Friday, May 20, 2011

Casualties of Not Paying Attention

Take Time to Not Pick the Poppies
By Christine Clark
Missed deadlines, late payments (ergo, higher payments), food gone bad in the fridge, missed connections, hurt feelings, near-misses in traffic, a simple cold that morphs into bronchitis or, worse, pneumonia. All are casualties of not paying attention.
My latest casualty of not paying attention is the poppy plant I yanked out of the ground last night while I was “weeding.”  This poppy was perfect. Its sweet face greeted me early Mother’s Day morning.  I shared the first sublime bloom on my Facebook page and watched the comment boxes fill with oohs and ahhs. It was a thing of beauty. It still is a thing of beauty, but it’s in a vase rather than in the ground. Poppies rarely survive transplanting, but I put what was left of the plant and the bloom in water and it perked up. The other buds likely will not bloom. Poppies are annuals, so it had a limited lifespan and bloom time, but I wanted to watch that bloom time and enjoy it.

From perfect...
A moment of carelessness—not paying attention—means that lifespan is even more limited.
Fresh vegetables in my fridge also have a limited lifespan, and I must pay attention and eat them before they are compost material.
People and relationships should take top priority in life, note the should. When I don’t pay attention, important relationships get second, third, fourth, or later billing. Casualties of hurt feelings, misunderstanding, and disagreements often follow.
Spacing out, thinking, looking at landscapes I envy, planning what is next on my to-do list—all while driving—mean I am not paying attention. I have had several near-misses in traffic.
Common colds become uncommon when I don’t pay attention, stop, rest, and care for myself. I’ve had pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections—often they got worse simply because I didn’t pay attention to what my body was telling me.
Today, my message to myself is: slow down, do not pick the poppies, watch where I’m going, give my primary relationships the attention they deserve, take care of myself. These things deserve my attention, lest they become casualties. plucked

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