Wednesday, January 6, 2010

my 2010 "word"

It's weird how having a "word" as my motto for the year has kind of changed me the last couple years. No, these words have not miraculously molded me into a new and improved self instantaneously. But having them to think about in the back of my mind all year has really helped me remember what's most important. Having these words has changed little things that I do to help me eventually tweak the "big picture" of what I want to become.

My big word I will use as my "mantra" for the year 2010 came to me easy as pie this time around.

FOCUS.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "that's everyone's goal for a new year...boring." I know this is a very simple, commonplace word. Focus.

But let's think of it in more depth. Let's think of it in a photographer's sense...

What is focused on is what the "big picture" of the photo is all about.

Take this picture, for instance:If the harmonica is what the picture's supposed to be about, great.

But what if the lamp...the long-term, more far away thing is really the most important thing to be focusing on? I mean, the harmonica is shiny and interesting, and it's right there in the forefront. It's easy for it to be distracting. But if the lamp is really what's more important, the photographer needs to keep an eye on that sucker:(photos compliments of Max during a little photo tutorial I was giving him a couple years back)

This is how my life is. I know that the lamp (the real, important stuff...the gospel, my family, good relationships, etc.) is there, but I tend to get so distracted with the little, shiny harmonica things in life (house redecorating, my hair, which color of paint I like best...) littering my path. The day-to-day stuff overwhelms me.

Sure, there are big-deal things there in my path to "what's most important"...the laundry needs to be done, the stacks of papers that come home in the mail and in backpacks need to be sorted, my pictures need to be labeled, blah blah blah. But all the minutia of life sometimes gets in the way of what's really most important (the lamp).

Often my life seems like I'm running in circles...on my way to do one thing, getting distracted and doing another, then thinking of another, and the first thing I set out to do never gets done.

There are many variations of this same, distracted scenario that go on in my life. The spiritual distractions are there too. And all the doctors I'm supposed to keep up with boggle my mind.

I love this quote from Elder Uchtdorf:

"We know what matters most in life—the Light of Christ teaches this to everyone...I imagine that any [of us] listening to my voice today, if asked to prepare a talk on the subject “what matters most,” could and would do an excellent job. Our weakness is in failing to align our actions with our conscience.

"Pause for a moment and check where your own heart and thoughts are. Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment or on things that matter most?"

I do know what matters most. But is my heart there? Sometimes, sadly, not so much. I need to "align my actions with my conscience."

So my FOCUS this year will go toward the three things I have deemed to "matter most" at this point in my life:

1)--focus SPIRITUALLY...more heartfelt personal prayers, squeezing in meditation time and scripture study
2)--focus on FAMILY and RELATIONSHIPS..."surrendering" and "being there"
3)--focus on HEALTH...sprucing up all my doctor files, getting Lucy to a nutritionist, getting to the bottom of Claire's UTIs and my kidney issues


Do I think just because I have written this down it will just magically come to pass? No. I realize I have to have a serious PLAN.

The word "FOCUS" will be up on my wall as a reminder. I'm going to have a goal each month on each of my three "focuses." (A goal each month seems less daunting than just trying to change in the blink of an eye.) There will be more ideas, I'm sure. But half the battle is done: I know what I need to do.

I'm so thankful for a new year and a fresh beginning.
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