Stephen Yeargin

A Nashville, Tenn. resident writing mostly about politics, news media, technology and hockey.

“Dude, ya’ alright?” “Nah, I’m fine. Just zoned out for a bit.” This scene repeats itself at lunches and dinners quite a bit lately. Give me five minutes to myself, and I get lost down the rabbit hole of whatever train of thought I am chasing as it speeds down the track to god knows where. Sometimes it is not even particularly heavy stuff — do I want to stop off for coffee on the way upstairs to our apartment? I wonder if traffic downtown is bad. Why would it be? Other times it is about work or all the ways in which humans clumsily interact with one another.

But there I am. The din of conversation slowly fades to a muted whir. Whatever I am gazing at disappears completely. The brain takes over and removes me from whatever moment that, up until that point, I had been at least pretending to enjoy. It could be in a crowd of thousands, but for for those few seconds it is just me and my often asinine thoughts. It is an odd thing. “Focus” is one of those nice words that gets lumped in with “patience,” “creativity” and the like. All are attributes that are necessary to succeed at our day to day, but each comes at varying levels of achievement and are equally as fleeting.


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