Saturday, February 23, 2013



A certain young man has taken up a new hobby...I'm hopeful he'll let me post some of his photos at some point.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



Have you ever noticed how much your attention is splintered into bits over the course of a day? I sometimes feel like I'm under attack by raging hordes of Orcs masquerading as cell phones and barking dogs and "Hey, Moms!" It's become so common, that when things are quiet and still, I'm restless and anxious because the barrage has ceased and it feels completely foreign to me. In those moments, I find myself turning on the television - not to actually watch the television, but so that I have the comfort of white noise in the background. It feels like home.

The unfortunate thing is that when your mind is constantly fractured by all those little interruptions and sounds, it can't focus and regroup and heal from a day's worth of trivialities and stresses. The brain, I've learned, doesn't know the difference between common stressors and attacking goblins - it reacts in the same way regardless of the level of threat. That's why sometimes I hear Joshua humming the same four bars of "Don't Stop Believing" over and over and over again, and it makes me want to drop-kick a puppy.

I would never actually act on that impulse. I love puppies.

So, we've been working on focus and quieting the mind lately, here in Casa de Ott. We've been practicing mindful attention - focusing on one thing at a time and letting go of those things we can't control any longer. You double faulted that last point? Okay. It's over. Let it go - focus on this point. Someone is speaking to you? Your entire focus should be on them.

The house is quiet? Let it be quiet.

It seems so easy, and yet it is one of the most difficult things for me to do really well. Too often, I find myself worrying over mistakes that I can't change, or looking ahead to potential stresses that haven't even happened yet, and the present simply passes me by without my noticing. How much more relaxed and stress-free would I be if I could simply master the joy of living every moment as it happened.

And so.
I'm trying.
I'm breathing.
I'm focusing.
I'm putting my phone down and forgetting where I put it for a little while.
I'm listening.
I'm watching.
I'm just being.

I'm just being.