Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Name is Emmy and I'm Easily Distra -- Squirrel!

I found this picture on tumblr. If it's yours, let me know so I can credit it to you. :)

No, I haven't been blogging because of the fact that I am easily distracted. I haven't been blogging because I haven't had the time this week. Thankfully I have time now so... here it goes.

I was talking to my spiritual director about how I am so very easily distracted when I am praying... and especially when it comes to silent prayer. I know this isn't a new thing for anyone but, goodness, it really frustrates me when I can't get peace and quiet when I pray. I have my system for praying (I pray in the morning whilst I cook breakfast since it's my quiet time; at night when I'm the last one awake so I get quiet time) but even that's been shaken up lately so I have to get used to all the distractions while praying.

I've been trying to attend daily Mass (and have failed thus far; darn exhaustion) and/or at least to get some time in adoration almost every day this past week. I don't go to my home parish since it's a bit of a drive but I do go to the nearest parish because of the time crunch. This is just a personal goal of mine that I hope to continue for the foreseeable future.

The first time I went (Tuesday), I was there maybe 10 minutes before some dude started playing "My Favorite Things" on the keyboard in the church. Yes, inside and in front of the altar. Apparently the school children are rehearsing for some Christmas concert because the kiddos starting going in shortly after. I was maybe two decades into the Rosary when this happened and it was, to put it mildly, annoying.

Yesterday I had a good 40 minutes-ish in front of the tabernacle. I was fine until a fly decided to make it its personal mission to bug me at least half of my time there. It would either try to land on my hands or on my knee. I am sure the person sitting on the other side thought there was something wrong with me because I was waving my hands and arms while holding the Rosary beads. When it wasn't the fly, it was two women talking way too loudly inside the church. Oh, distractions... I managed to leave before the kiddos began rehearsing once again. (side note: I think parishes should let their parishioners know about these things so we can avoid going when there is noise going on.)

Today, I didn't get a chance to go at all because apparently they kiddos were let out early and there were too many cars/parents trying to make their way into the parking lot. Winnie the Pooh!

I hate to admit it but my patience does get a workout when I'm in a church and people either talk really loudly while others are praying... or they decide they simply must pass through to the other side of the pew (while I'm kneeling and deep in prayer) instead of walking around to the other side. I think these things qualify as pet peeves. I am not so much distracted when children babble and squeal because I know the little ones don't know any better but, oy with the adults.

At home it's pretty much the same. Sometimes the kids (when on break for the holidays or summer) get a little too loud too early. Sometimes neighbors are ridiculously loud for whatever reason. Sometimes my phone goes off (though I mostly have it on vibrate these days) while I'm in the middle of a novena prayer. Other times, I just think I won't get distracted and simply mute the TV or push the laptop to the side... only to get distracted by the images. Though I've made an effort to remove any temptations for distractions while I'm at home, I don't always follow through. I'm working on it! lol.

Since I've been doing more silent prayer, the distractions often scare the heck out of me. It'll be very quiet and then, all of a sudden, something very loud will go off and scare me. I know what (or who) can be behind these distractions... but that still doesn't help the fact that I get annoyed to the point where I become a grump.

My temper has been getting quite the work out this Advent as well. Those who know me well know that it takes a lot to get me to the point where I snap. Unfortunately, it takes simple distractions to get me in a foul mood these past two weeks. I will feel calm and light after leaving adoration and then something will happen that ruins my mood for quite a while. Or, like I said, I'll be praying and a distraction will interrupt my "flow" and then I am a grump until I leave. We can all guess who may behind that (as Advent or Lent are the times when he is trying to pull us away from God; well, more than usual).

Anyway, I'm sharing this because I'd love to hear how some of you deal with the distractions whilst praying. I was given the suggestion of listening to music (like Gregorian chants, classical music, choral music, etc) since it oftentimes helps me focus better on whatever it is I'm doing. It could work but what about the times when I can't have music on? Anyone have any tips that can help a sistah out? I'm open to (almost) everything. I refuse to be that person who tells people to "hush" every time they make noise so no one bother suggesting it. lol.

Leave me a comment here, on Twitter, or on the FB page; I'd love to get some ideas. :)

Okay, I am going to try to get some of my prayers done early (three novenas going on until the 24th; don't try this at home... unless you want to) and then reading for a bit. ;)

I hope y'all have had a great week thus far. :D Oh! And don't forget to vote for the 2014 patron saint. Poll is on the right hand side. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Deborah Wilson said...

Emmy I have my four year old granddaughter living with me so I do have distractions when praying. However I have come up with two things that help me focus. The first is a prayer shawl that a friend made for me. It is more of a light stole or scarf actually. Point is when I put it on my shoulders I know or my mind knows it is prayer time. Also I recorded some religious music and play it on my cell with earbuds. It is just loud enough to create a prayerful atmosphere without being too distracting.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Deborah - the prayer shawl sounds fantastic. :)