Putting the focus back on me

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“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” ~ George Lucas

I have been neglecting myself lately.  And my 24-hour period of sleep last week was a glaring reminder that I must slow down and begin to put my needs ahead of everyone else’s needs.  I am still fending off the same cold that knocked me down last week and I am hoping after two consecutive days off that my body will begin to heal itself.

My physical condition withstanding, I have also realized how many things I have put on the back burner over the last few months.  My blog posts  have been suffering.  My blog reading has been non-existent.  And the things I love doing, like making soup or reading a book, have been put on a shelf and left to collect dust.

But today, that momentum has shifted.  I am making myself a “vision board” so I can focus on the things I want to do for myself.  I have sketched and decided on a design that I am going to have tattooed on my wrist.  I have been thinking about it for a while but have finally given myself permission to take that leap.

Tattoo

The infinity symbol is a message of empowerment – anything is possible.  Carpe Diem is, not only my email address but, my mantra – seize the day, something I have been failing to do recently.  The butterfly represents my mother and the owl represents my father.  It is a perfect blend of all the things that have the most power over the person I am each day and the person I want to continue being.

On day one of my two days off, I currently have two different pots of soup simmering on the stove, the ingredients for a killer Chili in the fridge and my fingers are flying over the keyboard as I type this post.  I feel like I am finding myself again.  I feel happy knowing I have begun to assimilate to the creature I enjoy being.  And I feel the most elation by knowing that I have retrained my focus and begun to put myself first.

Drawing from the things that matter

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A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mike wrote this post about creating his family seal.  It originated from a homework assignment that was given to his son but it really sparked something in my mind.  My need to create went into overdrive and I spent many days thinking about the things that are most important to me and the things that would warrant space on my family shield.

What I thought would be a daunting task became relatively simple once I stripped away the trivial matters and whittled my thoughts down to the basics, getting in touch with the things that are at the core of my life, and coming up with this.

shield

My family and friends will always be first.  They are the anchor that hold me in my place.  They keep me honest and that truth allows me to enjoy all of the other aspects of my day-to-day living.

My home, albeit small and in need of updating, is my castle, my sanctuary.  Its walls are my defense shield and its roof, my shelter.  In this home I allow the chef hidden inside to come out and create tasty and aesthetically pleasing meals, even though most days I cook for one.

After the kitchen has been cleaned of any signs of being inhabited, I sit down for a quiet evening filled with words.  Whether I am ingesting words written by someone else or spewing forth words of my own, language envelops me and keeps me company in the waning hours of daylight.

During those evening hours I become lost in language, my puppy is ever-present.  Her eyes watch my every move and if she falls behind in her duty, the owls and butterflies that frequent my landscapes remind me that my mother and father are still making sure that their past exists in my present and my future.  And if life ever begins to get my down, I remember my dad always saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

I am thankful that I took the challenge to strip my life down to the basics, to really look inside myself and understand what are the most important things in my life.

If you were to take the same challenge, what would your family shield hold in its strong embrace?