2019 Focus

Just Breathe - coloring page
This is from an adult coloring book. Notice how much is not colored in… because I haven’t had time. So the message on the page and the coloring both seem apropos.

So I guess the thing this year is to declare your “focus word” for 2019. At first, I just saw a post on social media from a friend about that idea and thought, that’s nice. Then I started seeing it everywhere and realized it was “a thing.” Part of me wants to rebel against it because of the ubiquity with which it has shown up, but when I read my friend’s initial post something popped into my head immediately, so I’m sticking with it.

My focus word for 2019: Breathe

Yes, there is a part of me that literally means take a breath, get some air into the lungs, take in oxygen. I am really bad at breathing lately. Literally, I am always gasping for air. I think it’s all due to stress. I went to the doctor about 6 months ago about this and they did chest x-rays which didn’t show anything. My asthma inhalers don’t do anything to help. But if I use the breathe app on my Apple Watch, I can actually get air in during that moment. So my self-diagnosis (which seems more valuable than actual legitimate medical care these days, which frequently just feels like a waste of time/money) is that it’s stress.

I purchased a year’s subscription to Headspace. Between that and my Watch, I should be able to breathe for 10 minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day. And I sleep for 6ish hours, I can breathe when I’m sleeping. It’s all those other hours of the day that I need to deal with.

I’m worn out, run down, and overall unhappy. And I need to learn to live in the moments of my life, the life that I have now, and stop thinking about all the FOMO moments and way things used to be. Stop, take a breath, and appreciate or remember the moment. Even if the moment is my kid complaining about not liking certain food I’ve prepared for dinner.

Here’s the honest truth, when I started running I really got into it because it helped me feel connected to my community and it gave me opportunities to meet other people. I had an activity to do during the long hours I was alone since my husband worked long hours as a CPA January-May and he watches way too much college football in the fall.

But then we had a kid. And somebody needs to watch her while my husband works long hours as a CPA January-May and watches too much college football in the fall. I really don’t want to run on the treadmill for 2 hours while taking care of her because that means I have to answer a lot of kid questions while running and watch kids shows. So if I have to workout at home with her around, I usually max out at 30 minutes of exercise. And it’s still usually very interrupted.

So my workouts are very time constrained compared to the past. And even though I ache to do more distance, evidently in my heart the time with my kid is more of a priority because that always wins out for me. Acknowledging that is a step toward a more accepting and peaceful place.

So… breathe. And hopefully, that will lead me to a little more centering. And that will lead me to better health and better goals and better accomplishments.


  1. Breathe is a great word to define your year. I need to do this too! I recently got divorced and have been having a hard time just doing this. We will get through. Things will get better. Hugs to you!

    • Hugs to you too! Divorce is a huge change and definitely warrants some “breathing” and/or just surviving the days. Sometimes, that’s just what you have to do! 🙂

  2. Sometimes when I’m worn out or overwhelmed, I need to remember to take a moment out to breathe and live in the moment. It can give you a new perspective and renewed focus.

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