Lens Cap? Really!?
The girl rapidly snapped away, taking pictures of her co-workers and the surrounding displays in the camera department. “Well, it appears to be working now!” she patronized. And with that she sent me on my way. As frustrating as it was, it really did appear that the problem with my camera lens was random and inconsistent, so I grabbed it and left. But again the next time I used the camera with that lens, it was unable to focus after just a few minutes. I packed the lens up and took it back to the store, this time hoping that I got a different person to wait on me. Alas there is only one camera “expert” on each shift, so the same girl sauntered up to the counter to see what my complaint was. Still not finding anything wrong, she sent it off to be looked at in order to humor me. The camera came back to me in a few weeks, and I eagerly tested it out. Again the focus was working only sporadically, and again I took it back to the store for repair. When it came back to me a few weeks later I excitedly ripped open the package and attempted to take photos, but to my dismay this time it wouldn’t focus at all.
You guessed it – back to the store I went, this time slightly more frustrated than before. This was my fourth time in the store for the same issue. Believe it or not, when explained my plight to the young man behind the counter he first asked me, “Ma’am, did you think to remove your lens cap?”….. Wow….. I used restraint and explained that indeed I had removed the lens cap. He finally called up the camera expert to the front of the store, who patiently listened to my tale of woe. He tried using my lens on both my camera and his. It simply refused to focus. I offhandedly commented that “without focus a camera is pretty much useless.” Once again my camera was sent off, this time both the body and the lens, with the promise of either a complete repair or a credit to buy a new one.
Anyone who has spent any time with me recently has had to hear the story of my camera lens, as it has been an ongoing saga that has had an effect on my favorite hobby. But the reason I decided to write about it was the profound impact that my own silly statement about focus had on me. “Without focus a camera is pretty much useless.” I thought about that as I got into the car after my most recent visit to the store, and quickly realized how it also pertains to me.
Last week I was keenly aware of this as I drove to one of my parochial schools to see several groups of students. As I sat at the traffic light I got a sickening feeling in my stomach as I realized that all of the materials that I had planned on using that afternoon were sitting in my classroom and weren’t in the car with me. The day had started at a frantic pace with several meetings, one of which was stressful enough to have kept me awake much of the night before. In addition, I had been trying to read and answer questions for a book that our faculty had been assigned, as well as write a self-reflection piece for this year’s professional evaluation. All of those things were working together to take my focus off of what was ultimately important – the students that I work with. On this day, although I was able to quickly pull a lesson together with a few picture cards and an IPad, I really felt badly that I wasn’t fully prepared to work with my kiddos. I had allowed all of those external forces to take my mind off of the whole reason that I was even involved in those other things.
During this “empty nest” stage of life, as in every other stage, it is critical that we keep ourselves focused on the things that really matter. For me, each day has to start with prayer and a devotional thought to help me to stay focused on things above. In addition, I’m really working hard to maintain focus on other important things of life, such as family and friends and the progress of my students; all the while balancing the business of life.
…….. Got it!
Thanks for helping me to stay focused.