Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Freedom to Focus

It’s February, the month of love. I spent time the last few weeks, figuring out how to surprise my wife on Valentines day. I focused and thought about surprising her each day. My idea of surprising her kept her in my thoughts. Each time I thought about the type of surprise I was going to pull off, I simultaneously thought about her smile, the way she laughs at my dumb jokes. And you know what happened because of that increased focus on her? That focus on her translated into a deeper appreciation and love for her. The last time I focused that much on her was probably when I was thinking about proposing. (As embarrassing as that sounds)
We’ve been married almost 8 years and I’m just figuring that if I make a continuous conscious effort to make my wife happy, that my love for her will grow and our marriage improves. Weird how that happens isn’t it?
Working full time with two part time jobs, and with two young kids, it’s easy to take focus off of marriage. What helps are the date nights, which are opportunities to re-adjust your focus. If date night is on Friday night, you build anticipation for date night. The chance to see her dressed up, rather than in sweats, to have a conversation without a child interrupting, “Dad – I gotta go to the bathroom” is sometimes all you need to get your marriage back into perspective.
Then, it occurred to me - if I spent time focusing on loving my wife, what would happen if I spent more time focusing on other areas of my life that I love? What if I focused on improving the areas of work that I enjoy? What if I focused on my children, would those areas of my life improve too? Would I find joy?
The significant aspects of our life constantly change – aspects like marriages, work, and children can change on a weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly basis. It is the ability to re-examine, to refocus, in those significant areas and keeping them clear that help you prioritize life. You can look at the moon through the telescope, but if you don’t adjust and move the telescope, the moon quickly goes out of view.
It’s the same thing with life, keep the important areas in focus, otherwise they go out of view.
The further they go out of view, the harder it is to bring them back into focus.