Focus can be laser sharp. There are days when you can stand at your bench or sit at your desk, draw your attention to one and only one task, and accomplish what you set out to do in short order. All thoughts and worries slip away as your undivided attention goes to the task at hand. To do this you need to tune out the noise of the lab and offices around you. The focus is freeing.
Over the past three and a half months I have poured myself into my work here at PSU. The steep learning curve and importance of the department demanded it. I have focused on moving through the material and getting important things accomplished. Those that know me can be assured that I was simultaneously taking care of my body and soul. I tuned out the news, the debates, and the tragedies to concentrate on my work and the campus. Only recently, I have tried to come out of my academic cocoon to see what is happening in the broader world. What is happening is important, but the news of the last few weeks has driven me to turn off the radio and the rhetoric again. I may be hiding my head in the sand, but at the moment I feel like I need to focus on the things I can do to make a difference in the world and that means lead this department. Sometimes I need to choose to silence the noise.
You might enjoy my all-time-favorite YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrbaw5nvtdg It happens to be about silencing the noise and agriculture …
I hope you can tune out the noise when you need to.