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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

... Focus


And all of a sudden it's 2017. I'm not exactly ready for 2017 yet - been languishing under a patchwork quilt of aloe vera tissues and paracetamol blister packs, which have become a feature of Christmasses lately. Feature of life in general lately, 3 kids, 3 different schools, maximum calculated germ pool of somewhere in the region of 2,400 children all exchanging germs with maybe 4,800 parents... all at the same time... throw in an average of one sibling, a well meaning Auntie and a doting Granada per fam and you're looking at maybe 14,000 potential infectors....

Somewhere after Boxing Day I ran out of Agatha Christies and stalked a few folks on Facebook until my eyes were too sore - wound up lying in bed staring at the ceiling.

Nothing like enforced reflection round about this time of year and so I gave in and played along - I chose a word. Been watching people on FB do this for a few years now, didn't really give it much credence until last year when I dallied with the idea of 'Simplify'. I didn't really carry it through as well as I might have, but I mulled it over and thought that maybe perhaps it wasn't a bad thing to have a guiding idea of sorts.

This year I'm thinking I like the sound of 'Focus'. I have a ton of trouble focusing - I want to do everything. All the time. I have a million ideas, there's a million directions I want to go in and I feel all creative and arty, but I often find that I don't exactly end up where I thought I would so I'm thinking Focus could be useful.

Take this picture - it's Ross Castle in Killarney, County Kerry Ireland. I have a long association in my head with Ross Castle. When I was small, maybe 8 or 9, we had a set of encyclopaedia at home. It was a complete set, you know the type, one volume per letter of the alphabet. I spent years poring over those books, soaking up bits of miscellaneous information. One of the articles I remember most was a few pages in the 'I' volume. Ireland. I knew the encyclopaedia were produced in USA and I was curious about what they had to say about Ireland, where I lived. The opening paragraph text was ranged around a small photograph of a man driving a horse and cart past an ancient castle ruin, overgrown with ivy. It was an evening shot and the image was all shades of inky blue splashed with gold. There was a light on in a castle window and the cart carried a lamp.

There was no caption to the photo and I had no way of knowing where the castle was. The article about Ireland spoke of a land filled with castle ruins and I suppose the editors felt that the image was generic enough not to need a caption. It was an image that I looked at a thousand times or more and I felt very drawn to it. I developed an interest in things historical and a fascination with Castles. As years went by I visited many of the castles in Ireland. I finally made it to county Kerry and even though Ross Castle had been restored and cleaned up I knew instantly it was the castle from the picture. I prefer the image of it that I have in my mind, the old darkened ivy crawling over the walls, the wooden cartwheels and the lamp light. I often thought that in a parallel universe I might have been an archaeologist or a historian, but I expended a lot of energy daydreaming and wandering around looking at castles instead of making up my mind to study history properly. I kind of went with the flow and followed a skill that I had - and that has been very interesting, but I am thinking that maybe it's time to pin down a few goals for myself and aim for something specific instead of floating along on a slip stream.

First thing I'm focusing on this year is making stamping videos, you have been warned, lol. I have never produced a video before and I'm expecting a few stinkers to begin with, but it's first on my list and I've cleared the desk!

So what are you focusing on this year? I'd love to hear.


14 comments:

  1. I'm going to start entering card making challenges. Good luck with your video!!

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    1. cheers Marci! Good luck with your challenges!

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  2. "Focus" is good Claire. We all need to focus on something-I'm going to tidy the office and all the paperwork at home and take more "me-time"!
    I'll look forward to seeing your videos, I know you have been avoiding them for years!!! Hope you get clear of all the germs and have a great 2017.

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    1. lol, and I'll focus on finding those receipts...

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  3. I'm focusing on simplifying. I wan't more of a lot of things but certainly don't need it!
    I'm looking forward to seeing your videos, Claire!! You are one of my favorites!!

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    1. Ah hugs Lori, I sure hope I can do this, I'm a lurker rather than a performer, it's way out of my comfort zone!! I hear you, just spent two days clearing the craft room.....

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  4. Mine is 'believe ' Claire, I believe I can do it do I will! Stay focused in 2017❤

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    1. oh that's a good one!!! I might 'borrow' that one too! Ta for popping in!

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  5. I LOVE the idea of you making videos! Let's do this! <3

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  6. A fellow encyclopedia reader! :) So looking forward to seeing your videos, Clarie!

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  7. Great word for the future. I need to quit procrastinating and get busy as well and focus on new things this new year. And, I relate to the sniffles and coughing episodes as I have been having much the same symptoms. We all caught it over the Christmas holidays including all the guests except the ones I think brought it in. LOL Hope you are well on the way to feeling better soon. I am almost there now too!

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  8. Loved hearing your story Claire, especially about what the US thinks of Ireland. I'm thrilled you found your castle! My focus is on TODAY. Tomorrow is not promised~I try to remember that. Sickies here too~praying for a quick recovery in your house!

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  9. loved your thoughts Claire: and I don't envy you and that germ pool!! Been there, done that! Have your little kiddos wash their hands when they get home: that was a big game changer in our house!! I got tired of them always being sick! Things are so much better now that they are young adults!! :-) And I can't believe that someone else spent hours and hours pouring over the encyclopedias when they were young!! We didn't have a TV for many years, so that was my entertainment when we couldn't get outside to play. My favorite book was "S": snowflakes (magnified in the photos) and shells (so many beautiful ones). And I like your word: I need to take that one up and focus: have to pay bills today, and there are so many other fun, distracting things I'd rather do! :-) Hugs, H

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