A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Points of focus

Posted by Pepper on February 10, 2014

You know those puzzles that make you join the dots to form a picture? I think my face looks like that as of now. The zits, scars, blemishes and acne really make my face resemble a ‘connect the dots’ game. All you people with clear, glowing skin, kindly get out of my sight. At times I believe my skin sustains more explosions than a damn war field. How unfair is that? But then I shouldn’t complain too much, because I know I do nothing to care for my skin. No deep cleansing, no toning, no moisturising. No sun screen. Nothing. And to add to it, my water intake is dangerously low.

Some people are blessed with naturally clear skin. They do nothing to nourish it. Yet their skin is radiant and glowing at all times. Well, if you belong to this category, you already know I hate you. And then there are others who do not have clear skin, but really work hard to maintain their skin tone. And it shows. I want to convert to this kind. I want to follow a healthy skin care regime.

But you know the problem? I can’t seem to have multiple focus points in my life. I don’t know why I am such an ineffective sloth. So if I choose to focus on one point – my skin for example, I start ignoring the rest of my responsibilities. I will spend an unreasonable amount of time cleansing and hydrating my skin, and I will ignore other daily chores like changing the sheets and folding my clothes.

It has always happened with me. When I decide to focus on healthy eating, I will spend long hours planning the menu, shopping for healthy food, instructing the cook, cutting and measuring portions of fresh fruit for daily consumption, but my home will begin to languish. I will not clear the dining table after meals. The bottle of pickle will stay there for days. Clothes will start piling on the couch. Laundry will be undone. All of this, because I will be spending all my time either being lazy, or focusing on healthy eating.

If I focus on my appearance, I will start exercising, I will spend time fixing my hair every other day, I will change my nail polish every now and then, I will spend time picking my clothes for the day, but my focus on healthy eating will be lost. My home will languish.

If I am focusing on something important at work, I will devote an excruciating amount of time to it, and everything else around me, my home and my body will come down in a violent crash. Like it always does. See what I mean by having a single point of focus? Perhaps it is a disorder. Perhaps it is a simple matter of having poor management skills. Or perhaps I am just too lazy to care for multiple things at the same time. How hard can it be to maintain a reasonably tidy home, finish work on time, eat healthy and care for your body? Very, apparently.

Not being able to evenly split my focus and keep the usual balls of work, home and health up in the air is bad enough. But what is worse is that I don’t keep even a single ball up for long. My focus on anything is always short lived. I start eating healthy, and that ball is up in the air. But suddenly one day I decide the home needs attention, and the health is involuntarily brought down and the home is elevated to the focus point. Another day, I decide to focus on appearance and all attention shifts to that new focus.

So when I am too busy at work, I am not eating healthy. When I am eating healthy, I pay no attention to personal grooming. When I am paying attention to grooming and appearance, my home is languishing. What do I do with myself? Do you realise now why I see no point in focusing on a good skin care regime? I know it won’t last. And I guess it will cost me a messy room. Someone shoot me.


46 Responses to “Points of focus”

  1. D said

    man…u are like me..we are same. .same to same. I am very happy pepper…I thought I was the only one like this. pls dont kill me…but I am glad that I have company. …lol…

    I suffer from both problems mentioned above…I am super bad at multitasking. ..AND…I just cannot focus on any one thing for too long….I will wait for people’s comments on this one…I badly need help…

    • Pepper said

      You know this isn’t the same thing as multitasking. In my case, I can multitask pretty damn well. While on a work call, I have worked on a different report unrelated to the conversation on the call AND chatted on Gtalk. I can eat, watch TV and read. I do dishes while cooking at times. But when it comes to actually focusing on one particular area, I suck 😦

      • D said

        I understand pepper…I was talking about that multitasking only…with me also..its the same…when I have crazy work at office…all my other focus areas get totally diluted….you have captured it very well..

  2. Hahhaha u r so worried abt everything. May be u can start with not touching your face so much and washing it more times + drinking water + less cheese products + not exposing to dust + not letting it oily so much. Don’t try for a big leap.. Let small steps take u to greater heights

    • Pepper said

      Not touching face + washing your face at regular intervals + remembering to drink adequate quantity of water every few hours + taking effort to give up cheese + not exposing skin to dust + not letting it get oily which means cleansing it regular is not a big leap? These aren’t small steps for me. They call for a lifestyle change. That’s what I meant. If I do even things like this, other stuff suffers 😦

  3. Mrs B said

    OMG pepper!!! It could very well be about me! Right down to low water intake… I too suffer from acne and have done all these antics :P. But, I do try to take up new tasks to focus on.. Especially during these harsh winter months in east coast. From tomorrow for example, I am trying to go through “digital detox” trying to get off cyberspace for most part of next one week.. Let’s see how that goes. 😛

  4. Reading your post made me realise that there are other people like me on this planet … Huge sigh of relief …

  5. Boiling said

    I think you put too much effort in one area leaving you too tired for the rest. What if you did 1 small thing in each area & slowly add upto say 3-5 major things in each area than go all out in 1 area.

    Also, perfect balance achievement is a myth. When you are a new mom, I am sure, other areas do fall to the wayside. Sometims, you have to flow with life.

    • Pepper said

      I think you’re right. I need to focus a little on all areas instead of focusing in depth on one particular area. I tend to obsess on stuff a lot. And then I lose interest. Should try and change that.

  6. may be it has to do with the fact that you are a perfectionist , so you would want to do all the things perfectly, so you focus on one single thing ..
    or may be because you are keen for the result, so as long as you do not notice a change you continue to focus in it all the time.. when slight change happens you move on to the next ..

    these two reasons comes to my mind..

    you know, do not be harsh on yourself.. perhaps you can try and treat them as a routine job like brushing your teeth .. so allot say 15 mins for skin care regime, max half an hour and just do it for some weeks,.. do not be overwhelmed to try lot of things..decide at the onset what you one to try, may be something very basic .. like cleansing .. moisturizing .. and if you feel good about doing it then just do it, at the beginning do not be bothered about change or anything ..

    I don’t know , just my two cents.. hope this helps..

    • Pepper said

      I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist. I would call myself mildly obsessive. That is why my new focus becomes my obsession and I let go of the rest. I like the idea of allotting 15 mins in a day. The prob is I don’t stick to such allotments .. but I must try. Thanks.

  7. Hahaha Pepper…No wonder I too faced this..You know what solution I got myself..I said to myself – don’t try to be perfect in one area..if you do so, you are going to lose other things..because perfection in one area is always achieved at the cost of other areas. So I just reduced my expectations in one area and split my focus in different areas as I could. Though all of the areas get attention but not much, not perfect and no guilt…:)

  8. Shweta said

    Hahah being too harsh on yourself… Are u pepper???
    What are you ignoring when you’re churning out awesome posts, eh???

    • Pepper said

      Nothing – this is part of multitasking. I don’t decide to ‘focus’ on my blog, so it works. I write whenever I can, even if it while watching TV.

  9. Arch said

    Maybe you can keep aside a certain time for certain things and decide that it’s the only time slot for that activity..

    I too used to have a lot of spots on my face. But now they have reduced considerably. You can try the Oil cleansing method and applying aloevera gel. These two things helped me most. And the time slot for this can be just before going to bed at night. You dont need to bother throughout the day. You can try the same trick for the rest of the stuff too. I know it’s easier said than done. But you can start tryin in some little way.

  10. Ah well, the agonies of not being able to multitask when the tasks actually are useful, and important. I kind agree too. Which is why I keep giving up on fitness so often. And that year when I was all about fitness? I REALLY gave up everything else.
    Also, phew! SOMETHING you can hate me for! Finally, I am on the other side for one thing. phew,
    Ok touchwood. I really can’t take care of my skin God, please dont take it away from me 😦

    • Pepper said

      Because I like you, I’ll ask God to let you keep your skin too. You’re lucky, you know? Good facial features are also lost on bad skin. And average facial features also stand out when the skin is healthy and clear. So touchwood for you 🙂

  11. Shweta said

    Would u like to have a super fast – Easy Fix..?? 🙂

    You have to do these Two steps only twice daily – Morning and before sleeping

    Step 1 – Wash your Face with Clean n Clear Face wash or any oil free face wash that suits You
    Step 2 – Apply Acnesol cl Gel (I use the Tube)

    Hope it works for U.. !!

  12. ferret said

    The multiple balls that i keep up usually are office, my son’s development and health, keeping a reasonably tidy and organised home, 3 (or atleast 2) home cooked meals a day. Grooming, skincare, social life are all non-existant. From what i see, you do keep family time, office, social life all going strong very well. I’m sure you’re doing better than you say in this post 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Wow! You keep a lot of balls up in the air. While I agree, I focus on office work, family time and social life, I will also say most of these do not require a lot of effort. They come easily to me. But the stuff that you do is creditable. Not sure I would be able to do it even if I wanted to.

  13. stutigupta said

    Ditto ditto. Word to word ditto.

  14. This is somewhat me 😛 if I focus on one thing something else gets pending….has happened many a times. But then when it comes to my face, I try not to be lazy. Rest of the skin of my body I can ignore, but with my face I do try to take care. I don’t do much, but CTM & sunscreen is what I do ‘almost’ regularly. I hope you come up with something to help you with focusing on 1 particular area and still manage fine with the rest…..good luck!! 🙂

  15. Sarah Syed said

    🙂 .. I am quiet like this. I’ll ignore everything, even meals if I take up on any project and then in the hour where Junaid will be home, I’ll be running around tidying the house and myself.

  16. Titaxy said

    I can so relate to this, Pepper. Both about the bad skin (and not taking care of it part) and the being able to focus on one thing only part. Sigh. What do I do?

  17. I hate people with clear skin. Period.
    I have insane cystic acne here and there and all &%£%^ leave marks! Grrr… And the stupid lighter skin makes the red marks glow. My skin makes me so so so sad. 😦

  18. Jazz said

    Maintaining a time table and lists work best when you want to manage many chores.

  19. vani said

    Pepper, I am regular reader
    Just wondering did you check with your doctor ? I had a very bad acne last year, then finally went to doctor and doc prescribed antibiotics for 2 weeks saying looks like an infection. After that acne reduced a lot. I still get 1 or 2 regularly, but not worse.

  20. R's Mom said

    Errr…errr…errr…most people are like you Pepper no? I dont think I know many people who can do the kind of work you do, AND look after themselves with a skin regime at home AND eat healthy AND change nail polish yaada yaada…relax! everyone has skin related probs once in a while darling!

  21. Deepa said

    same pinch on both dearie. I’m much older than you I suspect and yet have a face that resembles a crater the likes of which you’d see only on a distant planet! And of course I do zilch to correct the situation although I do spend an inordinate amount of time lusting for clear, glowing skin. Same for the single focus issue too. I get obsessed with one thing at a time and then “bhaadh main jaayen aur sub such” types. But with a kid who needs you on a 100 different levels I’m learning to multi task although I am lucky in that I have a hubby much better at it than I.

  22. Visha said

    On your first point of focus : use besan+haldi mix on your face morning and evening when you wash your face. All the moisturizing+cleansing+toning+cleaning happens automatically. No need to use any kind of cream or follow any skin care routine 🙂

    About all the other points of focus, follow only parts of them, do not try to cover everything otherwise it will be overwhelming. Like in your case, keep one bottle of water on your desk and remember to take a sip of it whenever you see it during the day, have one vegetable/ fruit salad in your daily meals, walk while you are reading a book or on call, designate Saturday/ Sunday for dusting + arranging + setting up your home.

    • Pepper said

      Lovely recommendation! I used to use that combination in my growing up years. Then for some reason, I stopped. I guess I got too lazy. Will resume.
      And you’re right. Makes sense, what you say. I should just stop complaining about being lazy and should get to action instead. Thank you 🙂

  23. Satori said

    Hi pepper,

    I don’t comment much but it would be an understatement to say how much I love your honest and heartfelt writing. I recently found a very natural product called Dr. Bronners natural soap (see http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00120VWJ0?pc_redir=1401014540&robot_redir=1) and I feel it might help people like you (and me) who don’t have the time nor energy to focus on doing an elaborate routine to keep our skin looking good. I just have bought it and find my face feeling really soft after a wash. You can perhaps do a little bit of research about it and ask Mint to get it for you from the US!

    Take care and keep writing.

    • Pepper said

      Satori, this is extremely sweet and thoughtful. Thank you so much for thinking of me and coming back here with this recommendation. Will certainly ask Mint to bring it with him if possible. Thanks once again!

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