Focus on the Important Things

Last week I hung out with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. We got to talking about relationships and stuff, and he mentioned how I always seem to date guys who don’t treat me right and end up angry, to which I replied something to the effect of, “yeah, but one day we’ll catch up and I’ll say I finally found someone great!”

My friend shook his head, laughed, and said, “I’m hoping that one day we’ll talk and you’ll not mention a guy at all. You’ll tell me you’re doing good, working on your book, loving your job, and made some new friends.”

Until he said this, it never really occurred to me how badly I always seem to want a boyfriend. It’s not that I go out looking for them, I guess it’s just easier… when I’m dating someone I talk to them all the time about everything, and don’t have to worry about scheduling time together because it’s just understood that we will see each other every weekend.

With friends, I feel like I’m constantly reaching out, trying to coordinate schedules, find a place we both like to eat, or a movie we can agree on seeing, and for some reason I’m always the one doing the planning and it makes me feel like I’m annoying them.

But my friend is right – I’ve been too focused on being alone and being sad about it that I haven’t been focusing on things like my book.

I’m 23 now, and I feel like everyone around me is getting engaged, but the reality is some people are still going out partying every night, some are still trying to find their first full time post-college job, others are working, but still searching for meaning, like me, and others seem to have everything together and have already moved to the next phase of life – marriage, kids, etc. I just have to remember that all of these categories exist, not just the last one.

I reactivated my Facebook a couple of weeks ago, although I was planning to stay off of it for a year, I needed it as a communication tool since I’m now the president of my sorority’s alumnae association. A lot of people are more easily reached by Facebook than email. However, I want to note what a difference the 3 months without it made. I did not reinstall the Facebook app on my phone, I only access it from my computer, and the urge to check it frequently is completely gone. I probably get on Facebook once a week, I check my messages and post in the sorority group, and I get right off. I’m not scrolling through my feed for hours looking at other people’s lives like I used to, and it feels so good.

I had a really great conversation with my dad yesterday during breakfast. For the first time in a while it was just the two of us, and the conversation wasn’t awkward or abrupt, it wasn’t angry or uncomfortable, and it lasted a while. We talked about the bible and work and life, and I feel like he really listened to me and understood where I was coming from, and I understood his perspective as well and really appreciated the examples he provided from his own life.

These are the important things – the conversation with my dad, my ability to get on and off Facebook in less than 10 minutes without comparing my life to someone else – these are things I wanted to improve on that I have improved on, and these are the things I need to focus on.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Maybe things aren’t happening as fast as you’d like them to, but that’s okay. I wanted to be past chapter 10 of writing my book by now, but I’m not. I’ve gotten distracted, I’ve wasted a lot of time sleeping in or stressing about other things – but I’m not going to let that setback stop me. I’m going to make new deadlines for April, and work harder to follow those.

If you’re setting goals and having a hard time reaching them, take a step back and write down all of the things that you have reached. They don’t have to be big. Maybe you slept in 6 days this week instead of 7. Maybe you refrained from online shopping. Maybe you got out of your comfort zone by trying a new food or reached out to someone you really miss for the 3rd time hoping they’ll finally respond and connect with you.

Setbacks are okay. They happen. We all fall short at times. But we have the power to get back up and to start again.

Just stay focused on the important things.

You’re exactly where you need to be.

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