Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the world’s worst multi-tasker. This is mostly because I have the attention span of a fly and am easily distracted. My husband calls it “Oooh butterfly!” syndrome. I can be in mid conversation and something shiny (or even not so shiny) will catch my attention and poof! I’m gone in another direction, forgetting everything in my wake.
It’s usually a minor annoyance, but sometimes it has major consequences. Case in point, at the end of August, I took a day off to run some errands and spend time with my husband (date day?) while my daughter was in daycare. As usual, I tried to defeat the bonds of space and time by cramming more running around in more directions than humanly possible. I was all over the place that day and was shortchanging my husband and our date day. I knew it, he knew it, but I knew if I just had five more minutes to run one more errand, I could do it all. While on this quest, I ran to the consignment shop to do some back to school shopping for Zoey. I came out to the parking lot to find my car with a dead battery. After calling my husband to come from Vernon to Manchester for the jumpstart, I went on my way to pick up Zoey at daycare, then run to the bank and head home. All of a sudden, as I was leaving the bank-wham!-I rear ended someone.
I didn’t notice that a line of cars was stopped at the light in front of me. “How does one miss that?” you ask? Distraction. I was definitely working the radio and talking to Zoey… and I may or may not have had my phone in my hand at the time. It was awful. The airbag deployed and everything. Thankfully no one was hurt, except our poor cars. I held it together until my husband came to the rescue (again) and took care of Zo. Then I lost it-blithering idiot. My daughter was scared and it was all my fault. She still asks me, “Mommy, why you hit that lady with your car?” almost every day.
After a month of car repairs, I had my trusty wagon back and while pulling out of dance class, I was talking to Zoey, looking at her in the rear view mirror, trying to negotiate traffic and –boom! – I hit the curb. Instant flat tire. (I am really getting my money’s worth out of my AAA membership, but come on!) Another fond memory for Zoey to put in her mental scrap book. “Mommy, why you hit that curb and break your tire?” Oh lord, Mother of the Year award here I come!
There’s a lesson here: When you multi task, something’s got to give. I have come to the realization that I’m not Wonder Woman, impervious to all danger in my pursuit to get it all done in 5 minutes or less, even though I really want to be. Now on those days when I feel like life is moving at a million miles an hour and there’s so much to do, so many lists to create, and so many responsibilities to take care of that my head is left spinning, I make myself stop and truly pay attention to what I’m doing. I’ve even taken The Pledge to remind myself how dangerous distracted driving can be. Zoey helps me too. She constantly reminds me “Two hands on the wheel Mommy, so you don’t crash your car again!”
Side note: This post wasn’t supposed to be solely about my driving exploits, but …I got distracted.