Monday, March 7, 2011

Finding focus

It's been a bit of a weird few weeks.

About two weeks ago, I was hyper-focused on all things running - I had gone from running 35 miles a week to 50 or more, I had reached out to a local running coach (Coach Jimmy Dean of the SoCal Coyotes, HOOOOWWL!), and I was feeling in excellent shape, both mentally and physically, for the upcoming Coyote Two Moon this March 18th.

Since then, however, I've been feeling distinctly less focused. I've been lingering before training more. I've been staying up a bit later, and saying "Yes," more frequently when my husband asks me if I want to watch a movie, instead of hitting the sheets by 9:30 or 10PM (ok, so I've done this twice. Sue me).

On the other hand, I've been finding myself more focused at work. I've been wondering less what training tips and conversations are being kicked around on running chat boards, and more about how I can be increasingly effective in managing my work responsibilities (Boss, I hope you're reading this).

Hard not hang out with this little guy.. 
And to top it all off, I've been enjoying my kids more. For the past two weekends I've found myself blissfully satisfied with just hanging out with my kids and my husband as we go about our typical weekend routine... nothing out of the ordinary, just grocery shopping, going to Home Depot, stopping by the park and Toys R Us. Ordinary, everyday activities, but ones that have filled my heart and smoothed over the chips and cracks that I had not noticed were lying there. 

Making cupcakes on the weekend with Sevilla
I have felt more restful, more at ease than in previous weeks - but at the same time, my focus with running has been off. And actually, I'm ready to start honing it in again... a tad reluctant to step away from what feels like the warmth of the family's embrace, but ready.

After all, I can always linger close and will no doubt find myself cycling back for my family's comfort as I need them and they need me, for there is no exclusivity; rather, there are only degrees of overlap and of symmetry in these worlds. 

I've come to anticipate that many of my moods and interests - beit towards school, work, "hobbies", sports, and the like - go through cycles like this. I seem to experience periods where I am hyper-focused and goal-oriented for weeks at a time, only to shortly after feel adrift and out-of-touch with what had seemed like such sharp focus.

But, this will happen over the course of many months, not weeks, and I can only assume it is the natural course that happens for all of us as we strive to navigate our way through life; juggling roles and responsibilities two and three at a time, while we also strive to quench our creative, spiritual, competitive, and/or inquisitive urges and tendencies... 

Sevy, Caden, and friends
What a complex and beautiful world we live in.

In my more naive, more confident (er, more out-of-touch) moments I think of myself as "having it all"... and in a way, I do have it all. I have so much that so many do not.

At other times, however, I can only feel the pressure of what can result when one tries to juggle it all... or juggle too much.

But that's ok, because the cycles will work themselves out again, and balance will result... I have faith in this system. So, when the time comes that I feel that hype-focus in running, I will welcome it with open arms, knowing that focus will cycle out again as projects from work mount or my heart yearns for my family's chatter, play, and touch.

I'll find that balance, find that focus, and don't have to worry about pushing it or forcing it too hard to where I think it "should" be... I have faith that I will find it, in the same way that I know I will find myself.

Zach, our kids, and their buddies at the beach. A beautiful evening.

My Dad had a favorite quote, and while I cannot find the exact phrasing or to whom it is credited, I recall it as being thus: "I have the answers I need inside me. I just have to be quiet enough to hear them."

I know I have the answers to where should spend my time; where I need to place my focus. I can trust in that instinct and in my decisions, which are based on my understanding of what is important for myself and also for my family. I just have to be quiet enough to hear them.

At the same time... I'm still darn excited for the Coyote Two Moon. Again, what a complex and beautiful world we live in...

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