July Musing from Rebecca Crichton: The Value of Distraction

I’m always on the lookout for strategies to manage the unexpected upsets and fears that occasionally arise. My favorites include meditation, walking in nature, support from friends, playing with my food (perennial cook that I am!). These approaches often provide temporary distraction and solace.

A recent inadvertent discovery revealed itself after listening to practice tapes from my choir, North Seattle Treble Makers. The song, I Am Light, has a chorus that slipped into my head and lodged there for the next several hours. The words of the song – still needing to be memorized – are inspiring and reassuring. On the other hand, the chorus, which repeats the title over and over, has set up residence in my brain. Definitely a persistent earworm!

Wikipedia, not known for humor, offers this about earworms:

An earworm or brainworm, also described as sticky music or stuck song syndrome, is a catchy or memorable piece of music or saying that continuously occupies a person’s mind even after it is no longer being played or spoken about. Not to be confused with Earwig.
I assume I will know the difference between my earworm and an uninvited earwig.
While most earworms are annoying – okay, maddening – this one freed me from the obsessive thinking triggered by what upset me. I felt relief. The words and music soothed me. I was expelled from the story I had been spinning. Not only was the original encounter with my new earworm helpful, I could ‘turn it on’ whenever I started to struggle with feelings that derailed me.
My July essay, No Regrets, addresses how easily we get trapped in past events with their distressing emotions. Our old stories can hinder our staying in the present. We get seduced by distractions all the time. Whether it is the 24/7 news cycle, the personalized feeds on our phones and computers, or the latest binge-streaming we can’t resist, we have never had more competition for our attention than we have now.
NWCCA continues to offer ‘distractions’ that support aging well. Our collaborations with other organizations committed to providing seniors with resources and experiences allows us to fulfill our mission.
On July 30, NWCCA joins with North East Seattle Together (NEST) and Lifetime Learning Center (LLC) for an exploration of maintaining sanity in crazy times.
We are pleased that our collaboration with Town Hall will resume in September. In the meantime, you can find and enjoy some of this year’s programs on our website.
July brings all the attractions and distractions of summer – long, warm days, relaxing activities, vacation plans. The sheer beauty of our region provides opportunities for gratitude. Just being outdoors can make a difference in our moods. If we choose to be with others, all the better.
Wishing you a happy July!


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Interactive workshop with Rebecca Crichton
Tuesday, July 30, 10 – 11:30 AM, $20, check or cash at the door

NEST Office, Wedgwood Presbyterian Church8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle

It’s a hard time for maintaining hope, positivity and sanity in the face of continued war, scary politics, climate change and other painful realities. How do we balance staying informed without becoming anxious or outraged beyond control? We know that nobody else is responsible for how we manage stress. Rebecca will share techniques that can help us find equanimity, or at least calm, by sharing tools to navigate turbulent times. Learn to identify your internal responses to upsetting situations and practice ways to control ourselves before escalating potentially uncomfortable situations. Jointly presented by NWCCA, Lifetime Learning Center (LLC), and North East Seattle Together (NEST).

Food and Finality
Discussions facilitated by Rebecca Crichton around death and dying, grief and loss, discussions that honor and acknowledge the discomfort, judgments, confusion and other emotions that these topics can engender.
Rebecca creates and holds the space with the intention that everybody is included and feels safe.
Click here to learn more