Failing To Notice


Could not resist mischievous endearing Albert this morning.

This was the moment I finally noticed: “Because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do until we notice.”

Having not been my usual self these last few months, his cluttered-empty mind juxtaposition hit a nerve.

I have always been a multi-tasker, yet, in the last few months, my own defined and self-imposed and until previously strictly disciplined productivity has been at its lowest.

Dealing with a family crisis, everything personally pleasing has been on pause. Silence loud and shuttering – while coping with hundreds of decisions on top of my grief and the crisis-in-chief kind of role I have been playing.

I had to stop doing certain things, so I could do some others.

And so the empty, uncluttered virtual desk of mine came to occupy my personal space.

It’s now been four months and decision fatigue finally hit me hard.

The simple act of making decisions, says Roy Baumeister, progressively depletes our ability to make them well.  “Experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation. To study the process of ego depletion, researchers concentrated initially on acts involving self-control ­— the kind of self-discipline popularly associated with willpower, like resisting a bowl of ice cream…”

It suddenly dawned on me. I have been resisting all along. Pleasures, whatever little or big they may be – we can only live so much without them. Things that give you that inner peace and satisfaction and meaning – whatever your schtick may be – necessary antidotes to all the unpleasant yet necessary things we have to do in life.

And somehow, I am not content with the excuse that I have been coping with a crisis – that I need time – that I had failed to notice.


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