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Black Balsam Family Session: Focus. Focus. Focus…Squirrel


Why is it so difficult to juggle life?  Having two kiddos now, I am definitely feeling the constant push and pull of life and am left trying to prioritize what is most important.  It’s easy to get swept up in the day to day and not even really pay attention to the life that is happening around me.  I call this the drifting phase and if I am not careful I find myself just drifting in the daily activities, bouncing from email, to social media, to entertaining articles online, to anything that I know will distract me and give me comfort.  So what am I lacking and why am I so easily enchanted by all the noise that is going on around me?  The noise is attractive, but it doesn’t get me anywhere.  What I lack is focus.  Focusing on making choices for your life helps prevent you from drifting throughout the day.  Katie and I both just lost a good bit of weight by actually focusing on our diets, watching our calorie intake, exercising, and encouraging each other.  I would say the two biggest things I need in my life in order to be happy and successful are focus and a good support system.


It can be so easy to just check out for the few hours in the evening that we get with both our girls while the whole family are together.  It’s easy to let Afton play in her play room while I read the latest Game of Thrones fan theories.  What takes actual work (which is really sad) is for me to set the phone down, clear my mind of all the stuff going on in my life and to be present with my family.  To go in and have a tea party with Afton, or to help in the kitchen so Katie can spend some time with Isla.  Early on, I trained myself to reply, “YES,” to Afton any time she asks me to do something with her.  I do not want to live with the regret that I tell her, “in just a minute,” and that minute never comes.  Our kids won’t be young forever and we have got to enjoy the time we have with them now, even with all their quirks, annoyances, and frustrations.  Otherwise, what was the point in having children?  Our phones have us trained to automate tasks without even realizing we are doing anything.  Sometimes the act of just shutting it off, putting it out of site, or giving it to your spouse to put away can be quite liberating.

Support System:

I need people to help remind me of what’s important and to help me assess if things are going well.  Katie and I have had to sit down recently and have numerous talks which I call “visits.”  I’ll say in my best effeminate voice, “Do you want to visit?”  It’s my goofy way of saying to Katie, “We need to connect, because if we don’t, I am going to watch wrestling and you are going to get on Facebook and our marriage and family are going to suck.”  What is the point if we are constantly looking in on other people’s lives and not really living our own?  Why do you think so many people are unhappy?  We are constantly comparing ourselves with others and trading real meaningful relationships and communication for a cheap imitation.  Make sure you have people in your life that can call you out when your being an uninvolved drifting douche.

I posted this post of this wonderful family, because I could tell within minutes of being with them that they are intentional about spending time with each other and they are not just drifting through life letting life happen to them.  They are making focused choices to be present in their children’s lives.  This is paramount if you want your family to be happy, rather than to seem happy.


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