November and focus

November. It's here. Already. So suddenly. Have you noticed that there are a lot of online challenges in November? I wonder if part of that is a last ditch effort to try to accomplish something before the year slips to a close. I can understand that. How well did you do with your goals for the year? I'm not really sure which notebook mine are in or where that notebook is to check, but I feel a need to refocus. To bring that blurry smudge of everyday fast-forward living into clear, still view. I feel the need to look around, to take stock and then return to my life with a renewed focus. I've been thinking a lot about that word. About my focus. About what it is and what I want it to be. Life is continual refocusing as we hurtle through our days. Sometimes we sit and consciously think about it, but more often (at least for me), it's pushed to the back as a sort of mental to-do list to check in with occasionally.

I sometimes worry, as I think all bloggers do, about the focus of my blog. About its consistency, relevance and authenticity. A blog should have a focus. It should have an overarching theme. That theme can be very broad. It can be multi-faceted, but it still needs to be there.

In January a lot of people like to choose a word for the year. I checked back at my blog posts from the end of last year and found this:

I am wishing the best for each of you in this new year.  Beauty and peace and joy and creativity.  Love and hope and faith and... the best that life has to offer.  Each day is a gift.  A possibility for great things.  It's easy to forget that.  It's easy to focus on the minutia.  It's easy to forget the beauties of each moment.  Can we each vow to try to remember?  Can we, as a group, as souls linked by creativity and friendship and love vow to try to remember?  Vow to try to make the most of each day?  Each moment?  It's a hard task.  A hard commitment, but I think we have to try.  I want to try.  What about you?

I never really picked a word for the year back in January. The words I was considering were "heal" and "nurture", both words that I needed back then. I did nurture. I did heal. Thinking about it, looking back, I realize that I did it through Joy. I think that maybe Joy has been my real word for 2012. At first, perhaps, it was a little forced. It took some thought and concentration to focus on Joy, but it got easier. Truly, though, I think Joy should be a way of living. Not just for one year, but all the time. A constant focus. Capturing it. Creating it. Savoring it. Sharing it. That is my focus. My focus for my life. My focus for my blog. For my Etsy shop. Joy and beauty, the unifying forces in my life.

So, here I am, at the beginning of November, nearing the end of the year, rededicating myself to Joy. No special challenges. No change in what I'm doing, though perhaps with a tiny bit more conscious thought, more of a sense of affirmation.

What about you? Do you have a special focus for November?


  1. Well, my focus for November is to try not to get caught up in all these challenges!! I have been taking on far too much so have had to pull back on temptation to yes to everything.

    Your African violets remind me of my Auntie Vera who used to grow them all the time!

  2. Happy to see your mini violets doing so well in your mini bathroom. Trying to be aware of the constant grace uplifting me daily. Grace such as the love of my beautiful daughter.

  3. Oh a lovely post Anne, and so great to see what you have been upto lately..your photography just gets even more beautiful,and you watercolour paintings too!
    You ask a good question and its funny to realise that what had become my focus at the moment links back to my word of the year which was "liberation"...I'm working on releasing parts of me that no longer serve me...limiting beliefs, old thought patterns that surround abundance and worth!Going to take more than November to let them go though :)
    Huge hugs to you Anne , thankyou so much for your visit to my blog and your lovely comments xx

  4. I first have to say that I LOVE your photos of your plants and I love your plants all grouped on the sill. Looks so nice!! I could of written most of your post myself. I am not participating in any online challenge and have no big focus for the month just an every day challenge to live peacefully in all areas. Day by day. Thanks for spreading your joy!! xoxo

  5. Anne,
    your photos are beautiful, and I totally understand what you are saying. I think you HAVE made joy the focus of your blog and your joy lists have been so lovely this year.
    I am once again caught up in AEDM, but am using it to propel myself toward goals I had already set for this month - an exhibit and a craft fair. But I saw a quote recently that really struck home: "Let's stop the glorification of busyness."
    Your words have added more food for thought and I thank you for that.

  6. Joy and beauty are wonderful things to focus on. Starting 1st November I began my 30 day project. I am writing down 10 Latin words, quotes or phrases each day for 30 days. Each month from then on, I am going to FOCUS (great word) on a theme for 30 days for the next year. Hopefully at the end of each month I can see what I have learnt rather than dream my time away.


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