Changing Seasons and Shifting Focus

Nov 13, 2021 | My Sabbatical

I am sitting in my local Biggby right now, sipping steaming mint tea from a red and green mug and watching the first snow of the season through the foggy window to my left. Slightly-too-loud music is playing from the speaker above me, almost muffling the strange conversation between the two guys sitting near the fire. One of the guys almost hit me with the door on the way in, I might add.

And the Christmas decorations are up. Biggby people, I know you are trying, but oh my. I’m confused about the small collection of snowman heads on the wall. I do find the haphazard mixture of lights, garland, and sparkly wreaths kind of endearing, but the sixteen dirty socks hanging behind the counter have me puzzled. I get they are supposed to be Christmas stockings, but is there a reason they need to be smudged with dirt?

I digress.

The point is, the holidays are upon us. For better or worse, we are officially in the final two months of 2021. I have always loved the holidays, but in recent years they have brought more tension and stress than joy.

[[Sidenote: Something is happening near the fire. Plaid Shirt Guy just got down on the floor and demonstrated a face-touching-the-ground bow to Hat Guy sitting in the chair. I spewed tea all over my keyboard and had to cough to cover up a startled laugh.]]

Back to my point. This blog is about focusing, isn’t it?

Recent years have brought tension and stress because I had to deal with the reality that another year had passed and my life hadn’t changed. I had spent another twelve months delaying career change, or personal growth, or learning a new skill, or pursuing a relationship.

I wasn’t miserable. There was plenty I loved about those years, and many things I wouldn’t change. I cultivated deep friendships, met new people, traveled the world, and spent time with family.

But there was a lot I wasn’t doing because of fear. And those were the things I regretted. I hated feeling defeated by own fear and procrastination. I would carry those feelings with me during Christmas parties and family gatherings. My focus was often on my frustration with myself, instead of on friends, family, and celebrating the holidays.

[[NO, Plaid Shirt Guy is now handing Hat Guy a fake million dollar bill with Bible verses on it and showing him a magic trick. WHAT IS HAPPENING.]]

This year, I’m shifting my focus. I have made changes in my life over the past year. Big changes. I am proud of myself for the things I’m doing. It’s been hard work, and I know there is a lot of work yet to come. But taking action in my own life is allowing me to focus on the lives of those I love.

I encourage you to intentionally focus as well. Focus on your loved ones, and focus on cultivating a holiday season with more joy than stress. There are still weeks left in 2021. Are there things you wanted to do this year that you’ve been too afraid or busy to pursue? Take the time to focus on those things right now. It’s probably too late to go on a dream vacation, but there is time to plan one for next year.

Take the steps you’ve been meaning to take all year. By taking the time to focus a little on your goals right now, you will be able to focus on friends, family, and Christmas cookies as 2022 approaches.

Some parting advice: don’t try and write a blog post about focusing while in a coffee shop.

[[For anyone wondering, the gathering near the fire ended with a plan to meet again because the conversation was rushed today. I really hope I am here for the next meeting.]]


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