Watching, watching out for, watching and waiting…we all do it; what are we watching for or watching out for? And why are we being watchful in the first place? One can be watching for something to arrive, watching out for trouble, watching over someone or something, or watching for an opportunity of some kind. There are many different levels of watchfulness and you must be able to let yourself know where you stand on the watchfulness scale before you can decide whether or not your watchfulness is necessary or healthy. This is a very delicate balancing act since you don’t want to be hypervigilant, but you don’t want to be too inattentive either. It would be hard to be too watchful if you’re waiting for an anticipated event, yet if you put all your joy into watchful anticipation you may not enjoy the event. It would be hard to be too watchful if you’re protecting a loved one from possible harm, yet if you’re too watchful that loved one won’t have a chance to live fully. It would be hard to be too watchful if you’re looking for the next fish coming by, yet you may be looking too hard in one place and miss the fish that practically jumps into your mouth. All of us need to create a balance that allows for reasonable effort and more success for our watchfulness goals than not. To do that we must persuade ourselves to have reasonable expectations and to look around, inside and out, in order not to become a victim of tunnel vision. The reason we become watchful is because we care and when we care we want to give it our all, but focusing on a small part of the total will not gain us what we want or believe we need no matter how watchful we think we’re being. If we define the goal we want to meet by our watchfulness, then evaluate how our watchfulness will affect others, our goal, and ourselves, we can balance well enough to be an effective watcher. Have you ever become too watchful?