OK, so it's only been like, what, eight and a half months since I posted on this blog? Eek! Oh well! That's life! There's only so much I can do sometimes.
But here I am.
It's now February 2018, and back at the end of December, I thought about my new "one word" for the year.
Because that's what I need to do. Focus.
I have a lot of growing up to do - as the title of this blog suggests - and so much progress to make in areas where I've been lacking. I need to sit down and take a good hard look at what I still want to do in this life, where I want to go on this journey I'm on. This takes planning and preparation and productivity. And focus, of course.
To be honest, this morning I had a hard time focusing. I was tired and stressed and had a headache. It took effort to move forward with the day. After I returned from running errands and eating a little breakfast, I tackled the dishes and other basic household chores. That put me in productivity mode so I could focus on creating this blog post that I've been meaning to write for a while.
I won't be able to cover everything rattling around in my brain about this, but I'll write more in the coming weeks.
For now, I'll just share a few things which remind me to stay on track.
I created this framed picture by adding the word "Focus" to a photo of one of my tie dye creations. Focus encompasses creativity, too, not just dry logistics.
I also created my own calendar on Snapfish. I thought of several Scripture passages that I felt would be powerful encouragement toward focusing my life. I used The Message paraphrase since it's poetic, and I paired the verses with some of my nature photos from the year. Here is my February page.
In my last post on this blog, The (Unexpected) Ritual of My Daily Do List, I shared about how I had stopped using apps for planning, and was using a Daily Do sheet that I had designed. That worked well for many months, but then it didn't anymore. A few weeks ago I replaced a malfunctioning phone, and when I set up the new one, I decided to give the gTasks app another try. I'm glad I did. I also switched from the default Apple Calendar app to the Google Calendar app.
|Google Calendar app|
What I really like about this planner, which I bought at Walmart, is that for each weekly page spread, there is an extra lined page for writing whatever is needed. Monday and Tuesday are my high productivity days since my home schooled daughter is in classes, so I can do a more detailed to do list for them on this lined page.
I recently purchased several books on focus, planning, brain boosting, and financial management at our library's used bookstore. Please note that I haven't read them yet so I can't exactly recommend them, but for less than a dollar a piece, I figured I couldn't go to far wrong grabbing a pile. Perhaps I'll be sharing some of what I read in future posts!
Lectio Divina Study
So many lovely people have taken their time to help me learn vital skills and to grow as a human being. Besides my own family, I have a circle of friends, both on-line and IRL (in real life) who have been priceless.
I recently joined a Bible study that my friend Patricia is leading each week at a local church. Connecting with a small group of women there has been such a gift. The study style - Lectio Divina - helps develop focus, too. It's not a teacher imposing her own opinions on a subject for everyone else to hear. Instead, we carefully listen as Patricia reads the Scripture passage three times slowly. We try to be attentive to what God wants us to take into our hearts from the passage, reflecting on the words and phrases, and then jot this down in silence. This is called Meditatio. Then we write a prayer based on this, which is Oratatio. Third, for Contemplatio, we write down how we plan to apply the truths and ideas this week. After this, we briefly share our thoughts and pray for each other. Later on at home, I spend a more extended time with the same passage, perhaps making a list or an outline, or reading it in another version. This practice - or spiritual discipline - helps me to focus better on God's word, which in turn brings clarity to my life and decisions.
- Pull It Together and Push It Through: How to Get It Done When You Think You Can’t
- Smile. Focus. Begin.