It’s Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts which celebrates the role this state played in the Revolutionary War.

It’s also the running of the Boston Marathon. We went into Boston yesterday to see my Conservatory kids do Something Rotten, and it was a mess. The city, not the show. (They were terrific.)

Between race people and Red Sox people and your garden variety Massholes, we made it in and out relatively unscathed.

We even got a cookie and a blondie at Flour Bakery, so BONUS!

Walking down the street and holding hands with Melissa is one of my top favorite things in all of life.

The marathon goes right through Ashland a mile from our house, so we might try to get a peek at the folks who need to run, even without anything chasing them!

Yesterday about 2/3 of the way into Boston, I said to Melissa, “Those folks will still be running at this point. AND have a ways to go.” Bless em, God.

Got me to thinking, though, what kind of focus does it take to decide you’re going to run a marathon? Training for said marathon, and then running the 26+ miles…whether or not you choose to display a number sticker on your car. Up to you.

But what’s that runner’s reason for this? And what do they tell themselves for early morning training? What do they say when their brain logically tells them, “This is an insane pursuit. You should stop and have a snack.” Perfectly reasonable.

Do you know Tabitha Brown?

I watched her make a kale salad on Instagram today, and then she got a word from the Lord. She looked right in our souls from her kitchen and said, “You getting distracted.”

How do you know about me, Tab?

I mean, there’s been a lot going on in Calla-town. If life were a college course, I could be getting all kinds of extensions. (Though I did get taxes in this weekend. Boom! And ouch.)

But I have to be honest.

When I do have half an hour to sit down and write a scene, revise the musical that had a reading 18 months ago, or make a funny postcard for the casting director I’ve committed to bug every 6 weeks, I’m amazing at answering work emails, researching the best place to watch the marathon, or playing Wordle.

So, today I’m reaching out for your help.

What do you do to transcend or sublimate distraction? Write me back and tell me! I’ll share with the class.

And if you’ve run a marathon, how did you train? What did you do on days you didn’t feel like training? Fill me in.

One thing I do know, though, and this helps. I’m a forgetful creature. I forget why writing stories is so important, why singing means so much, why I still feel a tap on my shoulder telling me I have more to share.

We have so many chances for distraction. So many ways to get pulled off the path. Like, actual technology platforms designed to commandeer our brains and dominate our attention.

We have to exert a huge amount of choice energy to stay on the path.

So, I invite you today to write down why the thing that always taps your shoulder and burns your guts is crucial to you. Maybe investigate what’s behind that knee-jerk jealousy you feel about that person you have thing about. That’s a map and points you to the kind of work you you need to be sharing. (A helpful idea from Julia Cameron.)

I’ll do it, too. And for real — write me back and tell me how you diminish distraction. Share with the class.

And here’s one big why — there’s only one you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing

Love much, Dan