The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

Monday Musings: Focus

on October 14, 2013

I’m a person with a ton of focus.  Give me a project, and I buckle down and get things done.  Distractions?  No way!  The only way I get distracted is if it meets two criteria: 1) I don’t have to do it; and 2) I don’t want to do it.  And let’s face it, in life you either really want to do something or have to do something.  There is rarely any in between.  So usually when I have something I’m working on, I become like my husband watching Michigan football.  An earthquake can not turn my attention away from what I’m doing!

This focus is good, but it has its bad points as well.  Besides annoying my husband by tuning him out when I’m doing something else, I can become focused on the wrong thing.  Usually people call this type of focus obsession or overanalyzing.  But really, it’s focusing.  It’s just focusing on something negative.  And it’s definitely the negative side of my focus driven personality.

This weekend I was fighting this negative focus.  I had plans and fun things that I wanted to do.  The hubby was away with some of his buddies, so I got the home to myself for the weekend.  I could cook the foods he doesn’t eat (mac & cheese, veggies for dinner with no meat (gasp!) and lentils), have full control of the remote, go to bed early, and really just guide my own schedule.  I love my husband and miss him when he’s away, but let’s face it, we all love a little alone time.

And darn it if something negative didn’t pop into my head and that was all I could focus on.  I tried to clear my mind and talk myself out of the negative focus.  “I can’t let these things steal my joy.  I must go on with my life and be happy.  I can’t make it a problem because right now it’s not, but I’m just afraid it’s a problem.”  Sometimes these pep talks worked and other times they didn’t.  I hated that I missed out on some of my special alone time.  I ended up microwaving dinners, not sleeping well and generally just trying to keep myself out of a frenzy.

I need to find some new stress relievers and focus diversions.  My go-to is always exercise, but once I stop exercising the bad focus comes back.  And since I can’t exercise all day, I need other sources.  I think this week I’m going to be mindful of what activities I really enjoy and can lose myself in — that way I can employ these techniques when I need a break from my too-much-focus personality.



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