Yes, I did it, in front of a whole line of cars at Dunkin Donuts today. And I might add that it’s not the first time that I’ve done it. The more important issue here is WHY I did that and to that, I have an answer. I simply was just not paying attention. Sure, we all dip out from time to time but it’s always important to examine why we do it, especially when it’s something silly, before it turns into something major that just cannot be fixed.
I was on the phone (speaker of course), the radio was on, I was lost in thought about an event I’m working on and trying to solve issues while thinking about what I may have forgotten to send in to school with my daughter, the emails that stacked up overnight that I had to get to, the gifts that are due tomorrow for a charity I work on, and a million other things and when I rolled up, I wasn’t even looking around. I saw the garbage can in my peripheral vision and spoke my order. It was only when I didn’t get a response after a minute that I looked up and realized there’s nobody in there, or at least I hoped there wasn’t. I never even knew where the hell I actually was.
This doesn’t happen often to me but when it does, it’s the best kind of wake up call I can get. I, like so many of us, tend to get wrapped up in everyone else’s needs. My kid, my family, my friends, my clients. Who needs a conference call at 5 AM so that it’s convenient for them? Who needs a ride somewhere? Who needs to talk? Who needs something nice done for them? Who’s birthday is it and did I make sure I sent something and called them? Who needs a dentist appointment scheduled? What do the dogs need? And the list goes on. It’s nothing new, and usually I can balance everything but there are moments, like today, where apparently it just fell out of whack. The reason? Because even though I got up early, felt accomplished, worked, exercised, and so forth, I didn’t actually do anything in the last few days that was truly FOR ME. I was busy traveling for work, working around everyone else’s schedule, handling meetings, back home to handle holiday decorating, getting ready for the week, preparing for client visits, producing an event, shopping, scheduling a court date to get divorced (yes, that’s also happening next week) and I just realized I haven’t even stopped to BREATHE.
And, this is why I really relish my life. Instead of getting stressed, I felt really giddy that I got that kind of ridiculous reminder because no matter what, I can always laugh at myself and as long as you can do that, you’re a step above anything that can possibly stress you. I saw it, took it as a sign, ate a Munchkin (the horror!), drank my coffee, listened to a great song and felt a little more centered.
We all have a ton on our plate, my story isn’t different from anyone else’s who is reading this and the reason why I can usually handle so much is because I do have outlets- mainly exercise and occasional really bad TV. But when I forget the basics, that’s when things start to fall out of focus. So, please, no matter what, promise me that you’ll do something for YOU each day. Every single one of us actually has a few minutes to just BE. Even when we think we don’t, I promise they are there. You just have to find them. When you do, use them and don’t forget them. They are the moments that balance us, and save us from ordering food into inanimate objects.