I am joining with Juliann and friends to share an update on my word!
Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. – Alexander Graham Bell
The journey to a more focused life took a dramatic turn this month and I believe I have last month’s lack of focus to thank for this revelation!
I learned that sometime s in order to focus, I need to put blinders on and focus entirely on the thing at hand in order to be successful. It’s not that the other things are not there, but “focused multi-tasking” is truly an oxymoron! Yep, I stopped myself from multi-tasking this month and it made a huge difference in my days!
I accomplished more by being focused. I gained more by being focused. I heard more by being focused.
And, it felt so good!
As I head into the last quarter of the year, I feel like I finally get it, and this is showing in so many things! My daily list is more focused, and I have a new list, an “in waiting list” which is the list where I put things that I want to get done, but not just yet – not today and maybe not tomorrow, and that’s okay! I don’t have to keep thinking about them because they are written down – waiting their turn!
I am so happy for a very focused August and I am excited to continue what I learned in September!
Joining with Juliann and sharing my word update again this month.
My key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused. – Ashton Eaton
I should have looked for this quote earlier this month and I might have been more successful in refocusing myself!
Because I entirely lost my focus in July and I spent the month struggling and quite frustrated. I felt much like this Butterfly Bush – tossed willy-nilly in the blowing breeze…never quite in focus. And the harder I struggled to get back to focus the more elusive it became.
So, as this month comes to a close and I turn the page on a calendar, I am giving myself permission to move on. Start fresh. Begin again. Refocus.
Joining with Juliann today to share an update on my word!
Over the years, I have tried a number of different crafts – cross stitch, embroidery, weaving, spinning, sewing, and knitting to name a few. But, in all things focus is important. and this year as I unpack my word and apply it to my life – I have come to the realization that more is not better. All is not needed and I don’t need to worry about FOMO at all. Knitting and sewing are more than enough to keep me occupied and happy. I don’t feel the urge to try every latest thing that comes along.
Yet even knitting and sewing do not mean successful projects if you do not have focus. And, I have come to understand that not having a focus means projects that seem like a great idea at the time, might not be so great in the end result. And so, with my thoughts on focus this year, I have been more mindful of what I am making. I have spent time thinking about my wardrobe and the things that I wear all the time. I have pondered my perceived “holes” in my wardrobe – which has resulted in actual planning in my making. Having a focused plan has shown me areas that I can perhaps try some new things as well as making more of my favorite pieces. Having a focused making process has also had an unexpected effect as well! It has buffered the desire to cast on a new project or rush out to buy some fabric to sew up something that caught my eye!
My in depth look at my wardrobe showed me that a few things would be a nice addition so when I saw Mary’s Screen Door, it was the perfect fit for a “hole” and I cast on, sans guilt!
And, this focused way of thinking has expanded beyond my closet to the lingering, unfinished projects on needles in various places. Are they something I am going to actually need or wear? It is a freeing way to think about things, because I really don’t want my making to be without vision and that has given me a much better focus!
Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels
Happy Flag Day! I think today is the first time I ever read George Washington’s words and they have special impact this year. They are a good reminder of who and what we are.
Thinking About –
Friday mornings have had a new twist this month, thanks to Michelle’s Tiny Bit of Quiet series! I am truly enjoying her thoughts. Her words provoke lots of thinking in my morning meditation time. This week it seemed the world was in step with last week’s Friday quiet thoughts when yesterday these words reminded me how important those pauses are.
Getting Ready –
I passed the halfway point in my Screen Door yesterday and I will spend some time today memorizing the decreasing rows so that I can get this knit off my needles! I am eager to start a new sweater for fall. I hope to get this sweater cast on over the weekend, that is if I can get Screen Door done! I am also very happy to not be pressured to finish this in 4-days but hope to have it done by Marie’s July 4 kick off in her FB group and I will be happily cheering along the participants.
IN Focus –
I have been thinking about my word (focus) and Macro Monday’s and I have been contemplating how challenging it is to “be in focus.” My life, just like my lens, sometimes focuses on things that are not important – this process has given me much to contemplate as I learn and grow this summer.
Fun, fun, fun –
Finally, it is Friday! Steve told me last night that he wanted Pizza and Wings for happy hour tonight – so we are doing something different and ordering them from a local restaurant. I am going to try and still my inner voice and “be okay” with whatever presentation this takes tonight. Try…. such a little word that can be so hard! Stay tuned to my IG feed to see how well I do with all of that! And, while there might be some dish and lay-out compromising happening, I am not giving in on Happy Hour Outside and there might even be a bonus tonight – I think we will be able to utilize the patio heater because today is not supposed to be warm at all.
That is all I have for this week and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you back here on Monday!
Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels
Dandelions don’t tell no lies. – Mick Jagger
Nor does focus or the lack thereof!
May found me challenged with my focus. I learned that my focus was very much a routine-based focus. A change to that routine (i.e. vacation) and my focus was like a blown dandelion – at the whim of the winds that were blowing.
It was not a very good feeling. But, with all things – faltering causes learning and understanding, and simply put, sometimes it is okay to be unfocused!
It was not the best feeling, I admit – but it has made me appreciate all that I have learned and all that I have worked through since I began this journey way back in January.
Just like dandelion seeds, which sprout quickly, I found that getting back to feeling focused was far easier than I imagined, and I learned that it is okay to be unfocused occasionally too.
And then at the end of last week, a wonderful surprise arrived – a beautiful visual reminder of my word. Thank you so much, Honoré! You can see that it helped me focus on what was important yesterday!
My weekend thus far has had a good bit of “making” and weekending activities – there has been planting, and gardening, and grilling, and time with family (or at least phone time!) and friends. I stopped at JoAnn’s and got LOTS of fabric so some sewing is on tap for this grey Memorial Day.
I also created the most wonderful Rhubarb-Thyme Collins! It is so good and so refreshing! And, the rhubarb is in all the farmer markets in my area so if you try this recipe, please let me know! (if you are not a gin fan, I think this would work equally well with vodka, or with no alcohol at all to make a delicious Rhubarb-Thyme soda!)
2 parts Rhubarb-Thyme Syrup (recipe below)
2 parts fresh lime juice
4 parts Dry Gin
Combine syrup, lime juice and gin in tall glass over ice. Stir well to mix. Top with sparkling water and enjoy!
2 Cups rhubarb, chopped (about 8-10 stalks)
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups water
4 sprigs of thyme
Combine rhubarb, sugar, and water in saucepan and bring to boil. Once mixture is boiling, turn down heat to medium and stir occasionally. Cook until rhubarb has softened. Turn off heat, stir in thyme sprigs, and cover. Allow to steep for 7-8 minutes. Strain out to separate the liquid. Cool and refrigerate. The syrup will last about 12 days in refrigerator.
In all my making – I did not want to forget that today is Memorial Day:
On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live. – Eric Burdon
Memorial Day is not only the “Official Start of Summer” or a long weekend filled with planting flowers, gardening, grilling, and spending time with family and friends, (or making!) And while these are all great long weekend in summer activities, Carole has posted a wonderful reminder of what today is really about! Please go and read her words and allow them to wash over you – let them fill you – and hold them in your heart as you go through your day.
I am going to pause today and spend some time thinking about Carole’s speech and about all those who have served and are serving.
Have a very Happy Memorial Day!