Some Focus

Picture it: 8th grade. I had the super-high waterfall bangs, but they were inching their way closer to my forehead, to be traded for a more low-key grunge type ‘do that would work with my green plaid flannel button-ups and Doc Martens. I’m working very, terribly hard at being cool.

Focus on the flooring

And then, the Civil War** brewed in English class.

We read Across Five Aprils and we watched The Blue and the Grey, and in one scene, Jonas Steele doctors his own wounded arm, cut to the bone by shrapnel. My stomach turned over at the sight of such gore, and I knew I would be sick. I got a hall pass to visit the nurse and disappeared out the door. In the hall, the memory of that scene sent a flood of nausea over me and I woke up facedown on the floor, staring at a patch of carpet.

That carpet was all I could see. A low-pile, square blue spot of carpet with flecks of black mingled in. Embarrassment slapped me across the face; someone would see me laying on the floor, but I couldn’t stand or dizzyness would knock me down. I focused on that carpet for 10 minutes or so, before I could get up and move on to the nurse’s office. That focus helped me to move on. The big picture sent me reeling, but focus, focus…

This summer, I’m applying the lesson of the 8th grade carpet to my blog. I need to narrow my vision and focus. I need to stop trying to do quite so much. I need to slow down and minimize the big picture into manageable chunks, because my life is spinning.

And let us not be weary in doing well: for in due season we will reap, if we faint not – Galatians 6:9


Starting next week, I’ll be posting twice per week this summer, most likely Mondays and Thursdays only. That should give me time to work, read, take care of my kids and plan some things that I’ve neglected.

My fear is that I will now miss the forest for the trees, but otherwise, I don’t think I’ll be able to stand with the room spinning.

Have you ever fainted? Why?

What was your “uniform” in the 8th grade?

** I meant the actual Civil War, not The Civil Wars, whom I’ve just discovered are an awesome musical duo, you should check out:


33 responses to “Some Focus

  1. Kristin, this post is 5 kinds of awesome!
    1. I too had the waterfall bangs in 8th grade. I was just on the verge of completing my grunge transformation. I always had a hippie bent, even amidst the tight rolled jeans and slap bracelets.
    2. I’m not sure that I’ve ever fainted but I’ve come close. And I distinctly remember throwing up- and not making it to the bathroom in time- in 8th grade. Once I recovered from the embarassment, I felt really bad for the assistant principal who cleaned it up.
    3. Reevaluating priorities is a good thing. Narrowing your focus is also good. I’ll keep coming back here no matter when or how often you post. You’re good people.
    4. Enjoy this summer! I hope it will be a time of refreshment for you.
    5. I’m so glad you discovered The Civil Wars! I am such a groupie. I’m not going to even start telling you how much I love them. Just this- if you get the chance, you simply must see them live. They are insanely good performers!

  2. I fainted in a wedding once. I promise I wasn’t locking my knees! Just got dehydrated. The wedding was about to end and the pastor starts praying the last prayer. Probably lasted 30 seconds, but felt like an eternity as I drifted in and out and then as my bridesmaid comes to meet me I go down like a rock. Oh well, made for a good story for my friends.

  3. What are you doing sharing this story without the accompanying picture? Didn’t you know it was school picture day last week? Come on, I even posted mullet pics for the whole world to see.

  4. I’ve fainted several times. All of those times, it was embarrassing. I tend to embarrass myself a good bit, so I’m used to it by now. πŸ™‚

    I love what you’re doing. I need to do the same. I keep making excuses not to focus and do what I need to do.

    I LOVE The Civil Wars. Big time! My fave song is Barton Hollow, and mine and Tony’s song is I’ve Got This Friend. ❀

  5. Kudos to you for stepping back to take care of yourself for a while! I’m doing a bit of that this summer as well.

    I’ve almost fainted every time I’ve donated blood. I don’t have issues with needles, blood tests, or anything like that, but for some reason, losing that much blood always causes me to get incredibly light-headed. On the plus-side, the nurses are usually eager to give me extra cookies and juice afterward to help me regain my strength. πŸ™‚

    I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy, so that look didn’t change much when I was in junior high. I did have some pretty awesome Hypercolor shirts, though (with matching Hypercolor socks)!

    • I don’t weigh enough to donate blood. True fact. They won’t let us littles give up the good stuff. I have had to give blood for tests, and I don’t think I was sick from that, but it wasn’t much.

      I loved those shirts. Wanted one!!

  6. I have never fainted. But I did fake suicide on a bathtub and fake blood on my wrists when I was 12 and my mom fainted because of it. She almost killed me after she regained consciousness. Go figure!

    Only 2 times a week? Boo! How am I supposed to get my Herdy fix now? πŸ™‚

    Stay true to yourself girl. I’ll keep an eye out for you!

  7. I’ve almost fainted the last 3 times I gave blood. Me and blood don’t work well together.

    I’m glad you are digging the Civil Wars. Their album is gorgeous. I haven’t heard such perfect harmony in a duo in a very long time. Fan-freaking-tastic!

  8. Pretty girl. Not a bad looking guy either. Great vocal blend. Wish they enunciated more on the verses, though. πŸ™‚ Making me think to figure out what words you’re saying is distracting. As is the “woah, cleavage” moment whenever she leans forward while playing. Gravity is not your friend when trying to be modest with a loose neckline. :>

    I’ve only had one full faint I can recall, but a number of “brown-outs”. I threw up on the carpet of the main aisle of a church on two consecutive Sundays. It was a little old church full of little old people with a thermostat set slightly higher than the furnace of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego, and I was a young boy in a three-piece suit. Easy math, yes? We didn’t try for three.

  9. I read this on my phone, and at first, thought you were calling me a pretty girl. disappointment ensued πŸ˜‰

    I did actually LOL when I read that the thermostat was hotter than that of old Nebby’s furnace. that must have been really uncomfortable. It was a clear sign that 1) it wasn’t the church for you or 2) children shouldn’t be forced into 3-piece suits

    • Well, I *have* told you that you were pretty before, if you will recall. πŸ˜€

      I’m glad I gave you a laugh. Both times I threw up in the main aisle because I was on my way to the bathroom because I was about to pass out. The first time I actually did black out, the second I browned out but never fully lost vision. And I think it was a clear sign of both. πŸ˜€

  10. I often don’t do well in heat – especially if I don’t eat. A number of years ago (within the last 11 years I think, maybe a little longer) my mom and I went to the mall, to one of the craft shops. Both the store and the mall had air conditioning, so I didn’t think anything would happen (I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning, and it was really hot out). It was torture standing in line, and while I waited for my mom, I went out to the hall (after paying for my stuff) to sit on one of the benches because I was feeling weak. Finally, my mom came out of the store and we made our way to the food court so I could get something to eat. I needed something fast, because I was feeling like I was going to pass out. I opted for frozen yogurt just to get something in me quickly so I wouldn’t throw up. While standing in line, it seemed to take forever (no more than 5 minutes though), I felt myself just about pass out. Thankfully I didn’t faint. It would have been so embarrassing in such a crowded mall!

    PS..Would appreciate some prayer as I have taken a huge step with regard to my career and it’s in God’s hands now (submitted my resume for my “ideal” grade and type of school (Christian) in another province. The whole process scares the heck out of me…been years since I’ve had an interview, and I’m afraid I won’t know what to say…

    • I have that same heat and not eating thing. Most of the time if I brown out it’s because of that. You have my empathy. πŸ™‚

      I know we normally apply the “don’t worry what you’re going to say” verses to witnessing, but if going to this other school is where God is leading you, Shelley, then it applies there, too. He’ll give you the right words to say if this is His will and you’re listening to Him. After all, He’s been present through billions of interviews already; it’s old hat to Him. πŸ˜‰ I’m praying for your peace, guidance, and equipping for what He has in store for you.

  11. I almost fainted when I was in like 17 years old cause of my heart condition….it was the scariest moment….i would open my eyes soooo wide but just start to fade to see blackness….not cool!!!!

    I don’t remember any of my close in 8th grade…i was too busy trying to get this girl to like me….lol…..

  12. I’ve never fainted. I have a pretty strong stomach and haven’t been in too many faint-worthy situations, I guess.

    My uniform in 8th grade probably consisted of me wearing shoes 3 sizes too big and a puffy Starter jacket, and maybe some Duck Head shorts.

  13. I’ve never fainted, but I am pretty sure that I’ve given myself at least 2 concussions. It’s funny that you mention Across Five Aprils. I read that book a long time ago and still have it. I saw it for the first time in a long time a couple of nights ago.

  14. I’ve never fainted!

    My 8th grade uniform was a baseball uniform – I played baseball every chance I could get at that age.

    The Civil Wars rock, BTW.

    Totally understand your posting frequency – it can be a full time job to crank out 3 per week, which I struggle to do.

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