Zoning In


There are two hours in my day that completely disappear. I put the kids to bed at 9:00pm and then BLINK— it’s 11:00pm. In a world where I feel strapped for time how am I somehow losing time just before my eyes?

I am not a TV watcher so know that is not sucking my time. I don’t have a spouse to talk to. I am not getting back on my computer to work.

So where does my time go?

For the past couple of weeks, I set out to increase my awareness and observe my behaviors at this particular point in time. Here is what I discovered. I don’t stop doing. I walk around the house in circles (maybe doing some clean up?) completely lost in thought. Or I sit at the edge of my couch, phone in hand, surfing Facebook, social media sites, and reading a bunch of random articles. Basically I am totally ZONED OUT. By the time I get into bed I am completely exhausted. I pick up a book to read and barely make it 1 page before I crash hard.

It makes sense. I have had a long mentally draining day of working and parenting. I deserve a little bit of zone out time – right?

I started to think about the idea. Do I really deserve zone out time?

And the more I thought about it the more I realized – I actually zone out all day long. My day is filled with external forces that I need to respond to. Work demands. Kid demands. Home demands. I never turn inward to respond to what I need. I never really stop.

So I wonder – is zoning out at night actually creating a ripple effect of negative action and suffering in my life?

Mindlessly walking around my house and surfing my phone does not seem to relax me. I am up too late. I don’t sleep well. I wake up in the middle of the night anxious with thoughts running through my mind. I snooze my alarm clock and get up later than I want. I get mad at myself. I rush to get the kids out the door. I get mad at myself. I get to work late and start my day off scrambled. I get mad at myself. It’s a constant cycle of me beating myself up.

My days are neither starting nor ending right.

What if instead of zoning out at night I zoned in? What if instead of walking around mindlessly I sat, meditated and observed my thoughts? What if instead of checking other people’s statuses on Facebook I paused to check in on my status? What if instead of reading articles I wrote in my journal?

What if zoning in could actually create a ripple effect to more happiness?

Sounds like it’s worth a try.


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