Shift in focus.

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Confession: I’d hoped that this year would start off with a slower pace.  

We’re already a full month into the new year! The flurry of the holiday season trickled right into 2014, with a packed calendar of appointments and house projects and guests. Don’t misunderstand: I relish the activity, the to-do list, having direction, and all of the FUN. But now, my body’s telling me to pause and regroup, try to rediscover balance, and shift my focus inward. I think it’s time to listen.

Our lives are on the brink of significant changes this year. If I close my eyes, I have that feeling of standing at the edge of a very high diving board: a combination of exhilaration and fear. But I’ve never been one to climb back down the ladder. And so we hold our breath, cling to each other’s hand, and dive in.

Have you noticed that change invites change? When some monumental shift occurs in one area of my life, I’ve come to expect it in others, as well. In those situations, one is forced to pause and examine the transition and its rippling effects. I’m noticing that I’m observing more these days. I’m usually reaching for my camera every other minute, not wanting to miss the chance to document every moment. Recently, I’ll realize I haven’t taken any photos of a fun event- or even left my camera behind. I’m enjoying the moments by living them. Even my schedule with this website is loosening up; instead of continuing to post content 6 days per week, I’m sharing recipes or events or thoughts that feel relevant while allowing my timeline to be flexible. It all feels right.

This week, I found myself freaking out that we didn’t have a concrete social event in place for the Superbowl. How could we not have a plan for what is considered a holiday in my family?! Which party should we go to- or should we stop by more than one? Should we host friends for the game? And then I stopped myself. Why must there always be a plan? A big group? What is bad about spending the day at home with my handsome husband, shuffling around the kitchen in our slippers, watching the snow fall outside and making a game-day meal together before kickoff? About watching the game from my own couch, snuzzling with John and Cholula, choosing our favorite commercials and making little bets on who’ll be champions? It’s not always easy for me to slow down, but right now, I think it’s important.

A hot word for 2014 seems to be “intention” and I’m on board. I take that to mean living my life deliberately and with meaning. In the coming months, my goal is to regulate the pace of my life a little more. To simplify. To purge unnecessary clutter– in closets, drawers, the corners of my mind- and observe each thing’s place in my life. I hope to have continued kindness and patience with others, and more kindness and patience with myself (something I’m not as good at). And because I love to, I’ll document and share particular moments here when it feels appropriate. But I’ll also pause to savor other times as my own, enjoy NOW, and live in gratitude-  for all of it.

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One year ago: When life hands you bad bananas, make coconut banana bread.

9 replies »

  1. I love this post! I can relate so much to what you are saying. I struggle not to have my to do list and agenda rule my life. It’s healthy to be social and productive, but to balance that with being present. We did the exact same thing for the super bowl….Turns out, we are both on our couch with a pot of chili cooking! Happy day Amber!! xo

  2. This is exactly why my boyfriend and I make a great combo – I’m the habitual planner, the To-Do lister, the calendar obsessed. He’s the live in the moment, do what feels right when it feels right. We balance each other out! I ensure things get done, he ensures I slow down once in a blue moon! I love this post 🙂

  3. Awesome idea, Amber! And so perfectly timed. I read my Chinese horoscope for what the Year of the Horse would bring the Ox in me. Turns out, my inner planner needs to stop and take time to be flexible. It sounds so easy, but for me, so very hard. I guess, with helpful little reminders like this post, I’ll get there one day at a time. 🙂

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