Today, I tripped over.
And it wasn’t pretty.
Oh ok. It may have been entertaining for those watching.
According to my 12 year old, it was!
So, my youngest started high school today! First day back, ready for term 1 of Year 7, he was up and showered by 7am. I didn’t even hear him!
Hold the phone and make sure you’re sitting! I know, it’s a miracle! I wonder if there will be a repeat tomorrow. Hmmmmm. If it happens three days in a row, I’ll have to buy a lottery ticket! Normally, I’m not the gambling type and haven’t bought a ticket in years, but miracles are miracles and you never know. If my kid can be up and showered by 7am, then I can win the lottery. The chances are about the same and I’ve won one. Only one to go.
Anyway, here we were all ready to go by 7:45am. A bit too early to head off yet, so we sat and chatted for a while. At 8am, we decided we’d get going.
During this time, I’d lost sight of the cat. To be honest, I wasn’t even thinking about him. All the talking made him disappear from my mind.
So, I grabbed my keys, handbag and unlocked the screen door.
No sooner had I put one leg out the door, the cat darts out and down the stairs. Startled, I yelled “Bloody cat!” and without thinking dropped everything to chase him. I headed down the steps after him, but wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. Too busy thinking about grabbing the cat before he disappeared down the street.
And that’s when it happened.
I wish it had landed me somewhere other than the concrete driveway, though! Such as Fiji *daydream face*.
Anyway, in my bid to get the little toad of a cat, I had unconsciously thought I’d travelled further down the steps than I had in reality, resulting with me falling further than my mind had anticipated (well wasn’t expecting actually) because I didn’t realise I had an extra step to go.
Hitting my head on the ground and scratching my glasses was definitely not a part of my plan for the day.
I rolled onto my back and some colourful words which resembled a rainbow came out from my mouth towards the sky.
As I hit the ground, my son quickly asked if I was alright before taking off after the cat to the neighbour’s house up the back.
I’ll pause here to tell you that I don’t really want my cat to be an outdoor cat wandering the neighbourhood. I would have much preferred him to be an indoor cat. But Ever since he snuck out the back one day, he’s been a pain if he doesn’t get his daily dose of outdoorness (back yard only). Every now and then, he tries to get out the front. Most of the time we stop him. Up til now, I’d been picking him up when I was leaving and chucking him back in when I was about to lock the door. Looks like if I don’t want to repeat today’s events, I’ll have to go back to picking him up before walking out the door.
So, there I was, all battered laying on my back on the concrete wondering how the hell that just happened. My hands were hurting, my fingers were hurting, my arms were hurting, my knee was hurting and my cheek was hurting. Plus, I thought I had broken my glasses or at least warped them.
When I think about it, if I didn’t wear glasses, I would have grazed my head instead of the lens. The end result could have been a lot worse. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t end up with a fracture in my hands, wrist or fingers. Or all of them. My fingers were numb for a period of time. Apart from a sore cheek bone, and some bruises (including one ego), I’m not permanently injured.
And the lens can be replaced. Eventually. One day. It is annoying sometimes though because I keep thinking it’s dirt on my glasses, so take them off to clean them, only to realise “oh yea it’s not dirt” and put them back on.
This morning, I was in too much of a hurry to get the cat to notice what I was doing or where I was heading. I was oblivious to the danger and harm in front of me. My fear and panic of the cat getting out caused me to react quickly without considering the consequences of my actions. In the end, I was left feeling sore and sorry for myself, asking the question of me “why did you do that?” and “why am I so clumsy?” and beating myself up with “I’m always tripping over.”
Finally, I picked myself up off the ground, and went back to the original agenda – taking my youngest to his first day of high school. The cat was safely back inside, so all was again right with the world.
Having this on my mind all day, I’ve come to see it as an analogy.
Everyday of our mundane repetitive routines, we move around without really thinking about it. We seem to be on auto-pilot just ‘doing’. Complacency sets in. Nothing ever changes, so change isn’t expected. If feels like this is what it’s going to be like until we die. We stop paying attention to what’s going on around us.
Pretty depressing really, hey.
And then something happens out of the blue which shocks us out of our auto-pilot. How a person responds depends on their ability to think quickly while staying alert to their surroundings. When a person reacts without thinking, staying alert can sort of go out the window. The only thinking we’re doing in that moment is how to combat the fear/shock. Therefore, we’re reacting to the fear/shock, moving in response to the fear/shock and not paying attention to what’s around us because of the fear/shock.
It’s easy to get complacent in our daily lives. When nothing happens for a while, not hard to end up there. Life has this rule that we aren’t meant to continue problem-free for eternity. In fact, problems are guaranteed. How they affect us depends on how prepared we are when they hit. The result can be messy when we don’t think while staying alert. When we just jump in, guns blazing and emotions high, the danger is we will experience a fall of some sort. How you perceive life determines how you cope with the consequences of your actions. A negative person has a low expectation of things getting better. They just see extra problems to the ones they already have. A positive person will pick themselves up off the ground and know there is a solution to every problem and seek it out.
For me today, if I had been paying attention to what I was doing and what was going on around me instead of being complacent in our earliness and relaxing a little too much, I would have noticed the cat and stopped him from escaping. Doesn’t help that he blends in with the floorboards! But he would have been in the forefront of my mind and I wouldn’t have been on auto-pilot. If the cat had got out regardless, my mind wouldn’t have been shocked into manual thinking, and fear wouldn’t have caused me to react without being alert of my surroundings.
Keep your mind focused on where you’re headed as complacency can be dangerous. And stay alert to your surroundings so you can be better prepared for surprises.
Quick thinking requires a calm mind.
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