For the life of me, I cannot stay on task. It is one of my worst qualities and the piece of my personal ‘puzzle’ that I fight every day to overcome. Many times, with only marginal success. My brain is always too busy getting ahead of itself to stay In The Moment.
A few months ago I was mentally sitting at my desk beginning my workday, but I was physically pulling into my parking space at work. I exited my Trusty Honda and bee-lined across the icy parking lot toward the front door of the building. One second I was striding to the front door full of purpose. The next I was flat on my back looking up at the sky.
Brought back to the moment by the impact of the cold cement on my back (and backside), I began laughing at myself. In a most ungraceful manner, I scrambled to my feet.
None of my co-workers were in sight…thank goodness. I’m not sure I would have lived it down any time soon. Not counting the blow to my pride, I was uninjured. I righted my clothing and began cleaning up my mess. My hairspray rolled to a stop several feet to my right and the apple from my lunch over to my left. My workbag was flung into the air sending papers flying around me like paper airplanes. The contents of my purse lay exposed to the great outdoors. Makeup, wallet, checkbook, etc.
The worst part? My only can of Diet Coke was emptied into the parking lot with my belongings. Concrete does NOT need caffeine in the morning, but I sure do! The second worst part? Inspired by my Perfect hair day, I took the time to apply make-up, put on a jaunty knee-length skirt and a smart pair of heels. I was feeling every inch the competent, career woman. It was hard to carry that through with my Perfect outfit baptized in Diet Coke.
Another day. Another lesson. I had been too busy worrying about the ‘next’ thing to negotiate the Cleveland, Ohio winter weather that stood between that door and me. I had gotten ahead of myself. Again. I hadn’t even noticed the clear blue sky, until I was flat on my back looking up at it. And my commute time is almost thirty minutes! It was a little frightening to think of my brain wandering, while I was driving in the car for that chunk of time. On autopilot–not taking in my surroundings.
It would be impossible to count the times I have gotten into trouble, because my Busy Brain is not in the same place as my body. But I do believe that cement might have knocked some sense into me. At the very least, it knocked me into the present moment that day.
I won’t say the experience changed me, or that I never lose focus. But I am aware of this shortcoming in myself and I do work hard at minimizing its effect on my life.