I used to be punctual. If the show started at 8:00pm, I wanted to be there no later than 7:30. Invite me for a party, and I was always gladly the “designated first to arrive.”* I was five minutes early for lunches with friends, and at least 15 early for appointments.
Yeah, not anymore. Part of it is that, like a three year old, transitions are harder. I lose track of time, lose my train of thought, and constantly need to regain my bearings.
But more so, I think it is because I am getting absorbed in each moment a bit more (just like a three year old). For so long I had to focus on what was next, next, next. If this appointment ran late, it would throw off a whole day of medications, test, treatments and schedules. I had to focus on the small details and the big picture all at once. Now I have coffee with a friend, and I am absorbed by the comfort of the moment. It is such a small, simple thing to spend time with someone, and really hear what he or she is saying, and to allow oneself the privilege of not being distracted by a ringing phone, the ping of an e-mail reminder, or just the eighteen other things going on in the moment.
It has been many months since I started this post, which I think only further enforces the thought. I am slowly regaining my balance. Transitions are easier, I am challenging myself more. Each week finds me more punctual, able to focus my attention, and engage with the world around me. However, I sometimes miss that unapologetic willingness to spend time in the moment.
*House or cocktail party planning tip: designate a “first to arrive” and a “first to leave.” This way, there will already be a guest to make other guests feel more comfortable, and the first guest won’t feel awkward, because that is that person’s job. Similarly, the “designated first to leave” is a great cue to the other guests that the evening is winding down, without the host feeling like he or she has to force the others out.