Focus is For Serious Business, Or Is It?

Focus is not serious and stuffy all the time.

When I started to write this post that’s where it was headed, stuffy and serious.

And then, I got lost. Okay, not so much lost as turned around. My daughter likes to tell people I am directionally challenged.

Maybe. Or, maybe I just get involved in the scenery that I forget to pay attention to where I’m going. Is that another way of saying I don’t focus well?

With gps on so many cell phones today, you would think I (or anyone else) couldn’t get lost or turned around.

You would be wrong. It’s easy. You see I didn’t pay close attention, or any attention to what I was doing and input the wrong direction. When I should have typed (or said) the number address followed by “south” and the street name, I inserted the number address (correctly) and “north” followed by the street name. Oh-oh

I did not arrive at my destination. When I reached a certain point the voice on my phone said, “you have arrived. Your destination is on your right.”

Huh? The voice had to be wrong. The only thing on my right was pasture and I was looking for a house.

Now what?

Find a safe place to pull off the road, look up the address, put it in again, this time correctly, and try again.

It worked. I arrived at my true destination, completed my errand, and returned home.

Taking the “scenic” route allowed me to see scenery, home designs, and plants I might not otherwise see. There were no unusual animals this trip, but I never know when something out of the ordinary will be in my path.

Focusing can be serious business. Putting nose to the grindstone, and all that. However, I like to think Focusing on less serious actions is just as important. After all, if we don’t put some focus into enjoying life, will we, or will we be constantly striving to reach the next destination.

I think focus comes in two parts. The first part, the serious, “Let’s get it done,” but there is the other side, the side that helps us remember to enjoy the journey and live life.

What do you think?

Is focus only for the serious side of life, or can it help the fun side too?

When does focus help you?

When do you focus the most?

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Enjoy Today and Live a Fuller Tomorrow

letter E

I’m all mixed up. Tried doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge, posting daily. Every. Single. Day. Needless to say, that plan got botched. Also tried to do the A to Z challenge. Again, botched.

However, there is no rule that says posting alphabetically must be done exclusively for the the challenge. So, I will continue trudging moving on. When last I blogged, here, for the letters C & D, celebrate and dream.

No, wait. The last post was  here for the letter N. See? I told you I was confused. Now, working to get back in the flow of posting alphabetically, I’ll go back to where we left off and go from there. Which means today’s post is E . . .

Today E is for: Enjoy

Enjoy where you are right now.

It’s easier to live in the moment and with intention when we enjoy where we are and the world around us. Happiness is truly reached when we are ready to be what we are, not what we think we should be.

According to the Thesaurus, there are multiple synonyms for enjoy. Among them: appreciate, like, love, revel in, relish, savor, and take pleasure in.

Whether it’s raining, snowing, or the sun is shinning today is a day to relish. Enjoy it all. Rain or snow gives us moisture. The sun brightens our days, and feeds our soul. What’s not to enjoy?

If you left home for work or errands, or other reason or you’re at home. Enjoy your ability to be where you are.

When it’s meal time, take a moment to really taste the food. Enjoy the aroma of it, the warmth, and taste of it on your tongue.

Enjoy where you are now so that you can move toward your next goal with intention.

One of the synonyms of enjoy is “rejoice in” which always makes me think of the Bible. The Bible has plenty to say about enjoyment.

I like this verse from Ecclesiastes in the King James:
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.   —Ecclesiastes 3:13

What do you enjoy?

What do you anticipate that you know you will enjoy?

 

 

I will trudge on with the A to Z challenge, just for kicks. Can’t promise how long it will take me to get through the alphabet. Best guess is less than twenty-four months. After all, four letters are complete, and there’s only 26 letters in the alphabet. 

Of course, there may be some posts thrown in that have nothing to do with living with intention done alphabetically.

 

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No Isn’t Just For Children, Say No To Your Inner Negative Self

Letter N

Have you read one, or more, of the hundreds if not thousands of articles or heard a podcast about the beauty of saying “no?” These pieces all encourage women to say no when their first reaction is to say yes

It’s not that the idea is wrong.

These writers and speakers have a valid point. Sometimes we need to say no to other people, rather than always saying yes and overloading ourselves. When we say yes too often to others we end up stressing ourselves, and being so busy we don’t feel like we have time to stop and live in the moment.

However, one person most of us are excellent at refusing is ourselves.

Just a reminder, this month I’m posting about living in the moment alphabetically. At least that was the plan several days ago. In fact, I’ve missed several days, which I will catch up, at some point. For today however, the letter is N, and the word is NO. How often do we let negativity control our actions. Let’s say “NO” to negativity.

We tell ourselves, “no, we don’t need that item,” “no, we can’t afford that trip,” “no, there is no time to read that book,” “no, we  don’t have enough stamina to do a 5K.” We let our negativity dictate what we will attempt doing.

Well guess what? We can say NO to that negative thought. After all, we might need that item, and if it would make us smile, brighten our day, or make our job easier, why do we not make the purchase. If it’s too expensive, we can save our money, other wise way not enjoy the item? Instead of saying no and doing without, say yes and make the purchase. After all, if it was for someone else, you wouldn’t refuse them would you?

What do you mean you can’t afford that trip? Maybe not right at this minute, but why not start saving specifically for that journey? Start planning the trip, what will you wear, what will you do, how will you get there. The anticipation is part of the enjoyment Instead of saying no to the trip, say “yes, I will go next month, or next Spring, or whenever you will be able to make the  visit.”

img_26611

We’re on our way

What do you mean there is no time to read that book? Spend an hour in the evening before going to bed to read. It will help you relax and unwind. In a few days you will finish the book, and choose another one.

 

Books meme

What do you mean you don’t have enough stamina to do a 5K?” You don’t have to run, most organizers allow participants to walk the route. Okay, so maybe you don’t have the stamina to even walk that far at the moment, that can change. If you gasp for air when you walk through the mall, a 5K might be a little far. After all that is 3.1 miles. But, what’s stopping you from building your stamina and strength. Start a walking program. Walk a little further every few days. Before long you’ll be walking the 3 miles, or running, your choice.

start of Stuart 5K in the rain 2017

And they’re off, rain and all the 5K has begun.

 

Nita and Ronda at Stuart 5K 2017

We ,might be wet and we might be behind everyone else, but we did it. We walked the whole 3.1 miles

 

Say “no” to your no. When you say or think “no” about something you want, you’re letting your negativity rule. Think again. Don’t stop yourself from enjoying life. Say no to no, and yes to life.

What did you last say No to?

Is there something you hesitate to say yes to?

This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I’m sure you noticed I’m a little behind. Little is an understatement. We are almost halfway through the month and posts here have been few and far between. Going forward attempts will be made to play catch-up as well as stay up-to-date. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate and Dream, Two More Ways to Live in the Present

 

Today’s letter:
                                                               C is for celebrate

For many people celebrating their birthday is a one day event. For my sister, it has always been a month long. This year I took a page from her book and celebrated the entire month of March for my birthday.

There was a party, with cake and guests and everything.

It was held at a local historic Stuart hotel.

The birthday fell in the middle of the month. The days leading up to it and following it were also days of celebration.

There was a day spent with my grandchildren from out of state. There was dinner with a friend. I slept in late one day, just because I could and it was my birthday month.

Not every day was a big huge celebration. But, everyday there was something to celebrate. It was just a success, I’m continuing it in April.

Celebrating every day means paying attention to the day. It means paying attention when someone buys you a soda, or holds the door open for you, or you get an unexpected day to do nothing.

Taking the time to notice what is going on, and celebrate the good things  helps keep us living, really living as opposed to existing, in the present.

Following the lead of Vidya, at Lady In Read Writes (love that title), and posting two posts in one.   She is also doing the UBC Challenge as well as the A to Z. She posted for three days in one post. I’ll limit it to two in one post. Next up, the letter:

                                       D is for Dream

You might wonder how we can live in the present if we’re busy dreaming? Because dreams lead to goals and goals are something to strive to achieve. When we dream we’re reaching higher and further.

Having a dream means we live in the present and go forward and rise. Without a dream, we stop and sink. Without a dream we are so mired in yesterday that we can’t acknowledge and appreciate today.

Dreams help us live in the present. Dreams help us tap into our creativity, we look for new, different, sometimes innovative ways to make our dream a reality.

Whether your dream is to go to Disneyland, or on a cruise, whether it’s to climb a rock wall, or spend time at the ocean, or whatever your dream is, finding a way to reach it, keeps us grounded and focused and living in the present.

How about you? Do you celebrate your birthday?

Have you reached one of your dreams?

How do you celebrate your steps toward your dream?

 

 

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Breathe Life into Your Life

Day Two for Living in the moment tips; Breathe

Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? After all we all breathe every day. We take air in, and blow it out. We don’t even think about it. A couple of years ago I learned first hand just how important breathing is. Because . . .

I couldn’t. Exercise didn’t create the problem. I couldn’t breath sitting on the couch. A beautiful picture didn’t take my breath away. There was no pollen to cause breathing problems. It was after all November in Oklahoma. No, I just couldn’t breathe.

Turns out my heart was the problem. Once we got that fixed breathing resumed. Life went back to normal.

I learned how important breathing is. It’s not just when exercising, or when the heart messes up, or when pollen is in the air, that breathing is important. Taking time to breathe, really breathe is vital. Not the unconscious every day breathing we all do, but slow intentional breathing.

Taking time to breathe allows us to reconnect with ourselves. It allows us to pay attention (remember that word?) to our bodies. Breathing is easy, no special skills, no special equipment (unless you’re on oxygen of course.) It’s just you and the air around you.

You can stand up and stretch as you breathe on purpose, or sit in a chair. It doesn’t matter. Breathing is the important thing here.

Ready? Take a deep breath in. Hold it for five or six seconds. Now exhale (let the air out) slowly. Feel calmer? Try it again. Start and end your day with two or three deep breaths.

You don’t have to wait until you’re at home to practice breathing. Stuck in traffic? Take a moment to breathe. Line at the store backed up to the aisles? Breathe and relax.

You’ll find you’re more aware of your surroundings, at least while you’re breathing, you’ll feel healthier, happier, and more relaxed.  Enjoy the moment.

 

How often do you take time to breathe?

Do you stretch when you breathe?

Have you tried breathing when you’re stressed?

This post is joining the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

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Live in the Moment, Give Yourself the Attention You Deserve

Sometimes we add more to our day so we don’t have to think or feel. More projects to do, more places to go, more events to attend, more people to visit. Go, go, go. Going is the grown-up version of running away.

Wait. Maybe I’m the only one that filled my days with activity to block out the fact that I was alone now. No matter, I’m sure you have your day filled too. Maybe not as an escape hatch, just full.

The problem with an over-full day is we don’t have time for us. We don’t have time to be present and enjoy what is.

Although I missed the sign-up, this month’s blog will follow the A to Z Blog challenge calendar. Which means each post Monday through Saturday, and Sunday April 1, will include a topic based on the corresponding letter in the alphabet.

Yesterday, Sunday April 1, day one, letter one is A.

A is for attention. Not attention to detail, although that can be helpful. Not attention to others, we do that automatically. No, attention to us.

We need to pay attention to ourselves. Listen to what we want or need. Is there a movie you want to see? Is it playing in your town? Why haven’t you gone to see it? Is it because other people and activities take precedence? Maybe you want to read, or garden. When was the last time you indulged in your passion, whatever it is?

Pay attention to what you want and fill that need.

The result will be  a calmer, happier you. Who doesn’t want that?

How about you? Are you paying attention? What is it you want?

What would you enjoy doing that you’ve put off?

What would you do if money and time were no object?

I hope you enjoyed your visit. As they used to say on the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (remember them?) “Ya’ll come back real soon.”

This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

 

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Musical Memories, Sharing My Husband’s Music Interests

 

It’s Writing Wednesday.  The idea of Writing Wednesday is to encourage widows to share information about their spouse. To introduce him to grandchildren and others who might not have had time to get to know him. Non widows can share about their lives. Some day they may want to write a memoir, these little prompts will help.

Today’s prompt is music? Did your spouse sing or play an instrument? Did he have a favorite music genre or musician? Share his musical interests, on your blog, your Facebook page, your personal journal, or here in the comments.

My husband’s tastes in music was eclectic.

When we met he listened to soul music, he loved the stuff from Motown. He introduced me to the music of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, and others. We both liked the Jackson 5, although they became popular after we were together.

He liked Otis Redding so much,  one of the songs he requested for his good-bye party was, Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.  He insisted it be the Otis Redding version, not anyone else. Listening to the song months later, I agree, Otis Redding does it the best.

He also listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tommy James and the Shondels. “I Think We’re Alone Now,” was one of our favorites. Which really messed with our daughter’s mind years later when a young singer, Tiffany, made the song popular again.

He also listened to Country Music, and was a big fan of George Jones, and later George Strait, Alan Jackson. He liked Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson,  Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson (the Highwaymen) and probably a few others I’m forgetting.

He admired Tim McGraw’s voice. He thought the singer had not only a good range, but could sing any type of song. He said, “that boy (Tim McGraw) can sing the hard-hitting, drinking, honky-tonk songs all day long then turn around and do justice to one of those love ballads.”

He listened to Kenny Rogers when Kenny sang pop music with the first edition. My husband’s imitation of Kenny singing, “I Just Dropped In to See What Condition my Condition Was In” always made me laugh.

When Kenny Rogers moved to Country Music, he was still good, and still popular at our house.

My  husband loved music, different genres and artists. I’m sure some of his favorites were left out. He listened to the radio almost every time he drove somewhere and we often had the radio on in the house, especially in the early years.

Are you a music lover?

Was/is your husband?

What was/is his favorite music to listen to?

 

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