Although I have been doing a lot more writing these days, its been awhile since I wrote something over here. It’s partially because I’ve been busy doing different projects and also because my kids have seemed to really kick up the energy level these days. It’s amazing how kids can simultaneously make you feel exhausted and younger at the same time. Explain that one to me, Science.
There has been so much on my heart, lately. Good things. Things that inspire me into the wee hours of the night. My heart burns with a passion for life that feels greater than myself. It drives me and terrifies me all at once. With everything going on I find myself trying to figure out this one word: Focus.
I can’t tell you how many time this has been shouted at me over my lifetime. As a talkative, outgoing, quickly distracted, easily amused child this command felt almost impossible for me! Although I have certainly improved since when I was a child, I still find it a struggle at times to really focus. I’m totally the girl who will abandon a video mid watch because someone texted. I’ll be in the middle of chopping onion when I suddenly stop because I remembered that email I need to get to. I have had to literally out loud say to myself “No, that can wait.”
When I think of the word “Focus” I picture someone in their office, staring intensely at the screen typing away. They ignore the phone that’s ringing. They don’t pay attention to the fact that they technically were off the clock an hour ago. They just keep going. Their uneaten lunch still sitting in their bag. A bladder full of pee that feels like its going to burst. This focuser won’t stop for anything.
Now maybe this is a bit of an extreme version of what focus looks like, but that’s what I picture. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. If I’m going to focus than I’m gonna do it to the second power. Whatever I do, I do it passionately. This for the most part is a good thing. Except when its not. Let me explain.
I have somehow believed this lie that if I can’t complete something in one sitting, I failed. I can have a day where I ran my daughter to dance and swim class, cleaned the house, did the laundry, wrote a blog and did homework for class. My husband will come home and go “Wow, the house looks great” and my response is “Meh, the sink is full of dishes” as though nothing I did that day counted for anything. Because I wasn’t finished and if I was focused enough I would have been finished.
I’ll get so caught up in something that I’m doing that I’ll forget to eat. This drives my husband crazy nor can he understand “forgetting to eat.” lol Usually I’ll say some comment about how tired I feel (I’m hypoglycemic) and he’ll be like “When was the last time you ate?” Then me in my hyper focus mode will look up from what I’m doing and say “Huh? Oh…lunch…” Then my husband will state “IT’S 7:00!! Go eat something!” (For those of you not familiar with hypoglycemia I need to eat about every 2 hours or my blood sugar plummets.)
When it comes to anybody else I don’t have ridiculous standards of what true focus looks like. I do however with myself. I feel like I’m learning what a healthy balance of that looks like in this season of my life. The picture I shared of someone staring at the computer screen in their office ignoring the world isn’t an option for me. Because the “things” I would be shutting out would be greater than phone calls and faxes. I would be shutting out my husband and kids.
I have had to remind myself that focus looks different for me in this season. It looks like returning back to the essay I have been trying to write after the 15th interruption from my kids. It looks like taking care of myself because in order to achieve these dreams I have, I need to be healthy. It’s making sure that I’m not so busy giving out that I forget that I have needs too. It’s not being afraid to ask for help. It’s putting the laptop away so I can spend uninterrupted time with my husband and children. It’s not forgetting how to play even though I am working hard. It’s not feeling guilty for needing a break. It’s not being so consumed by the big picture that I forget the next simple step.
I am learning each day what focus looks like. Sometimes I forget that the point of focus isn’t to do as much as you can in as short of time as you can muster. Focus isn’t tunnel vision. It’s more about being intentional and consistent. It’s scanning your life, like a chess board, being aware of how every move you make today will affect your future.
Life is so beautiful. I have been having so many paradigm shifts in the way I think and my whole world is changing because of it. Now if you excuse, its been two hours. And there is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with my name on it.