Monday, January 31, 2011

Where is my mind?

Overall I consider myself thoughtful and aware of my surroundings. I notice things, dangers for the girls, or potentially hazardous situations. For example, as my girls race of down the sidewalk I constantly yell "watch for cars pulling out of driveways!"

Once in a while, however, it's like my brain shuts off and I do seriously reckless things as if I'm existing in a fog. Twice recently I've almost pulled out in front of cars in broad daylight, scaring the other driver half to death and needing to slam on my own brakes to keep from hitting the other car.

Today as Eloise and I were trying to cross a semi-busy two-lane road I watched carefully for cars coming from our right (I remember clearly seeing a teal car further down the road giving us enough time to cross if we hurried), but apparently not from the left. I grabbed Eloise's hand and took off in to the road and at that moment a motorcycle came so close to hitting us that I touched it with my left hand. The driver stopped and yelled at me-- I certainly deserved it, he thought he was going to hit a mother and her daughter. I probably took a few years off of his life.

I looked at him and simply said "sorry" and kept going. I couldn't believe what I had done and was in shock.

When things like that happen I stop and think, what is going on with me? Where is my head? How in the world would I have tried to pull out/cross that street without even looking? Or maybe it's possible I did look, but didn't REALLY look. I'm not sure. I replay it in my head and it's like a blank exists there.

I want to be more mindful, but here's the catch: so much of the time I AM. So how do I be mindful when, well, I'm not? It's scary to me to think I'm one blanked out moment from severely hurting myself, someone else, or my children.

I think some of it might just be from rushing too quickly. I rarely, rarely need to rush. Even today when we were rushing across the street it was to get to the bus stop-- where we sat for close to ten minutes waiting for the bus (better early than late, I say!). Usually as I'm performing a task there is easily three to five other things in my head or other places my attention is.

Now, where to begin . . .

1 comment:

  1. I've done very similar things. I'm always shocked and disappointed at myself. I think, at least for me, it has to do with focus. If I'm off on a tangent in my mind, thinking about other things I need to do or soul searching some important topic, then I'm not paying as much attention to my surroundings.

    I live a plenty busy life and it can be hard to take time just to sit and think about things that need some thought. But man, while driving should not have become my go-to place for deep thought!

    Your post also serves as a reminder to watch for motorcycles! You probably did look or at least glance, but it takes more attention to spot a motorcycle. You probably gave the guy a heart attack! I'm glad everyone was unharmed, though!

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