The Possum in my Living Room and Why Too Much Focus Might Be a Bad Thing

The end of the year is always a stressful time. There’s just A LOT to do, and most of it is fun stuff—field days and awards day and parties galore. I’m all about a good party!

But it can also be stressful. I check and double check and triple check my calendar every single day because I don’t want to miss anything. I’m trying to find the perfect present for the graduates in my life, and also I realize just how lazy I’ve become. Meal planning has gone out the window. I’m keeping up with the laundry and even folding it, but could someone else please put it all away?

I’m a little overwhelmed with all that needs to be done before school’s out and summer officially begins.

My husband says I can tune out anything.

When the kids were little and we ‘d go on vacation, I’d sit in the passenger seat and read books while the littles took aim at each other in the back of the minivan.

Gavin would say, “Why aren’t you helping? Can you do something about the noise coming from the backseat?”

I’d casually look up from my book, and say, “What? It’s not bothering me.”

And it wasn’t.

I’d go right on reading. Or gazing out the window. Or even sleeping.

But is it possible to be so hyper-focused on something that you lose sight of what really matters?

Lately I’ve been so focused on not missing anything that I ended up missing something that was right in front of me.

That something was big.

And hairy.

With beady little eyes.

And pointy teeth.

Plus, he probably had rabies.

There was a possum in our living room.

And I totally missed it.

While I was hyper focused on all the things I needed to get done the next day, I missed the little furball creeping up the stairs from the basement, walking across my living room rug, even crouching in the corner waiting for me to go to bed.

Oblivious, I was awakened three hours later when my night owl 17- year old son came bursting into our room yelling,

There’s a possum in the living room!

Trust me—that is not a phrase you want to hear in the middle of the night.

The things is as I was sitting there typing away on my computer last night I actually DID hear something creeping up the stairs. It sounded suspicious, but since I have two dogs and neither of them made a move, I thought, “What the heck? It’s probably nothing. And if it IS something…well, I don’t want to know.

You’re probably thinking this could never happen to you. Believe me—I never thought I would end up with a possum in my living room either!

But since this did happen to me, it’s got me thinking, “What else am I CHOOSING not to see right now?”

In my home?
In my relationships?
In my kids?
In my work?
In my hobbies?
In my LIFE?

To choose is to be both willful and deliberate.

Open your eyes and choose TO SEE.


P.S. All’s well that ends well. A certain frying pan and laundry basket may never be the same again. But the possum was safely deposited back in the front yard. (Unless there was an owl who WAS choosing to see—lucky guy—he got dinner last night!)

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“There’s a possum in the living room.”

That’s a sentence that’ll wake you right up.

And it did wake us up. Last night. When there was an actual possum in our living room.

I had been in the living room all night, typing away on my computer. I thought I heard something walking up the stairs, but since the dogs didn’t bark, I dismissed the tapping and creaking and continued what I was doing.

I turned off the lights, straightened the pillows on the couch, and went upstairs to bed.

Three hours later:

“There’s a possum in the living room.”

I’ll tell you right now. That possum is lucky he was discovered by my night-owl 17 year-old son and not by me creeping down the stairs in the dark at 5:00 AM .






Spoiler alert: We got the little varmint outside with a laundry basket and a frying pan.