Sometimes Mondays
Unraveling on Halloween

The WHY of It

This year, I chose the word FOCUS as my "one little word."  

It's been a very good word for me.  Although I haven't done even "one little prompt" from the official program, I have been thinking about focus (both in general and my own, in particular) all the time.  I've readjusted my focus, changed lenses, re-focused, taken a broader view, zoomed in . . . you name it, if it has to do with focusing, I've done it.  Or thought about it.  


Something I've discovered in my "focusing" work this year . . . is that I make better decisions when I take the time to ask myself one simple question:  WHY?

If I can build in a . . . pause . . . between the thought (of doing something, buying something, committing to something, quitting something) and my action, I can focus on what it is, exactly, that I'm doing (or undoing, or getting myself into).  By being intentional about really understanding my motives, I can make better decisions for myself.

So when I'm considering taking on a new commitment, or stepping away from an existing commitment, or making a purchase, I ask myself WHY, and then I listen to my answers.  

If I end up with more than one or two reasons that make sense to me (I really want to spend more time with that group of people, for example, or I have wanted to learn more about [insert topic here] for a long time, or I really need to replace my black cardigan), then I'm more confident that I'm making a decision close to my heart.

If, however, the only reasons I can come up for doing something seem superficial or guilt-driven (a lot of other people are doing it, for example, or I have a coupon, or I probably SHOULD do it), then I know I really need to let it go.

Simple, right?  I know.
(But somehow it took me 59 years to get to this discovery, so maybe it'll be news to you, too?

And my point in all this?

Now you'll understand why I've decided not to participate in NaBloPoMo this year.  (I asked myself WHY, and all I got was:  I've always done it.)  (So . . . nope.)  (Because FOCUS).

That's the WHY of it.




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AMEN! much this! And, thank you for this brilliant decision! I too said why? And, the "because I've done it x years" just was not enough to move it to the "do it" column!

This has worked so well for me this year... and it feels so good!

kathy b

A great decision. Intentionality is a good thing for me to practice too. I need to ask myself why more often. It helps find new joys in life.


This is an awesome post! It gives such a great path for decision making.


I think I've unconsciously been doing sort of the same thing. Catalog in...recycled! Talbot's coupon...there's nothing I need! And NaBloPoMo...see you later daily pressure! Woo hoo!


This sounds brilliantly simple, and I'll admit that it's taken me 61 years to get it. I started thinking about it when it seemed like everyone started sewing, and it finally dawned on me that just because everyone else was doing it, that didn't mean I had to. I can greatly appreciate others' sewing projects without doing it myself, without fear or anxiety. There will be NoNaBloPoMo for me this year, and I'm heaving a big sigh of relief. But the WHY of it also leaves room to change my mind if the answer is because I will enjoy it, or I want to try it, or I want to learn how to do it. Hooray for simplified decision making!


This is an excellent post and great advice. I'm going to try to remember to ask myself WHY more often. I had been planning on doing NaBloPoMo but I'm wondering WHY at this point. I guess I've got until Saturday to decide!


Makes perfect sense! Love this post Kym. Sometimes it's a hard lesson - but one well learned.


Your focus is inspiring. And Why? is a very good question. I think this wisdom and deliberation comes with increased age. Life can be unpredictable and short so we should spend our time and energy and resources thoughtfully.


I have also decided to skip it this year - for different reasons (I don't do very many things "because I've always done them" ... Gretchen Rubin - I'm a Questioner) - and I love how honest you are about your choices. THAT is definitely the wisdom of 59 years :-)


And a very good reason to NOT do it.

I love the idea of NaBloPoMo, but I know I wouldn't want to make 30 blog postings in a month. Nor would anyone REALLY want to READ 30 of my "forced" posts.

May we have a restful and lovely November where we are remember our WHYS.


You've hit on a really good way to make decisions about motivations. Asking "why" is an excellent way to stay on track, focused and free.


Good post!

gale (she shoots sheep shots)

Agree agree agree! What a good post and good reminder to pause and think. I'm usually immune to "because I always have" but sometimes, especially this time of year, it is easy to fall into that trap.
I keep an essential oil blend that is labeled Focu at my desk in case I get too much monkey mind while trying to complete things-- I am not sure if it has special woowoo powers but taking the 30 seconds to stop and smell it is the pause to get my mind back.

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