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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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Where is Your Focus?

Uploaded: Sep 17, 2022
Readers, please follow along with this exercise:

1. Off the top of your head, jot down the 3-5 immediate answers that popped into your head.
2. Now, look at your calendar and however you track money spent in the last three months, six months, and a year. What are the top 3-5 answers you’ve written down?
3. Compare the two lists. What do you notice? Are they the same? Is there overlap? Are there gaps between list one and list two? How do you feel seeing this?
4. Is there anything you want to change in your life, now that you’ve done this exercise?

Here’s how my lists look today:
1. My newly-retired husband and our life together.
2. Getting settled (unpacking, changing addresses, updating insurance, etc.).
3. Book, book, book (I Do, I Don’t: How to Build a Better Marriage). Writing, my artist, getting everything to my publisher, finding people to write the foreword/afterword, blurbs.
4. Treating my clients with compassion, care, dignity, and a bit of humor.

Three months
1. Moving (and everything related to that).
2. Moving (coordinating with my husband).
3. Moving, and just now, book.
4. Clients.

Six months
1. Time with my husband when he wasn’t at work.
2. Book, book, book.
3. Dealing with migraines.
4. Clients.

One Year
1. Getting healthy (exercise, PT, dealing with migraines, etc.).
2. My husband/my marriage.
3. Seeing a few friends (being an introvert, that’s normal for me).
4. Book, book, book.

List Comparison
What I’m noticing: there’s overlap between what I thought my focus was on and what I actually did focus on. I’m noticing that my health and migraines weren’t on a bunch of my lists. Yet that was a huge focus.

How I Feel
I’m grateful I focused on my health. I’m sad I had to spend so much time and energy on migraines. I’m excited for the next phase of life with my husband, my work, my books, nature adventures, walks with my dog, Bixby, friends and family.

What I Want to Change
This is a transition time for me in several ways: my husband’s retirement; moving into the publishing phase while writing book two; I want to keep focused on maintaining and increasing my health and well-being; adding more fun to my life; hanging out with friends and family.

Readers, I hope this was a useful exercise for you. Please share with us what you learned or noticed.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by ElaineB, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Sep 17, 2022 at 10:10 am

ElaineB is a registered user.

Focus: my volunteer work, my home, my husband, my body (including yoga) and meditation. Money spent: mostly on large gifts to our children, also travel and entertainment (eating out, theatre), as well as medical. I am happy with this. Focus is where I spend time, and Money is where I spend dollars. There is no conflict here for me, as much of my time is spent on things that do not have a monetary component.

Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of JLS Middle School,
on Sep 21, 2022 at 2:26 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Your "list comparison" makes me realize that my "overlap" has been consumed by a higher priority than I ever imagined. In the sh*t happens area of life this is only the second time when I've had to re-prioritize everything due to an unforseen circumstance. The first time, it took a couple of years to get the gears moving again to where I oould complete short and long term goals with a more joyous outcome. Now that I see it happening in another arena, I am taking a cue from that last experience. What did I gain from keeping my nose to the grindstone all those years ago? Well, what I gained was that joy I mentioned. And I don't see that as being the outcome in "Phase II of Sh*t Happens". I'm not willing to give it all of my attention, as I did previously. However, it is affecting the outcome on several levels in a negative way. So this article is food for thought, and I am paying attention. Which is all I can afford at this time :) (inflation!)

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