Saturday, September 15, 2012


This week's Friday Five word was Focus. I had trouble focusing this week. As evidenced by the miscellaneous piles mounded on my desk. Too many projects going at once. Starting too many new projects. Scrambling to finish old projects so I can move on to the new projects. A mountain of library books to read. I realized something, they are all non-fiction: gardening, dog training, cookbooks, writing skills, motivational, home decorating, local hikes. No wonder I am having trouble reading them all. When I read that word, "focus," my first thought was the eye of a fly. You've seen them, I'm sure, magnified pictures of the eyeball of a fly with its thousands of mini-eyes looking everywhere. Which is why it is so hard to smash them with a fly swatter. See, even my writing is all over the place this week, attempting to look everywhere at once.

What to do about it? How to focus in on what I should be doing?

Start with the basics. These people, this house, this home. Cooking, cleaning, home teaching. Time with each individual. That pretty much fills my days.

I wrote before about the Pomodoro Technique. A method of short, timed, concentrated efforts. These are great, especially for those nagging jobs I just don't ever seem to get around to doing. Set the timer, focus for twenty-five minutes, get it done. Easy. Simple. But it takes the effort to set the timer and focus. It helps, knowing it is a short time. Okay, I'll give this twenty-five minutes. That's all. Makes if feel less overwhelming. More possible. There is a website, free information, lots of terrific ideas for help with priorities.

Last weekend, I filled a raised bed, planted seeds, moved two tomato plants and a nasturtium from pots. Here is the latest, today, my tiny lettuce seeds sprouting up. Still may be too late in the season to get away with producing anything from my small garden, but I am having fun - a race with the season.

My three favorite gardening books are:
Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew
Passionate Gardening, Good Advice For Challenging Climates, by Lauren Springer and Rob Proctor
and a new favorite (one of my many current library books) Gardening on a Shoestring, by Rob Proctor.
Do you have favorite gardening books?

Focus. An art. A skill. Like any art or skill, it takes practice, technique, learning, failure, attempts again. Over and over. Re-focus.


  1. I like that 25 minute idea. As I'm reading these focus posts, I'm seeing a common theme: we all struggle with focusing!!

  2. I have so many undone projects! I can relate. And with fall approaching I feel like I need to get everything cleaned up from summer. I'm going to get out the timer and try that 25 minutes plan... and it probably wouldn't hurt to read up a bit on that Pomodoro Technique!

  3. Thanks for that tip - I've heard before but not tried - setting the timer. Good reminder! I'll have to give that a try!

    1. I do recommend the Pomodoro website. Lots of good food for thought. Glad to have you visit - thanks!