A few months ago, I dropped my camera. Fortunately, the camera was still working but the lens did not focus as sharply as it had before. Taking pictures lost its fun, as I would post and notice that everything was blurry around the edges. Anyone as nearsighted as I am knows the unsettled feeling of not being able to see the world clearly. I still remember the day in fifth grade that I got glasses; the interesting thing about not seeing is that with no frame of reference you have no idea that you can’t see. Driving home from the eye doctor with those new multi-colored glamour frames was both unsettling and eye-opening. The world suddenly looked clearer, brighter and sharper (even though I looked nerdier). My most reoccurring dream/nightmare has revolved around not being able to find my glasses or needing to put my contacts in and not having the time or solution to get them in before I am forced to leave the house! (And, my second is dropping my camera again—remember the strap!)


Perhaps, this is why I find it unsettling when other areas of my life have been blurred around the edges or when I feel like I cannot bring complicated concepts into focus. Recently, I have replaced the lens on my camera and photography has once again become joyful. I have also found new lenses to help me bring into focus many of the deep questions that I have pondered for so long. I am finding peace and joy as I enter the second phase of what Carl Jung popularized as the two halves of life. While the first is dedicated to security, success and certainty the second is “more magical, less predictable, more autonomous, less controllable, more varied, less simple, more infinite, less knowable, more wonderfully troubling than we could imagined being able to tolerate when we were young.”—James Hollis

 It is a paradox that while I now have to search the house for “readers” to see the words in my scriptures and other great books—when I do begin to read they are so much more in focus and clear. I am seeing with clarity a prodigal God and learning to love wastefully, relish useless beauty and appreciate the simple pleasures of a bike ride or cup of coffee with a neighbor. I am often embarrassed by our license plate, a hand-me-down from Steve, as I drive around town, half the time too “SCATTERED” to remember where I am headed, but in the quiet of my office and heart it conveys exactly how I feel —

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4 Responses to FOCUSED

  1. Jessica Gregory says:

    Maybe this is why I really like to be around ladies in their second phase of life lately. I always learn from their wisdom and they are more willing to go with the flow instead of stick to strict schedules. What is the name of the book written by the 80 year old? I am going to find the library this week for sure.

  2. sullivanh says:

    Your focus seems a little paradoxical in some ways. I like it. I like the camera analogy to clear explain it, focusing as in making a bigger picture clear rather than focusing like a laser beam.

  3. ColleenDown says:

    You can’t live the second phase unless you first make a container in the first phase–you are doing a great job–so stick with Kellie Hampton and all the wonderful young women who inspire you to be all you can be right now!

  4. ColleenDown says:

    Heather, at this phase of life I am all about the wide-angle, laser beam focus has never really described my life 🙂

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