What Focus Means to Me

FOCUS means saying no. It means giving up the things that eat my time but no longer -- or maybe never did -- seem worth it to me. It means giving up something I'd like to do for something I'd love to do -- or, yes, something that just has to be done. It means logging off LibraryThing forever so I can spend my time on sites I like better (or even offline entirely.) It means turning down a book review offer, no matter how great the book, because I already have a stack of unread tomes on my nightstand.

FOCUS means living now. I will focus on what the pastor is saying, not on my Sunday afternoon to-do list. I will hear what my friends are saying and not formulate my response before they're halfway through a sentence. I will log off the computer before my blog post is complete to play a board game with my brothers. I will attempt to slow down and actually enjoy the novel. “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” (Mortimer J. Adler)

FOCUS means knowing my priorities. It means my devotions come before Literature homework and the research paper. It means the research paper's notes come before the next scene in my latest novel. It means said novel comes before fanfiction or my blog. It means fanfiction or my blog come before Facebook surfing. And sometimes, it means dropping everything with neither warning nor complaint to spend the weekend with my family for the few months I'm still a high school kid.

FOCUS means saying yes. Yes, I'll log off the computer to play Life with Nicholas. Yes, I'll put down the book to help Mom bake all day. Yes, I'll finish my homework tonight, even though the latest episode of my favorite television show expires from Hulu Free. Yes, I'll set aside my craft project to go on a last-minute family weekend errand run.

Basically, FOCUS means ouch. Because it will take work. It's not how I'm used to living. But when your friends barely know you and your whole family just knows you as "the girl behind the computer"...

Was that really living, anyway?


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