Tag Archives: focus

Nourishing

I tried to start the New Year off right. I thought about it, spoke openly about it, and then struggled to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, barely making it past Wonder Boy, who fell asleep 15 minutes before the ball dropped, impossible to awaken to watch the neighborhood fireworks.

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I woke up on my own, just after 8 a.m. New Year’s Day.

I was grumpy. I fidgeted on my phone for a while, next to my also-awake-out-of-habit Mr. Wonder, who was also fidgeting with his phone. The downstairs by myself, to grab a bowl of cereal and turn on the Rose Parade. And sat, and fidgeted with my phone, and let my tired kid play with the Touch, and harass him to sit on the potty because we’re stalling in potty training.

All day I thought about my actions, and how they were NOT going in the directions I wanted.

Last year I chose a great word for a theme instead of writing out resolutions for the year, since I never finish what I start when it comes to life changes.

So this year, I decided on a new one.

Heck, I thought of it all the way back in November, and started incorporating it back into my world along with regular food after I stopped getting sick every day.

My word for 2013 is NOURISH.

I plan on broadening the family palate a little, hitting our local market often, getting my son to eat salad now that he will finally chomp on baby carrots (those suckers are pretty hard and crunchy., after all) and getting back to a wider recipe repertoire, since I have fallen into a funk with food the last few months.

But the beautiful thing is that I don’t plan on just nourishing with my dinner plate.

I am going to make my actions more nourishing, making home a better place, making play time more meaningful…. whatever I can do to expand focus and make myself more in the moment of it.

Craft projects with the kid, pillows to sew- and a new baby coming in six months.

It’s a broad theme, but I like it that way, since I can take it and apply it when think I need to.

Because I feel that sometimes my actions need more guidance, but I don’t want a concrete rule that I end up falling off track the first week, get discouraged, and quitting. Because I always do that.

Because I need to make things but still feel I need a reason why so I can sit and do that instead of household chores.

I need to nourish myself and my world.

Happy 2013!

Looking back at 2012

Ever since Christmas I have been thinking about this year, bringing back that word I picked out the first few days of 2012- focus.

It’s a post I’ve linked back to several times, and an idea I’ve come back to time and time again, even though over the year the intent of my focus has changed.

I determined that whatever I was doing I would focus on it, not just run helter-skelter through my list haphazardly, trying to get everything done, ever getting everything all of the way done.

So whatever I was doing at the time got my full attention, other things getting pushed father back.

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All of my deep thoughts happen by the ocean, remember?

A year later, I sit in an even messier office, the fridge is full of vegetables and carrot juice, my son is sleeping in this morning, and I am peaceful.

This year has been both a speedy race up a hill with  strong tailwind and a slow coast down the same hill, stopping to eat a snack and talk with loved ones and not quite peeking out at the scenery going by.

When I was young I did a bike race with my dad on a local mountain. We finished, which was the only goal. I remember coasting down, having to hold onto the brakes from going too fast, yet wanting to just let go and coast freely, enjoying the breeze.

I think of that as my blogging life this year. I was full of inspiration, signing on early for the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in Las Vegas, considering high reaches for SoCal Lady Bloggers, and considering that I too could make higher reaches for my blog, making a little money like everyone said was possible and my writing was worth it, dammit.

Well, over the year, my focus has gone from the spread of items I wanted to give attention to, back over and over to home and family.

Slowing down and going to the park, solo trips to Disneyland and the museum, taking a lap at target just because someone asked me to (I only spent $7 that trip- that is a record!)

I realized that after my two conference trips this year, I wanted to keep my blog mine and not reach for myself as a ‘brand’ a ‘presence’ that I wanted it to just be for me again.

My blogging became a bit more sporadic, not from words that would not come but from a temperamental computer, trips to Nana’s, playdate, cooking and morning sickness.

And I decided I was fine with that. I missed it, I missed out, I coasted down the hill without even noticing the scenery fading from view.

No matter if I worked at it or not, I realized I was getting the same amount of attention- the same lovely few that come back to read me over and over, thank you for that.

I started to feel a burnout of trying to be competitive as I saw through the overall veil of friendliness and support that comes from the blogging community and saw that part of my path was being blocked from selfishness and vindictiveness.

Well, fine, I won’t even try that route. I wanted it, but not enough to battle.

One of my biggest supporters was lost to me this year too- the one who was always around at my first blogging conference, the one that hung with artists and got a hand-drawn Red and Stimpy on a napkin from the artist, the one who started disappearing before I could tell there was something wrong.

Other great things happened this year too.

I started writing music reviews here, and love it- my son regularly jams to age-appropriate music here at home and in our concert hall, aka my car, and it’s music that I can not only live with but catch myself humming once in a while.

My son started preschool, and with that a whole new world has opened up- of superheroes, new songs to sing, girlfriends, and hearing his joyous call as his friends point out my car coming through the drive, his face grubby and beaming.

We visited a couple new places, and had many adventures, since he is just old enough to really start trying out the world on his own terms instead of in a stroller.

This year was definitely a year of growth- coming into myself as a person, wtfhing my son go from a baby to a boy, changes in what I focused on, and having a couple opportunites I didn’t think would ever come to me.

So goodbye, 2012… I won’t see you next year, as I will everyone else.

 

Deep thoughts at the beach

I always do my best, deepest thoughts at the beach. The ocean waves drown out all of the superfluous thoughts, the salt air cleans out the mind, the sand grounds you. Until it washes away under your feet.

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The last couple of months have been full of a lot of thinking.

And nausea.

Yes, these are related.

I went to two blog conferences. In the same week. With morning sickness.

And as I sat there, listening to great bloggers and business ladies talk both about how to build a business, balance life and work and how to have your blog be of yourself, I started to have an epiphany.

One that took a month or two to become complete.

I haven’t been the only one lately with this epiphany lately, I can already tell.

The first two months of pregnancy made me ill enough that sitting at the computer made me nauseous.

So I quit sitting there.

I realized I didn’t totally miss it.

My Twitter slowed down, my blog reading fell behind, and during this I had thoughts tumble in my head.

I thought about why I had a blog.

To share.

To share me.

I thought about how much I felt not being able to share about my pregnancy the first few weeks here- to write the little stories.

I realized, to be a storyteller, as Catherine Connors told me I was, I just needed to be me.

Not to worry about what other bloggers were doing.

My Facebook is full of other bloggers now, and I realize some of them, I can’t even figure out which blog they belong to.

I don’t miss trying to hit Twitter parties to try to find new followers.

Instead I want to get to know some of my favorites better.

This year I picked a word instead of a resolution, one that has come back and back, even though I’ve gone off track and back on.

Focus.

I’m not the best with resolutions, but this word, I could decide what I wanted to do. What ever I was doing, that I would pay attention to it.

And as much as I thought I would focus on the blog, I found myself focusing more and more on family.

My primary job is keeping my family, and it’s something that I have worked at all year.

And after a year, I am choosing a new word for next year and reflecting back on this one.

Seeing where my focus went, where it waned, what I needed to have done instead.

And choosing a way to pick a better way to use my time, to focus even better, to make sure everyone is cared for and happy, including me.

And realizing that, the business of blogging isn’t for me.

I just want to get more of me here, beyond the ‘Mom Life’ that is tagged in so many of my posts.

To get my small moments, like the sand on the beach, cold under my feet and washing away with the waves, back on the page.

How’s my plan going?

February 2nd.

The silly groundhog on the east coast saw his shadow. We here on the west coast have been seeing it since before Christmas, where warm weather caused my AC to blast all day while my family members were toasty in their Christmas sweaters.

I wore a short-sleeved shirt.

Sounds like a good time to look back at the promise I made this year to myself.  I have been taking the time to focus. Writing a list at nap time of things to be done and only doing that list. Putting the iPad aside for an afternoon, the cell phone tucked upstairs and just cleaning or hanging out with Mr. Wonder and Wonder Boy.

Well, it’s happening somewhat. And I accept that. Any change is good, and a day off the path is just a little meandering to look at some pretty flowers, then back trying to stay on the right course again the next day.

Especially when the pretty flowers can be as cute as this.

The kitchen was newly organized (well, not the cabinets) just in time for my long wished-for yellow KitchenAid stand mixer to come. many batches of cookies on the horizon!

Wonder Boy and I have started having a green smoothie more and more. I’m lucky that he will drink something even if it is spinach green or tasted a little like carrot juice, so I know both he and I are getting extra veggies and fruits this way. My favorite spinach and apple concoction also makes me crave water afterwards, so I end up drinking more of that as well.

Some days I can get by with some tea and a smoothie instead of my cups of coffee. That’s a good feeling!

For focusing on my blog I signed up for the Sits Girls 31 Days to Build a Better Blog course. Unfortunately, after a few days, my focus on that flew out the window. I didn’t get to catch up over the weekend and I have been only devoting a few minutes every day to it. So this weekend I’m working on that sneeze page on my blog and messing with the buttons again.

Luckily, some of the lessons I already know, like building a community for myself. I’ve done it in other avenues of my online world.

If you don’t know already, I am a founder and partner over at SoCal Lady Bloggers, which started with a Facebook group inspired by loving tweets I got from people I let at BlogHer 2011, now 132 members strong.

 Tomorrow we are hosting a ‘progressive dinner’ with several ladies offering recipes on their blogs. You should come tomorrow and check them out!

And as for that camera time? Well, a couple trips have been made out and about with the camera but it never got to leave the bag, so my main focus is still Wonder Boy. But I did add to my Flickr recently and posted a couple here. Yellow is a great subject to look for! (just ask my biggest photography fan, Tracie.)

 How are your resolutions going?


 I linked this timely post over at Chronically Distracted. Click above to go talk about ‘vitality’ the focus for the month!

Focus

For years I have been bouncing around, fluttering from one shiny object to another. part of it was reinventing myself, part of it was dissatisfaction with something, part of it was just my inability to keep up my passion for it for a long period of time.

I’ve noticed it, my impulsiveness to jump into something, my loss of interest in a short while.

So this year, instead of a little list taped on a wall, I narrowed down my action while working to make complete changes in my life.

This year, I want to slow down and focus on… well, everything.

I will FOCUS.

I want to focus on what I eat, when I eat. To understand why I’m reaching for more caffeine and drink the glass of water instead, the one I am always shoving at my son instead of his beloved sweetened green tea. To focus on the food I made, to make it more healthful and to plan ahead meals better.

I want to focus on where everything is. I have a new house full of both empty spaces and cluttered closets. I want to organize all the papers I have needed, to put the bills away so they get paid, to find a way to organize all of the craft supplies I have so I can use them up.

I want to focus on my writing. I’ve talked about my feelings about my priorities and my writing here before at Sunshine Wonderland. I’m trying to bring it to a priority, right up there with home and family. I want to be successful at it, and if I focus more attention on it, then hopefully more attention will focus on me.

There is a fourth part, one that is just for me- focusing on the world through my camera lens. There was a time where photos were my passion- the thrill of the hunt for the one photo to tell the story. And it has a home here on the blog as well, if I focus on my life through the lens of a camera again.

That, and I need more yellow things in my life.