Twitch on a horse
Have you ever seen a twitch? It is a loop that is placed on a horse's lip, and then tightened to a point of minimal discomfort. The idea is not to injure or torment the horse, but to keep the animal focused on the twitch instead of some other procedure being done to them. Sounds simple, safe, and effective, right? A twitch definitely has its place in animal husbandry. But I am sure it can be overused or used inappropriately.
Lately I have been thinking about the "twitches" I use in my own life. Some are positive, some could easily be overused. I am also being reminded that discomfort is relative. Take surgery, for example. When I had mine this summer, it was difficult to go through the recovery process. After several weeks, I was frustrated that I wasn't healed one hundred percent, and I could whine about the inconveniences I was experiencing. Enter a new experience: I got a port. This new procedure gave me some new soreness to contemplate, and I realized the surgical site had probably progressed much further than I cared to admit. The port, thankfully, is healing rapidly. But just as I wanted to whine and complain about that, I started chemotherapy. Which made the port seem like the best thing ever. So far my side effects have been completely manageable, but they still don't feel great. It has brought home to me the relativity of each new experience. What seems difficult today is easily supplanted by some new difficulty. The worst thing in my life right now? Probably whatever is happening in the moment! I am distracted by the freshness of each new thing.
Sometimes the new procedure or experience acts as a twitch to give me perspective on whatever I have been going through. Other times, I need to create my own twitch as a distraction and a coping method. I think common twitches for people today involve the usage of technology. I am not an exception to this. I have dealt with a lot of discomforts these last few weeks with television, video games, apps on my smartphone, and more. I have also read, done puzzles, listened to music, and even worked on a cross stitch project. The best twitch of all was watching two weeks of coverage of the London Olympics while recovering from surgery. Couldn't have timed that one any better!
So, what I have learned is to be more consciously aware of the twitches I am using in life and why. How easy it is to put off some task I don't want to do and become distracted by meaningless twitches! I am ashamed to admit how often I can waste time...but then again, I know you have all done it, too. So, what are your twitches? Are they positive things that help you cope? Or do you have a twitch that gets in the way of what you were supposed to be doing?