This Week's Newsletter is Sponsored by the Letter F
It's February, after all.
In honor of February, What I’d Rather Be Talking About is an F word that I say to myself multiple times a day.
(C’mon, this is a family show.)
And while you can bet your bottom dollar I use the other F word many times a day, the ability to FOCUS is on deck today.
Because I have trouble focusing.
(This is no newsflash to my husband, family, or friends.)
And while my problem is partly due to the way my brain is wired, my lack of attention isn’t entirely my fault, and I’m positive I’m not the only one with this problem.
In fact, I think many of us have trouble focusing at least some of the time.
How can we not?
So many things compete for our attention, starting with the screen you’re staring at.
Let’s face it - life in 2023 makes focusing a bit tricky. From our devices to our vices, there are countless things that mess with our ability to focus.
So, this week What I’d Rather Be Talking About is being more focused.
On that note, let’s get to it.
IN MY EARS & ON MY SCREEN
First, let’s dispel a myth. Focus doesn’t always translate to working intensely. Sometimes it means doing nothing, and creating space - to breathe, rest, recuperate, and let ideas percolate, become objective, and get creative. When we have this space, everything changes and we give ourselves time to breathe and focus. That’s what author Juliet Funt writes about in her book A Minute to Think, which she talks about on this episode of The Accidental Creative.
Next, I want to tell you about Dear Alice, a home design podcast that always inspires me to make the space around me beautiful and organized. Why home design when we’re talking focus? Because here’s the deal, when we feel good in our spaces, it’s easier to focus. In this episode, the hosts reflect on products they’ve developed over the years and credit their success to advice from a fellow designer, “You gotta keep your head down, and you just crush it in your own lane. You do what you do, and don’t try to do what the other guy is doing.” So… I’ve been trying to keep my head down.
* Disclaimer: A couple of the book links I’ve included today will take you to Bookshop.org. This is a great site where a portion of the proceeds from book sales go to support a local bookshop, and a small percentage goes to the “online bookshop owner” which in this case would be me. I’m new to the program, but think it’s a great way to support bookshops, yet still get books at the click of a button. Plus your purchase helps me keep the lights on at What I’d Rather Be Talking About. (Thank you!)
(Shoutout to my friends Lorraine and Joan for their recommendations!)
Nothing helps me focus more than watching a show in another language. If you want to work on your Spanish (or if you’re a native speaker), watch Daughter From Another Mother or Madre Sólo Hay Dos (Netflix).
Looking for a series or two? Check out Extraordinary Attorney Woo (Netflix) or Good Omens (Amazon).
LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS
One thing I’m continuing to focus on is creating healthy routines. Of course, I turn to YouTube for advice, but it’s sometimes hard to find one I trust. I mean, who do I want to listen to - a 20-year-old influencer, a 36-year-old nutritionist, or? In my search, I found this lovable YouTuber, Samurai Matcha, who talks about 7 Healthy Habits in Japan. I thought it made sense to choose advice from someone in Japan, as Japan is one of the top countries where people live the longest - also known as one of the “Blue Zones.”
Speaking of Blue Zones and lifespans… here’s a deep-dive into “The Common Lifestyle Habits that are Decreasing Our Lifespans” with Dan Buettner and host Dr. Mark Hyman. If you’d like to check out some of Dan Buettner’s Blue Zone diet advice, here’s a great cookbook.
THINGS I BUY THAT HELP ME FOCUS:
MySoulCBD, “Alert Pills” - These really do help and I’ve been very happy with multiple products from MySoulCBD, which is a brother-sister run company where all products contain zero-THC and are third-party lab tested, physician-formulated, and backed by science. I agree with the company description for Alert Pills - Zero-THC. Zero jitters. 100% focus. A doctor-formulated proprietary blend of potent CBD and natural cognitive enhancers for brain food you can bank on. Interested? Here’s a link that will get you $20 off your first order. :) *And please note, that I’m no doctor, so be sure to check with yours regarding any supplements you consume.
I love drinking mushroom drinks by FourSigmatic as they really do help me focus, especially their “Think” coffee. It tastes like regular coffee, and you can brew it, or get convenient instant packets to take on the go. For ideas on other brain boosters to sip on, check out this video with some mainstream bevs that I didn’t realize helped my brain as well. Two products I’d like to try: RYZE Mushroom coffee and MUD WTR.
Finally, I just asked my husband, “Do you have any drinks you’d recommend to help with focus?” His reply was, “Water.” BAM.
AND, ON A SERIOUS NOTE
So, for this entire newsletter, I’ve been collecting resources that relate to or help with focus. And ironically, as I reread the newsletter, I see I was all over the place in my advice. Which is about on par with my brain, hence my reason for this issue.
That said, as I was reflecting, I remembered something my dad told me many times. “Abigail, stop this nonsense of running around so much. You don’t have to fill every minute. Take time each day to just sit. Read. Reflect.”
That’s what I call hitting the nail on the head.
I think a lot of us might be guilty of running around too much, always in search of the next best thing or how we can add more to our lives.
With this in mind maybe the trick to focusing is slowing down, and instead of worrying about how to fill our moments, we focus on living them.
And that’s… What I’d Rather Be Talking About.
Keep your heads down,
P.S. Thanks for reading!