The other day, I almost hit the mailman.
Not intentionally, of course – but that didn’t make it any less embarrassing, or potentially tragic.
It was a late Saturday morning. The weather was gorgeous – the kind of spring day that hits every sense, especially since the winter seemed so long and miserable.
I was in a bit of a hurry – trying to get to a volunteer shift I had to cover. My husband was working in the front yard, beginning the arduous process of spreading mulch. He saw me absentmindedly backing up and realized the mailman’s van was at our box waiting to pull forward in my path. Chip shouted loudly, abruptly pulling me from my frenzied, distracted fog.
Of course, I got defensive when I realized the almost-collision that was about to happen.
I was also humiliated.
How could I have missed that danger?
I finished backing out and sheepishly waved a “thank you” to the mailman.
As I drove to my scheduled destination, I was more alert than usual, the close call with the postal van at the front of my mind. I needed to be more aware of my surroundings because another distracted moment might not end as cleanly as the one with the mailman.
For the next few days, I found myself a bit on edge, paranoid that it would happen again.
When backing out of the driveway, I checked both ways at least three times.
When encountering a stop sign, I came to a full stop and confirmed I had the right of way.
When pulling into a parking spot, I made sure I was clear on all sides.
Yes, I’ll admit that over the 28 years I have been driving, there are times when the skill is just automatic.
Like breathing, I don’t think about it – I sort of hang in auto-pilot while my mind thinks of things I have to accomplish or errands I have to run.
My mind is often distracted by other obligations, and I don’t always notice the most important details that are right in front of me.
I’ve noticed that life is a lot like that too.
Days pass quickly, filled with appointments or drop-offs, scheduled events, or spur-of-the-moment responsibilities that take up our thoughts.
Hours are gone in the blink of an eye and the week is ending almost as soon as it has started.
Growing up, adults always said time goes faster the older you get.
I didn’t believe them – but boy, were they right.
In a distracted storm, this school year has passed so quickly.
It’s already the middle of May – graduation and the last day of school are literally right around the corner.
Recently, I had a gut-punch moment that made me stop in the middle of everything and just look around.
Like the near-miss with the mailman, I first got defensive and then felt a wave of other emotions – one being the sudden realization that time will always pass – it’s up to us to really take the time to remove ourselves from those daily distractions.
To see the loving eyes of our family.
To say thank you to those who support us when we are having our darkest days.
To reach out for help when we are unable to handle things on our own.
To acknowledge the efforts others make for us, even when we aren’t paying attention.
To laugh with our friends and hold hands with the ones who admire us despite our flaws.
To feel the beauty of being here, right now in this time, and to look forward to the adventures and miracles that await us.
As the Spring blooms fully awaken, take the time to remove yourself from the chaos.
Don’t miss out on the hope and miracles of this new season.
And make sure you aren’t too distracted to not notice when something important in your life needs more attention.