Sometimes my brain gets overloaded. More accurately, sometimes I overload my brain.
Take this last week, for instance. On Monday evening, a friend and colleague asked me to cover a last-minute urgent request for a deposition the next day. She’s a good friend, so of course I said yes. Never mind that I was trying to get all my work finished up before leaving to visit my sister for a couple of weeks.
Tuesday morning, I was going about my business when my phone chimed. It was a text message from my friend. “The attorney wants to know where you are…”
I believe my first words were, “Oh crap!”
My mind was so full of details that I’d completely forgotten that last-minute request. It was nearly 25 minutes past the start time. The law firm was just a couple of miles away. “Tell them I’ll be there in 10-15 minutes”, I answered and started throwing on the appropriate clothes. Shoes. Next, face and…
Did I mention that just before her text came in, I’d started to apply a hot oil treatment to my hair?
Muttering under my breath, I tried to reduce that one little patch of oil. There was a can of dry shampoo in the stuff I’d bought for my sister. She wouldn’t mind sharing. I squirted a little onto the offending spot. It helped a bit, only now I smelled like baby powder.
Nevermind. I brushed my teeth and dashed out the door. Within a mere 12 minutes of the texted query, I was walking through the law firm’s doors – no makeup, no jewelry, smelling baby fresh, but nonetheless ready for business.
Afterward, grateful to the attorneys, court reporter and witness for their kind acceptance of my apologies and less than orthodox appearance, I got to thinking. Why do I keep overloading myself?
There’s no one else to blame. I’m the one who appears to believe she can manipulate time.
So I decided to at least sit down and make a list of everything I had to do, buy, pack or pay before leaving the country. At least I could make sure everything was under control from that point forward; that I would forget nothing else.
My list was informative. Past and future were crammed together. In my zeal to make sure nothing that should have been done and nothing that needed to be done slipped through the cracks, I had left little room for the present.
So here I am in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, spending time in the now.
Last night, I lay in bed for over an hour, listening to the rain and the frogs and the myriad little sounds of a tropical night.
Bamboo, papaya, coconut, lemon, banana, angel’s trumpet, and a dozen other trees of my childhood keep watch. A rooster crows in the distance. Hummingbirds busy themselves with the flowering bush in the middle of the yard, and an occasional breeze brushes my cheek. I have plenty of work to do but have set it aside, for now.
For now, I am just present.
Sometimes I pick up my Kindle and read a little. I had to adjust the font, though.
I forgot my reading glasses.