I once read that everyday we can focus on up to three things in a day.
After three, things get complicated. I mean, we are all only human right? While we may be able to do many things in one 24-hour period, over the long haul we cannot do well in all of these areas because we have spread ourselves too thin.
At first I pfft-ed at the article, sure to show them up and do ALL THE THINGS! in one day. On top of having my own photography business, I’m also a stay-at-home mother to two minions, one of which has special needs, we recently got a puppy (sure, why not!?), I’m kind of a wee bit crazy in love with my handsome husband, I lead a small online group of women in a daily Bible study, we prefer to eat from home 3x day, both my husband and I like to exercise (don’t judge my book by it’s cover… babies you guys, I had babies) and at the end of the day I’m also a person who likes to do things for herself as well.
That’s a lot to focus on.
In one day it is feasible. Over a week, totally doable. Month? Sure, but I’m exhausted and may want to sit in a dark corner and cry. After 6 months of taking care of ALL THE THINGS! this means I get no rest (thanks also to our 2.5 year old who often wakes up in the middle of the night) and by this time am totally depleted. This is no way to live.
I make choices and lots and lots of allowances. My house is not pristine, but it isn’t a pig sty either. We eat healthy meals, but not at the price of my sanity: we do order to-go! Our clothes are clean… it just takes them a while to get put away.
Every single day I try to consciously choose family and faith. Those are not focus areas I feel are ever worth compromising for me. That leaves me with one area to focus on each day outside of my faith and family. Most of the time it’s work, which means our housework suffers and dinners are often eaten later (better late than never!) and the laundry not being put away. Almost ever.
It’s hard to tell one area of focus you might love (friends, exercise, self-time) that it has to suffer because other areas mean much more to you. I love to exercise people (I also love/hate sugar for this reason) but I love my kids more. A healthy way to integrate the two is to have my kids work out with me. This means I can’t run for 5 miles outside 3x week but I can involve my kids with me for strength. This lets us all spend bonding time together doing something healthy while hopefully establishing good habits for them as they grow.
Other times I can’t integrate other focus areas together. Like work. It would not be cool for me to bring my entire family to a wedding I’m shooting. Editing? Kind of a one man game, and pretty boring for my kids to watch.
This can also pose as a complication for couples when two people have chosen different focus areas and there’s no time for each other. This is why, for me, family is always my #2 spot. I don’t always choose my focus areas with purpose, and when I do, I see it now. It took a lot of concentration for me to realize everyday how to consciously choose those areas that are significant to my heart.
What three focus areas do you choose?
Now onto cute pictures of my adorable kids + puppy on a day I consciously chose them. Look at their smiles and tell me it’s not worth it! Liam says to stop and remember to water your own garden instead of looking over the neighbor’s fence…