I have a full life. At 33 I am a fulltime PhD student, part time art education instructor, mother of three (2.5 year old twins and an 11 month old), with a body that is currently carrying a second set of twins—due early March 2015. My husband is about to complete his doctoral degree, works as a pastor/activist, and has so far managed to publish 5 books at the ripe old age of 31. We do stuff. A lot of stuff.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. But, this last year I read a Facebook post where a friend shared the idea of claiming focus in lieu of busyness. We humans love to say, “I’m so busy!” Often in my own head I think, “I have so much to do!”--and I feel my being cave under the pressure of this admission. After reading my friend’s post, I realized that claiming focus might be the simple shift I need to avoid the perceived crumbling of my world (which, by the way has never actually happened!)
During this semester, I have committed to claiming focus. When I start to feel behind, or short on time, I say, “It’s ok, I’m focused!” This is an acknowledgment that I am doing the best I can do, and that I have a lot of control over the stress I allow into my body. When I am with my children I pour my focus into them—we read, we sing, we make, we kiss. When I have to take the trash out, I focus on nature—the frog that always seems to cross my path, the curiously shaped double acorn lying on the asphalt. When a deadline is eminent, I light a candle, sit confidently at my computer and focus on the material and my own intellectual crafting of the ideas I engage. When it is time for bed, I focus on my body—do some simple yoga and climb into bed. As I lay in bed, I drape my hand across my belly and focus my touch on the form of tiny bodies as they lay and kick beneath the surface of my skin.
At times I fail and get lost in the nonsensical worry and bustle of everyday life. But, I can always come back to focus. It is always there for my taking—only one conscious grasp away—a strong affirmation of the Divinity that lies within all things (even me).
Emily Jean Hood
Image credit: Marianne Joy Photography. Emily Jean Hood with her husband Reverend Jeff Hood