Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Leaf in focus

In photography, one of the most important skills is figuring out what should be in focus, and what should be background. In a good photograph, that which is not in focus acts as a complement to the subject of the photo. It is important not only to select what to focus on, but also what not to.

So too in parenting, and in life. It took me a long time to realize that I cannot possibly focus on everything at once. In essence, what this leaves me with is nothing in focus. By choosing something to be the immediate recipient of my attention, this necessarily means that other things are not getting my attention. And this is not a bad thing.

In fact, it's quite liberating to say to something that frankly just isn't that important: I cannot focus on you. You are not deserving of the gift of my brain's energy. Your mind is a limited resource. Be stingy.

Today I am traveling with my children. Although there is a mighty to-do list piling up at home, it does me no good to think about that now -- there's nothing I can do about it today. Today I will focus on where we are right now, on the three children with me, on what we need right here, today. How very freeing.

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge, courtesy of SteadyMom.


  1. You are right-the right focus is so freeing! Thanks for this reminder!

  2. Excellent advice for both photography and life!

  3. Lovely. Thank you for sharing that.


  4. I just love your 30 minute post today! Great!!!

  5. I love the connection that you made between photography and parenting! It's neat how a metaphor can make things come into focus. I've been reading about mindful parenting and this fits right in with it. thank you jen from inspiremama.com

  6. Excellent post. I've been thinking a lot about this issue lately but never could have put it so well and so succinctly.

  7. That is great advice. And who doesn't want a little detachment from their "to-do" list. I hope you are enjoying your travels.


  8. If there was a little sign we could wear around our necks to remind us of this at all times...that would be great. Hope you enjoyed your outing.


  9. You're so right...it's always a good reminder!!!