I also have my first goal of my post-quitting life. One of the reasons I quit is because my mind is so busy that I can't love people appropriately. But what is love? I focused on this a bit, and discovered that the first step of loving anyone is attentiveness. To really love someone is to give them our full attention, at least for a bit.
This is a real problem for me, since I have become so distracted. My way of dealing with stress is to just avoid thinking about stressful things so long (until they all come crashing down on me in the middle of the night). So no one got my focused attention for more than a few moments at a time. I couldn't look anyone in the eye. On my good days I'm getting better at this. But I still have a long ways to go.
Here's my current to do list to achieving attentiveness:
- Slow down. Do less. Be satisfied with doing less.
- Allow myself to be bored. See it as a discipline.
- Practice meditation. Live with my thoughts, not allowing myself to be distracted.
- Instead of reading the darting fishes of internet posts, I should read books. Novels when I'm not doing well. Non fiction when I'm able to.
- Stop and pay attention to what's around me. Notice not only the flowers, but the construction, the people walking by. Wonder about them all.
- Get enough rest so my mind is able to focus.
- Reduce caffeine so my mind can rest sometimes.
- Take time for myself. I find if I get alone and take photos or write notes of my thoughts, then I'll be better able to relate to others later.
- When I have to work, focus on work. Apologize to people that I can't focus on them like I want to.
- Focus on one person at a time. Try not to multitask multiple people.
- When I am listening to someone, occasionally let them know what I've heard so they know I'm paying attention.