August 25, 2021

What to Remember when the World keeps Tripping you Up.


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Today was one of those days.

We all have them now and then.

Sometimes they kick up out of nowhere and sock us in the jaw. Or in my case, trip me in my own driveway.

I had overslept today and woke up 10 minutes before I was supposed to bring my car to Toyota for the 25,000-mile service. I called to make sure it was still okay to bring my car in, considering I would be 15-20 minutes late. The customer service representative said it wasn’t a problem and they even have a shuttle to bring me home. I was jazzed.

When I arrived, this was not the case. This service associate chastised me for being late, saying that I should have called, and ignored me when I said that I had called and was told it was still okay to bring my car in. When I asked about the shuttle, her facial expression told me that there was no shuttle available. Okay. I sat down to wait.

I busied myself returning emails on my phone and catching up on the cat videos I love on Instagram Reels. Meow.

Then I was told that I needed a brake job that would cost anywhere from $450 to $695, and that it was dangerous to drive on what little brake pads I had left. And the car would be another two hours at least. My husband is sweet and he picked me up so I could be home and do the “Permission to Heal podcast interview I had scheduled at 4 p.m. with Wendy Tamis Robbins about her book The Box.

Once home, I made lunch, did the dishes, fed the cats, grocery shopped online, made a doctor’s appointment for my daughter, straightened out a small mess with my daughter’s college fees, laying out another $6,700.

By this time, my brain was on overload and I was next to tears. I didn’t multitask anything. I didn’t do multiple things at the same time. I did one task at a time, but in quick succession, accomplishing it all in 90 minutes. I used to be able to do this and more without batting an eye, but today, at 53 years old, I was next to tears with overwhelm.

Toyota finished my car early, but only a half-hour before my scheduled interview, so I pushed that back 15 minutes. My husband dropped me at the dealership, I paid for my car (only $425, yay!) and drove home listening to the new episode of the podcast “Mayim Bialik’s Breakdown.” I got home with a few minutes to spare and was feeling pretty good.

On my way into the house juggling my cell phone and water bottle, I intended to walk to the mailbox to get the mail, but stepped on a broken part of a tree branch that had been shaken loose in the rainstorms of the last few days, twisted my ankle, and fell face forward onto the asphalt. I banged up both knees, both palms, and bruised my toes, my back, and neck, and rolled onto my back, crying from the pain, shock, and fight of the fall. I was unable to think straight or get up. Reaching for my cell phone on the ground next to me, I called my husband who then bolted from the house in his socks to peel his wife off the driveway.

Once we got into the house, the tears exploded and I sobbed away on his shoulder inside the safety of a big bear hug for quite a few minutes. The breathing techniques and relaxation techniques I learned from my podcast guests, their books, and teachings really helped me calm down. Wendy was gracious about rescheduling our interview because there was no way I could do it in the state I was in.

One warm shower and a clean nightgown later, I put myself to bed to relax and find my peace again. I don’t know why I keep falling—this isn’t the first time I tripped. But I think the key is to actually pay attention to where my feet are going and less attention to my phone, water bottle, and the mail.

I think we all are distracted these days by so much that is going on in our world. There is constant news about international affairs, politics, the latest scandal, who is being removed from office, the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, squabbles over vaccinations and mask-wearing, bombardment by advertisers celebrating their product as the next best thing, and on and on. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus.

We need to slow down. Schedule less each day if we can. Be mindful of the task at hand—the single task in front of us—and not the entirety of our to-do lists.

I’m lucky that I only bruised myself today. I’ll be fine with some rest. At least I didn’t break my foot again.

Take time to breathe.

Take time to focus on what you’re doing.

You only have one you and one body.

Don’t let your own driveway trip you up. 


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