Tuesday, September 8, 2009


In my next life I want to be a camera.

Cameras are full of memories. Well, so am I, so that can't be the reason. What is it then? I know. It's because cameras only need to focus on one thing at a time.  No need to juggle this flower with that child on a swing, or with the car racing over the finish line, or with the dog chasing a butterfly. A camera takes one picture at a time. If a picture isn't perfect, it's placed on photoshop and worked with until it is exactly right....one photo at a time.

I want to be able to truly focus on ONE thing until the reason for my focus has been caught and completed. I want the time to see the measure of it's character, capture it, be able to hold it in my hands until I'm ready to put it down. I want to work with it until I've accomplished exactly what I wanted to with it, and then move on to the next venture.

As it is I am constantly trying to focus on my husbands desire for dinner or help in the pasture, with a client's need to be called with a counteroffer, with my daughter's need to have me send her a recipe, with my youngest son's need for me to talk via e-mail with him about where he should work next year, with my oldest son wanting help with painting and decorating his bathroom, with my neice needing to cry over her boy's drug related incarceration, with the church wanting me to visit the woman three blocks down the road, with another client wanting to be shown property this afternoon, with yet another client wanting to buy the same home that I just sold, with a good friend needing someone to tend her dog and water her plants. I tend to lose focus and after a while everything becomes blurred.

I know, I know. Prioritize. Take things one at a time. Easy to say... not so easy to do. How do you tell a child, or a friend, or the love of your life...or, yes, even a client who is trying to build foundations under his dreams, to take a number? How do you really focus on and feel the essence of each moment when your mind is spiraling in seventeen directions?

But a camera? It's whole purpose is to concentrate on only one thing at a time. Yeah, I want to be a camera.

(The good news is, I got some of the angst off my chest and I feel much better now)


Cheryl /Ashton said...

Very nice post. Just what I need in this time of great change/upheaval in my life. Thank you!

Brenda Leyland said...

Caryn, You hit that topic on the noggin! And I liked your angle!!

What really helped me in this area of focus and not getting overwhelmed was something Mother Teresa once said. And I took it to heart because I figured she of all people, who came across hundreds of needy, needy people on any given day, must have had to deal with the looming largeness of the task.

She said, Don't worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and help the one nearest you.

Then I heard Heidi Baker, a woman who works with thousands of orphan children in an African country, say something similar.

The person I am talking to, standing in front of is the person I focus all my love on in that moment. Not on the person I need to deal with in 15 minutes.

It might not answer all the angles, but I took comfort in the fact that if these two awesome women figured it, surely it would work for me in my little circle too. And it has!

Lin said...

Welcome back to blogging. Where are you when your blogging audience is awaiting, you are trying to become a camera? LOL!!! Well, I never. Seriously I felt the same way last night and so I took a moment to write down my concerns.

It took the form of clustering in circles-family, writing, health (ME), and teaching-all things I'm worried about or working on currently. Then I listed other miscellaneous things that wanted in-photography, DUP, rock art, ipod and decided they would have to wait or fit into some of my current clusters. Just writing down all those demands on my time and energy helped me feel more in control THEN I TOOK A NAP.

We can't do it all. FOCUS is what it's all about and PRAYER to know what is most urgent or important in our lives to focus on NOW.

Kay said...

You do always come up with the most incredible posts that are worth waiting for.

I see your difficulty but that difficulty arises from everyone needing you and loving you.

It's kind of nice... the way I see it.

Chandi said...

You'll have to be a fast action camera. The kinds that takes umpteen pictures in one minute. They are still just focusing on one thing at a time..........just very quickly. Guess that is what life is.

Since Dad is your eternal companion I guess he should come first :) I should definitly come second. ha ha ha

Deborah Godin said...

Great comparison - life and the camera. That's one I'm going to file away and remember when things pile up!

dellgirl said...

What an interesting and well thought out post, makes me go..."yea, yea, that's it!"

Glad we're here for you to "get that off your chest". I feel exactly the same. Whenever I am forced to multi-task, I get very agitated. Something inside reacts. I don't work well under those conditions. Hubby and I have had many discussions about it because he wants to hurry hurry. I can't (better yet, I refuse to) if I am expected to do the job well.

Somehow in the midst of his hurry hurry need for quickness and multiplicity, I manage to do it in my own..."one thing at a time" fashion.

Thanks for your insight on this, I love it!

SandyCarlson said...

OK. Me too. And I want to be my Canon with the supermacro that can discipline itself to get way inside the object of its focus. And make the rest go away.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

That was cute and very clever. I'm glad it made you feel better (that's what blogging is all about, ain't it?). Hey, and another good reason to be a camera: one can remember exactly everything that happened at that moment. :)

The Stott's said...

I love how you describe things. You help me learn something new about myself almost every time I read one of your posts.

I'll have to tell Thad to read this one. You know how much he loves photography!

We can't wait for Christmas this year. We miss you all so very much.

Linda Reeder said...

Well, as usual, Kay said it for me. What I saw half way through your cleansing exercise was the repeated word "needed" or "needing". I have the luxury frequently of focusing on one thing at a time, but that's because those who would need me and love me are too far away. That creates a different kind of longing.

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh I loved this post--your first sentence got me and you explained it perfectly! If we could only focus on one thing at a time!

Mare said...

The key is...selective abondonment. That is picking out the stressors that can be left in the background for a bit while you go after the ones you know in your heart matter the most. But you probably knew that!!
Reminds me of the phrase..."If you want something done, ask a busy woman!"
And that's you! Also, a very funny one too!
And very, very good at expressing insightful topics into words.

MoonOverSangha said...

My mommy is so smart. I do always enjoy reading your posts, even if I don't always comment on them. And Chandi can come second. I know she is much more needy. Although, I would like to talk to you about what I should do next, and more importantly, where I should be doing it.

dellgirl said...

Hi, Caryn. I'm just popping in to say have a wonderful week, wanted to stop by to see how you are doing and wish you a happy week.

dellgirl said...

Hey, Caryn. Just stopping in to see what's new.

I hope you're having fun whatever you're doing. Have a good week.

Janie B said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Hope you come back soon.

I like that idea of focus. Hmmm...a camera in the next life. Might be a good idea.

SandyCarlson said...

I am glad you feel better. I do, too, after reading this. I'm thinking that our society makes a virtue of multi-tasking even though it really is an affliction. The idea of choosing the subject on which to focus, of not being swept into a vortex of demands and dreams of others, is enticing.

Mare said...

The camera needs a rest, and we, your fellow bloggers want to know how you are!! Miss your posts. Hope you are having a grand time and all's well.