It keeps sitting on the desktop in Save mode. This diatribe against devices. It was my friend the other night who brought to my attention that d’vice seems to be more fitting moniker and that’s exactly what frustrates me. The addiction to the gadgets. More specifically, how this affects my son and all of my mothering.

But this is all just saved for now. So deep it goes I can’t craft all the words in my little 45 minute morning writing window.

So I stop on the written piece. Face to face, I tell Jeb that Mom needs a pause from the iTouch. It’s going to stay at his dad’s house for a while.

Then I come here, and rather pointlessly, tell you that I’m writing something that you can’t read because its not ready.

And then…well, there’s the neighbor’s dog. Somehow the yipping, high pitch snaps of our next door neighbor’s little pooch weaves its way into this thread. Not that it’s barking now (thank God).

What is it that bothers me most? Is it the irritation of its incessant yelps that begin around nightfall? With an empty house the dog gets nervous in the yard, feigning territorial dominance, all the while spooked and barking at shadows. Or is it the feeling of futility in an unwavering pattern that can last for hours and happens nearly every night?

I have empathy for the dog that feels this insecure. But I also have empathy for our neighborhood that suffers through this barking frenzy in what we’d like to be our quiet evening hours.

Like being stuck on the groove of a record (remember those?), I don’t know what got to me more. The actual sound irritating every last nerve in my body or the fact that I was, once again, in this tired, old feedback loop that seemed to have no exit. If the record’s skipping, pick up the needle or pull the plug on the whole system. Do something different to make a change!

With this radical motivation in mind, I lost my cool and, despite myself, heard my own voice breaking through the night air. There I was, shouting out the window screen “Be quiet!” right in the direction of that feisty canine. Go ahead and laugh. It was silly. And the dog (and a couple of his pack-mates) just barked right back at me.

Ok, shouting doesn’t work. And turning up the radio doesn’t drown the sound.

More fundamental action is needed if I want a genuine shift. Like talking to the neighbors, you may suggest? Yes, that seems logical…and something I’ve been avoiding.

So let’s see…Mom pulls the plug on the iTouch and decides to make direct communication with the neighbors about their barking dog.

Life’s an experiment and these are big efforts intended to alter repeating feedback loops of negativity.

Metaphors abound here, so feel free to apply the iTouch or yapping dog to your own life’s loops.

Let’s see if habits get broken and something better is built. I’ll keep you posted.

photo courtesy of Steve Cadman

One thought on “Pausing the Loops

  1. I hear your frustration about both the iTouch and the Barking Dog and for me, especially the barking dog. Sending you empathy from Pasadena. Looking forward to the update.


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