Lara Simmons
From the Members

One Thing at a Time

Lara Simmons on August 22nd, 2011 No Comments

“What time is it? NOW.
Where are you? HERE.”

—Dan Millman, “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”

Today has been one of those days in which my “to do” list far exceeds the amount of time I have. As I ran through my list – and through my day – I was aware of that little voice inside of me, trying to get my attention.

“I don’t have time for you right now,” I kept responding. “Not now. Later.”

Dishes. Laundry. Mail. Writing. And still, that little voice.

“NOT. NOW.” I said again, a bit impatiently this time.

Write. Read. Revise. Read again. Rewrite. Reread. Repeat.

And, again, that little voice.

“NOT! NOW!” I lost it with myself. “I can’t stop now!”

At five o’clock, my list still large and looming, I finally took a breath. And that’s when I realized that I had lost a whole day. Not in the sense of getting nothing done, I had gotten plenty done, but I had not really been present for any of it. I had rushed through my day from one thing to another, not really paying attention, not really being present, not really living.

I had let my kids watch too much TV. I had spent too much time in front of the computer. I had taken too few breaths.

I closed my laptop, made myself a snack and sat down to rest.

“You can only do one thing at a time you know,” the little voice said, now that it had my attention.

“I know, but…” I started to run down my list again, of all the things I had to do.

“One thing,” it repeated insistently.

“I know, I know,” I said, giving in and realizing it all over again.

When I stood up I asked myself, “What is the FIRST thing I need to get done?” And then I did it, to completion, before moving on to the next thing.

When I get in this mode I feel like I am in the driver’s seat again. Behind the wheel, the things of life coming at me, but at a pace I can handle. One thing hitting the windshield at a time, then bouncing off before the next thing appears. Being. HERE. NOW.

Lara Simmons

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