Sunday, 29 December 2019

Keeping Focussed

In previous years I have chosen a Word Of The Year - like Shine, Hope, and More - something to challenge me, something to aim at.

This past year my #word365  has been FOCUS. I thought I would look back and see how this has worked out. I said back in January that focus had three meanings

  • the centre of our attention
  • the quality of clear vision [optical term]
  • the fixed point defining relationships [mathematical term]

I wanted to learn to better concentrate on the important task in front of me, to see clearly what I should be doing, and to recognise that in the changing world, my faith in Jesus should be my fixed point.
And how has it worked out? Well,nothing like in the way I expected.
On January 16th, I collapsed rather spectacularly in Sainsbury's - and subsequent tests [and boy, were there a lot of them] showed that I had Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome, and a serious Vitamin D deficiency.
I was forced to shift my focus from being busy, dashing here there and everywhere, and instead focus on getting well. Learning not so much to focus on my tasks, but focus on my self, and recognise when my body was telling me to slow down [or stop]
Focussing not on improving my juggling skills, but rather on learning to say NO and only working on one project at a time.
This has not been easy - and I am grateful to family and friends for bullying  encouraging me.
I am learning to focus on the things that really matter. The tasks which genuinely must get done - and the tasks which can be left [sometimes neglected for a long time - sometimes forgotten forever]
I know now that I'll never get back into the classroom as a Supply Teacher - but I still have opportunities to work with children and young people, and use my teaching gifts in other ways.
Then on October 9th, seven months after my health incident, Bob had a TIA, and it was his turn to spend a night in Bournemouth hospital, being monitored and checked and tested.
My focus shifted again - for a few weeks, he had to be my priority. As Bob learned to relax in the passenger seat, so I learned that I can drive [and park] a large automatic vehicle - after years driving tiny hatchbacks with gear changes. We are both learning to focus on better relaxation times, and better eating habits. Our church has grown in the past year, which is good - but it has meant a changing workload, and focus on our use of time has proved inmportant.
This years we've been with friends and family members as they too have been ill, and suffered bereavements. And we've watched others struggle with the problems of the benefits system, and intransigent officialdom - and tried to help them through it. We've seen our nation divided over bureaucracy, Boris and Brexit - and been saddened when those divisions have affected families and communities. It has reminded me of the need to focus on maintaining strong relationships, and the issues that unite, rather than divide us. 
And at the end of the year I suppose I have concluded that I should focus on "Living more simply, that others may simply live". 
I do have a word for 2020 - but you'll have to wait for another post to find out!
Do you have a #word365?


  1. It has been a rather challenging year for you, hasn't it? I think you did well with focusing, though.

    I don't usually choose a word of the year, but "focus" is a good word and so is "simplify" which another blog friend has chosen. I think, if I were to choose a word, it might have to be "organized"!

    1. I think you are a very well organised person, Bless. But probably most of us need to work on that sometimes. It's the unexpected events which make us "wobble" when plans go awry despite our best efforts. But it usually comes right in the end, doesn't it?

  2. I hope 2020 is a quieter year for you with fewer bumps in the road to negotiate.
    My words of the year are the same as always " Just get on with it!"

  3. I wonder if, like us, you will be glad to see the end of this year? It's not been a good one overall for many people.
    Wishing you a peaceful 2020. x

  4. I like your idea of a word to shape the year. It has been a challenging year — I am glad yours is coming to a more peaceful close! On to 2020!

  5. Thank you everyone. Praying for a less bumpy ride through 2020...

  6. Happy New Year to you and yours, Angela. 2020 has a nice ring to it. I hope it will be a good one for everybody. I would like my word of the year to be 'Me' but I'm not sure it will come to pass unless I start saying 'no' ...a lot! 'See' you next year.x


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