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This blog has been modified and moved! Please visit me at www.ediblepsychology.com.

January 22, 2012

Hello!

As you can tell, I haven’t written on this blog in a very long time. I found that, ironically, Choose Your Focus lacked focus in terms of what I was writing about. I didn’t necessarily want to write about everything that happened, and my thoughts, each and every day. However, I loved writing. So………..I developed Edible Psychology, where I write about some of the same things I wrote about heres, but the majority of my posts are about either food or psychology, two areas which I am passionate about, plus bits and pieces of my own life and my personal thoughts and challenges.

Thank you for finding Choose Your Focus, and I hope you will come visit me at my new blog, which I update very regularly (nearly every day at the moment):

Edible Psychology

Best Wishes,

~Emily~

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Slug in the sky

November 12, 2010

Well, it’s been nearly two months since I wrote on here. The truth is, one of the main reasons I started this blog was to have an outlet and to try to keep my priorities straight while finishing my PhD.  However, in spite of my best efforts, I have allowed the PhD to consume me lately and I am just now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel – and oh what a sweet sight it is!!! This PhD has been really difficult for me for a range of different reasons which have changed as I’ve gone along. Initially, the work was fine but I had moved away from my family, my friends, and everyone and everything I knew and loved, and so in spite of enjoying all of the new experiences, I was incredibly homesick. As the PhD progressed, I settled into my new life and although I still missed everyone back home like crazy, I have had an amazing experience, met amazing friends, and met the man of my dreams. However, the PhD itself turned out to be an incredible stress and an incredible trial for me. For the first time in my life, I felt that even if I worked as hard as I could, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what was asked of me. It drove me to despair at times and led to many sleepless nights, tummy aches, tears, etc. However, I am hoping to submit the written portion of my thesis one week from today and I am starting to realize what a great accomplishment it has been for me on both an academic level and also a personal level. I’m not recommending rushing out and signing up for a PhD by any means and I couldn’t even say yet whether it has been worth the agony I’ve gone through but I have to admit that it feels good to accomplish something which has been such an incredible, long-term challenge. It’s not over yet but I’m in the home stretch and I’m sprinting for the finish line as fast as I can!

These picture were the inspiration for the title of this post – I took them a few weeks ago on a day when I was working from home. The slug climbed up our door over the course of an entire day. I loved the image of the slug up against the reflection of the blue sky and clouds after it worked so hard to get there. Sometimes when I needed some inspiration I pictured the slug inching its way up the door at a similar pace to the pace I felt I was progressing in my Phd! I figured if the slug could do it, so could I – and I’m nearly there now!

Until next time,

~Emily~

Vision without sight: Lessons from my amazing not-so-little brother.

September 15, 2010

My younger brother is now 21 years old. He is amazing. He was born almost four months early and first he beat all the odds in terms of surviving, and then in terms of his health and his development as a baby and toddler. Now he is the most amazing young man – he is an incredible athlete, he is sooo smart, he is so strong and handsome, but more than anything, he is the kindest, most genuine person I have ever met and I am soooooo proud to be his big sister.

For the most part, my brother’s prematurity has not stood in his way in life. He has not just overcome the obstacles that have come up along the way, he has flown over the obstacles without so much as glancing down to see that anything could ever have stood in his way. At the moment, he is experiencing something which to me, sounds very unpleaseant and scary and I would view as a major obstacle… An eye surgery he had when he was born somehow left his eyes vulnerable to internal bleeding and, when it occurs, it obstructs his vision.  Luckily, this has only happened one other time for him and it was many years ago. His vision is normally very good – it’s not perfect but glasses and contacts don’t help him so he doesn’t wear any, and he can still drive a car,  play sports, read, see the tv, etc.  Anyway, his right eye is normally his better eye, but last Friday he realized he couldn’t see out of his right eye very well at all. He went to the emergency room (on a bus, what a crazy – and apparently very poor – college student!). After spending several hours there and having the doctors determine that it was this bleeding caused by the surgery, he went home. I talked to him the next day. He was up-beat and said his vision was clearing slightly, and he said it had been interesting to see what it felt like to lose your vision. He said he couldn’t see the face of the doctor (or the person sitting next to him) very well at all when he went to the emergency room, and even with both eyes, couldn’t read the top letter on the eye chart. “Interesting”, he called it..I’m not sure I would have such a good attitude.

I just want to highlight my brother as a case where losing his vision did not cause him to lose his focus on what was important – he was on a bus on his own with very little sense of sight in a city he doesn’t know very well thinking about what life would be like for people who have permanently lost their vision. And the next day when I talked to him he was thinking about making a nice dinner for our brother and sister-in-law who he was so excited to see rather than worrying about his vision which was out of his control.

I am so proud of my brother, and I know that if I want to learn how to focus on the important things in life, I should really take some lessons from him!

September 11th – a day of reflection.

September 11, 2010

It seems strange to write my first post on September 11th. I am currently sitting on my couch and watching the ceremonies which are being held in New York and other parts of the US. It is a very sad day for so many – a day when so many lives ended and so many others were changed forever. As I watch the ceremonies I am incredibly moved by the angiush evident on the faces and in the voices of family and friends of the victims. I am touched by their incredible pain and I can’t help imagining what the past nine years have been like for them. However, I find myself smiling through my tears. I am struck by the joy and pride each person seems to feel in remembering their loved ones, and it makes me realize how precious each day is.

I woke up this morning feeling stressed out about laundry, cleaning, PhD work, and filling out job applications. All of these things need to be done, I know it is normal to get stressed out in life, and I know I will get stressed out about unimportant things again. I don’t want to ignore those responsibilities and I don’t want to ignore my feelings, but I definitely don’t want to let the mundane details of life cloud my view of all of the wonderful things I do have in my life (whether the laundry gets done or not) – I have the most amazing family, boyfriend, and friends anyone could ever ask for, and these are the things I want to focus on.

Today is another reminder to me of why I want to change my focus, and the fact that sometimes this needs to be a conscious choice. This blog is about my quest to do just that. I have no idea who will read this blog but I hope that eventually, by being open about my own struggles and my triumphs, no matter how big or small they may be, someone else will be able to identify with some of my experiences, and I hope that it may help someone to begin their own journey toward happiness through choosing the parts of life they want to focus their attention toward.