Important moments are sometimes so small they can easily be missed as they are happening in day-to-day life. I had one of those significant moments in the parking lot at school today. Students were on the way home, the buses had left the parking lot, and everything had gone from noisy to quiet. I was left loading heavy tote bags (filled to the brim) with work into the backseat of my minivan. My brain had already started to tick down my list:
- Pick up David from Driver’s Ed – if I leave now I’ll be on time
- Stop at the store and get some bread crumbs on the way home
- Get dinner started – you don’t want to wait on that it takes time
- Pack lunch – you need to get that done and make sure you track it
- Make a strategy for your school work, start by prioritizing…
- Set the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting
- Plan the demo writing lesson for … class
- Organize materials for TA training – that’s period 4 not 2
- Data review for tiered services – share it with… to make sure we have not missed anyone
- Find a pair of CRAZY socks (tomorrow is crazy sock day)
- Make a note to talk with… about… maybe try to…
My brain felt as though it was navigating busting city streets, briskly weaving in and out so I could reach my destination. What’s the best route? The list kept coming and I was getting sucked in by its enormity. I stood there, the van door still wide open, and I noticed that the sun was starting to slant lower than it did even a few weeks ago. Days are getting shorter and there is still so much to do.
I felt a pang inside and my eyes drifted over to the Stop & Shop bag where the blue box of Chex Mix jutted out. The Chex Mix, I mistakenly bought thinking they were only 4 SmartPoints and it turned out they were a gut wrenching 7! Way too much for a carb laced snack that will only leave me wanting more. I had pushed the bag deep into the back seat way back so if I wanted to grab it, I’d have to climb inside. “I’m hungry.” my brain wailed and then it hit me – that’s not what you’re hungry for.
Giant lists of things to do after working hard all day is overwhelming. I am setting myself up for major disappointment if I crack open a bag of Chex Mix when what I really want is some calm. “No. My brain insisted – you’re hungry.” I was hungry lunch was over four hours ago. Then I remembered, I saved the blueberries from lunch for the ride home just in case. I buckled my seat belt and snacked on blueberries. I turned on the radio and decided that in the words of my father-in-law, “Don’t worry, it will all get done dear.” I was calm, I was kind, and that made all the difference.
I exercised control in the face of that immediate want and I realized that this “want” is the “thing” that’s slowing down my comeback to healthy habits. I think this little moment has helped me turn yet another corner on my journey.