(This is a guest blog by our friend, Kathy Haskin)
It was a busy morning with the back-to-school momentum. I walked into the hall and just stood there for a moment.
“Everything ok Mom?” a curious teen walked by.
“Yep, I just can’t remember where I was going or why.” We both nodded, recognizing the confusion that comes from trying to do everything at once. It seems that I do that sort of thing a lot these days. And then there was the time that I found the Visa bill in the freezer…
As working parents of three active teens, our constants are the to-do lists, the didn’t get done items and the blurry exhaustion of our wonderfully-full days. We manage to have family dinners together more often than not; we strive to be there for each other during challenging times and encourage the kids’ sports and academic achievements.
However, sometimes I don’t create any of those outcomes. Not to mention, it’s hard to pay a bill on time when you can’t find it because you filed it next to the ice tray. It all makes me wonder. How do we focus on creating the outcomes we want when the pace of life causes missteps?
Often times my mind will race to feeling victimized by the clock or from an avalanche of tasks rolling at me from all directions. Then in a moment I can switch to feeling angry at the clock and furious at the to-do list, persecuting myself for my procrastination. I look around for a rescuer and all I see is the drama triangle – victims, persecutors, and rescuers all scurrying around.
But then there are those times when I can actually shift out of that victim orientation and those old habits of mine. I can stand there, having forgotten where I was going and trust it will come back to me. If TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™ has taught me anything, it is that focusing on your desired outcome is a great escape from a problem-focused perspective.
Without the drama and without those moments of concentrating on a problem, I am able to just realize that life catches me going too fast for myself sometimes. Sure, I often have to return to where I started, turn back in the direction of the hall, and then remember the outcome I was aiming for. “There I go again,” is my often said line when I stumble and do that something which, taken out of context, could look pretty stupid.
I actually saw a bird trip today, a little nuthatch on the roof of our garage. Walking along, he just stumbled and knocked his little beak on a shingle. There was a pause, a quick shake of his head, then a subtle look around for any audience.
I posed no harm to his little ego from my vantage inside our kitchen. I must say I was impressed how quickly he went on with his task, and most likely forgot all about the incident. I stood there in envy of that little bird, reflecting on how I tend to hold onto every trip and stumble I happen into these days.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.” I do believe that man spent a fair amount of time watching nuthatches. I think I will do the same, once I find where I put my slippers.