Slice of Life Challenge Day 28 – Developing with focus

SONY DSCI am in my typical spring mode. Words like restless, ill at ease, fidgety,edgy, nervous, keyed up, -all fit into my morning thoughts. I am slightly out of focus like this photo of a bench in the spring sunshine. No, nothing is wrong I just feel like I need to get moving but I am moving in all directions at once.

I think this edgy feeling comes when an open space arrives in my life (spring break – I know I am retired but working part time has felt more full time this year) and I am excited to take on a new task – to go after something on my to do list. But it becomes an issue when I get all geared up and then start to many things.

Examples of tasks to do NOW

  • new garden beds
  • starting new seeds – learning to grow perennials/ wildflowers
  • knitting that baby blanket -note I don’t really know how to knit
  • finishing a quilt
  • work on my children’s book
  • the 5 books I have started reading
  • paint the bedroom
  • clean out the basement

And the list goes on! I expect we all have these lists.

So this morning I went back to another list I created over the years – my One Little Word for the year. I reviewed what they have been – listen, balance ( I used for two years) and this year is developing.

It is clear I still need to listen and create balance within what I am doing. The word developing is really what is going on in this list of tasks but I think I need one more word to help me out.

Focus seems to be lacking here. I need to put my foot down and tell myself to stay focused. What is the one thread that weaves through my list? What is the big idea that would center the many items listed?

There are the side tasks like painting the bedroom, knitting or cleaning. Those items will always be around – they are in some ways the everyday household tasks. The main interest in this list is in the plants, the garden. I can see it as I write this list for you.

The garden learning is what popped into focus:

  • new garden beds
  • planting perennials
  • 3 of the 5 books have to do with plants, gardens or botany
  • even the children’s book is centered around plants

Now I need to stay with this focus. The books I will finish reading first will be the garden, botany books. Since it is to cold to begin the new garden beds I can research more about the plants and underplanting I want to do. I can take this time to draw out the gardens in more detail and organize the seeds and seed catalogues that are taking over my office.

Ok, now I have a direction and focus for my week! Sometimes it helps just to sit down and write about what is rattling around in your head. The things you know come into focus when you see them in print.

So I will add focus to my list of One Little Words – that lead me through the year.





About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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6 Responses to Slice of Life Challenge Day 28 – Developing with focus

  1. jarhartz says:

    Beautiful. And exactly how I feel right now. Is it the time of year? Or is this just how things are? Not a bad thing to be developing!

    • Joanne Toft says:

      I do think it is part of spring – a feeling of movement after the winter months of cold! All those plants pushing up out of the ground seem to say get a move on it. Let’s get going!

  2. LSquared says:

    Yep. We write to know what we think.
    I also think that focus comes sometimes from just following a thread of interest…I enjoyed your think aloud, although my vacation has an entirely different tone. We left home so there’s no garden to tend, no projects to do. Very good for me. 🙂

  3. elsie says:

    Sit down and write to find out what is important, boiling to the top of the list. Sounds like a perfect choice. This is the season for getting started growing. So mess around with the plants and bring life to the seeds which will feed you this summer.
    Side note: the orchid instructions said to put three ice cubes in the planter every week to water the orchid. So far, so good.

  4. arjeha says:

    It seems that once a direction and focus are found everything else seems to fall into place.

  5. terierrol says:

    Yes, sometimes writing helps get things in focus. Good luck with the garden.

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