It wasn’t even one second. I could not even have said “one MISSISSIPPI.” It wasn’t even a particularly busy day. I was heading to a place I’d been before with plenty of time to get there. I had a few things on my mind but nothing exceptionally notable.
It didn’t matter. The bottom line. I wasn’t paying attention.
I can’t even remember the exact Mindfulness article right now, but it stated that 48% of the time we are not paying attention to what we are doing. That has always stuck in my mind. I had noticed that my driving was a bit less than mindful lately. A missed stop sign here and there and a few other minor infractions that had had no consequences.
But not that morning. I’m fine. My car isn’t. And it was completely my fault. My mind was somewhere else thinking about what was coming up next in my day. By the time it reconnected with where I was, and that the light was red, not green, my beloved little car’s front end had connected with the front end of a large truck.
48% of the time…really. I’m no brain surgeon, but 48% of the time, I am doing things that matter. Driving while not paying attention can have major consequences, for my own safety and the safety of others. (I apologized several times to the other driver for messing up his truck, and his day.)
Working without paying attention can have consequences, mistakes, miscalculations, etc. Talking without awareness and attention can affect the way we communicate and impact the relationships in our life in ways that we can’t even imagine.
I could cite all the reasons for mindfulness again, blah, blah, blah. Or berate myself for falling short of my practice. But I’m choosing to focus on the more important take away from this experience.
It’s simple.. be here now, with full attention, with my head and heart connected to this moment in real time and space. That’s all. Then repeat that, again and again and again.
This morning I get to wake up, get dressed, get into my car, and drive on a beautiful spring day to the next thing in my life.
And I’m so very grateful.
Be well…it’s a state of mind.