woman at laptop computer

Young Woman at Laptop — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis from MSN Clipart

I sat down at my computer to write this morning and thought, “I’m blank. I don’t have anything to write.”

So, I went off in a different direction over to the internet checking emails, Facebook, Twitter, stats on my site.

Before I knew it, the morning was gone. This happens more often than I care to mention.

Does anyone have as much trouble with focus, like I do? 

Sometimes, I feel my thoughts are all over the place ― a space cadet! Maybe, it comes from years of multi-tasking, as a secretary. There were days I wondered if I took a breath, no less complete a thought. But, I was still alive and kicking. So, I guess I did.

Now, I’m taking notice, there are times when I’m not paying attention (it’s not a senior moment; I’ve had this pointed out to me all my life). I’m just not here. I can’t tell you where I’m at but it’s not with what I’m working on at the time. In fact, it can happen in a conversation, when I lose focus, or in the middle of planning a project, thinking about something I’d like to do. My thoughts ramble and seem to take on a life of their own, until I become aware of it and bring them back to what I’m doing.

By now, you may be saying, “sounds like she’s lost her crackers” but frankly that’s not it. More than anything, it probably has to do with discipline and training your mind. Many people learn to focus at an early age and practice it most of their life, as if it’s second nature. We’re constantly told, if you want to accomplish anything, you need to focus on the task at hand and work through the process. I know that and I’ve done it in my life, raising a family and holding down a job. But, it has come at the demands of others not from my own free will.

Nowadays, I may have more of an excuse not to focus, if I wanted, with less structure and pressure. I’m retired and dictate my schedule and deadlines. I’m my own boss and have no one to answer to but myself, hubby and what I put out there for my readers (sounds like heaven doesn’t it ― it is!). No one has told me to write and I don’t have a job description (or a paycheck, yet).

The work I assign myself everyday isn’t dependent on performance ratings or salary increases, only the integrity I bring to the table and value of what I write. But, with saying all that, you would think focus would come easy, in this next stage of my life, having been fortunate to be given the freedom to do whatever I like.

For me, focus hasn’t been easy ― it’s just different. I struggle and fight trying to focus the way you would normally, But, in realizing how my life is now different, I have a new perspective. I’ve opened a new chapter and shifted into, perhaps, the latter stage. It takes adjustment.

I feel guilty, at times, thinking I have to jump in and drum up traffic to my site or learn the latest tool to plug-in to make it more efficient ― work smarter. It’s the old have-to imprinting we experience down through the years and I’ve stopped beating myself up over it ― I’m okay.

For me, unplugging from what my life was before to what life is now, has taken on a new focus, not so much with my mind, but more intuitive with feelings. I didn’t realize, when shackles are cut, in your new-found freedom you tend to look for the “comfort” of restriction and numbness of having someone think for you and organize your day.

hampster on a treadmill

Hamster running on a treadmill in a computer © MSN Clipart

Before, like a hamster on a treadmill, you’ve been circling, spinning ― never getting anywhere.

You don’t know when you gave up your life to a bank or creditor. You just find yourselves in a vicious cycle working for others to pay for those things you think make us happy.

When we get off the treadmill, it all comes to a screeching halt. It takes a while to realize what happened and put life in its proper order. I’m still working on it.

I treasure this time and I’m beginning to understand my new focus. It’s enjoying the freedom to explore feelings and read books that stretch my thinking and beliefs. I notice the old chatter in my head and quiet it with silence and peace. With change, I’m learning to adapt to stillness, resisting the urge to always be on the move.

I notice the swallows soar in the evening, catch the smell of petunias and listen to what my heart tells me to do, free of restraint. I’m refocusing on things that matter rather than things that don’t last.

After all that, I get to write about it and share it with you on the internet. Do you have trouble focusing on the tasks at hand and find yourself off in another world? I’d like to hear what you do and if you’re keeping on track with the things you want to do in your life.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Pat Ruppel

8 thoughts on “Focus

  1. Nice writing. I find that the older I get, the more I’d rather do my own thing. The things I’m “supposed” to do, well, you know how it goes. 🙂

    • So true Joseph — wouldn’t it be nice if we could see it earlier?

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the read. Please pull up a chair and join us again at my internet “kitchen table”. 🙂

  2. Pat I certainly can identify with this , i have a always created made jewellery
    Or painted muriels etc and sold at shops or markets i felt guilty not pr producing .Im happy to while away my day now .I am more in tune than ever but with life and my day .

    • Roz – thank you for reading and happy you could relate. I’ve known I’ve been lacking a little when it comes to focus most of my life. Now, I’ve been paying more attention to it to change and it’s been interesting to say the least. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Friday Faves, July 19 | Living Simply Free

    • Thank you Lois for your mention of me and “Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom” in your Friday Fav’s. I’m happy you stopped by and glad you enjoyed the read. Hope you get a break soon from the heat. 🙂

  4. Pat, I loved this post for a number of reasons, the most important being what you said about wanting the comfort of old shackles, once we get the freedom we’ve always craved. I have a lot to think about because of that, so thank you.

    As for the focus issue, I’ve learned that we aren’t really in control of our thoughts, much as New Age philosophy would scream against me! Where the mind wanders is Life’s way of making you focus on what’s really important. We often try to control our day, what will happen etc, and we need our thoughts to do that. But when they wander, we meander through the day too. When what we plan really is in line with what the universe has in store for us, so it all goes ‘to plan’! But then we believe that we were in control all along! This is my perspective, anyway. I appreciate yours too. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Pat.

    • Thank you Yaz for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and perspectives on this. I agree with you in that we think we’re in control but soon find out as we move along this path how very little control we have.

      I think at the point we begin to realize this we’re okay with it mainly because at the same time we’re discovering the larger picture and how we fit in it. I think that’s where I’m at — the point of realization — and it’s interesting. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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