we go for a sleepover once each week and take grand-daughter to school b/c he starts work at 6:00 AM. Then there are the other family challenges. But at least all our adult kids still love us and like each other – so that’s good!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As always, do your best. Do what is necessary and what is right. There is nothing more you can do but hope for the best. You are obviously concerned and emotionally involved. A loving, caring person can do no more.
    Feeling responsible and angst is normal, I think because you care. Don’t feel guilty. You are human, with limitations. You can’t save the world or help everyone so, please, know that your loving and caring sometimes has to be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love that you and your daughter text each other chill reminders! It can be easy to forget the things you want to get done in a day when you get distracted by so many other things – issues with loved ones or otherwise. I’d love to figure out how to remember to pause and assess several times a day. Instead, I keep barreling ahead, maybe in the wrong direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You nailed it LA. I feel it in my heart, it weighs me down, it aches, and I can’t relieve it. My mind rotates all their issues as if I’m a dryer, tumbling, tumbling, tumbling in my mind. The truth is I can’t fix the situations they themselves construct because this is exactly what they need to solve in order to grow and I believe I’ve stunted them enough. Sit back, sip your coffee, observe from a distance. The view I imagine will be extraordinary. Hugs, C

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Like many others commenting here, I’ve been there, and it’s a tough place to be. I had to do a ton of work on myself – on accepting that being right simply didn’t matter that much, to respect the independence and autonomy of others, to allow them to make mistakes and learn from them.

    My mother and my ex were a nightmare as they wanted me to both do/fix everything for them, but also to have the right to blame me if it didn’t go as they wanted it to. That helped me to see I had to learn to disengage.

    Fortunately, my two most important people are both stubborn and independent. I offer advice when it’s asked for, support them in their decisions, and bite my tongue so as not to say I told you so if they get them wrong.

    It’s not perfect, my mother still has the capacity to drive me mad, and I worry about Himself’s health. But I don’t obsess about either any more.

    Liked by 1 person

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