I was walking in my study when I was smacked in the middle of my forehead by an “Ah-Ha!” moment.
Now, please realize I call the room my “study” but hardly any studying goes on there. I use the room for printing, computing, writing, binding and other creative endeavors. What made me stop in my tracks while moving from one area to another in that room was an extension cord.
No, I didn’t trip on it or step on it. I stepped over it.
And what is remarkable is that it wasn’t even plugged in. It was coiled in a bundle and sitting on the floor in from of my bookcase (holding the various books I “want” to study or refer to). And that’s the humorous part…it served no purpose other than to remind me I needed to put it away, but day after day I stepped over it.
Ah, now you ask, “Well, maybe where it was to be stored is difficult to get to or far away.” Not so! Ten steps, a turn, open a bin, and toss it in…2 minutes max.
So, why haven’t I put it away? For that matter why haven’t I put away books, toys, piles, or carried items to the second floor of our home? Why step over? Daily. Hourly. For weeks on end? Why continually stress myself out every time I step over something?
I could say it was due to interruptions, distractions, procrastination, not knowing where to put it, and a whole host of other reasons but I believe the bottom-line is the storyline I tell myself: “I will set it here for now and put it away the next time I head toward where it should be stored/shelved.” In a way it is procrastination; in another way it is laziness; and yet again, it could be my attempt to be more efficient and productive. And it all leads to stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed when all the piles are considered.
Yet I find piles taking residence where they are deposited. Take my orphaned keys are an example. Please, take them. The key I need is lost among the pile of keys I was eventually going to sift through. Which ones are “live” and which ones are orphaned…and which locks will I have to destroy because that one key is “missing?”
One to five minutes is all it would take to put it away or decide to dispose of it.
And I wish it were just physical things.
Electronic files including these writings, tax information, photos, and other downloaded goodies never seem to quite make it to their final resting place on my computer or in the cloud.
Thoughts pop up and I “step over” them making a mental note to get back to them later.
Store errands get side-tracked as I nimbly “step over” a stop thinking I will get to it on the way back.
Then we have life in general.
- How many opportunities were “stepped over”?
- How many dreams perished due to “stepping over” them?
- How many relationships were “stepped over”?
- How many chances to quietly contemplate and plan for the future were “stepped over”?
- How many people “step over” writing a will or planning their funeral? A tough subject to talk about in our Western culture.
A way of life creating piles we will eventually need to take care of, but the more piles we have the more time it will take to sort through them.
But imagine how much playtime, free time, and clear thoughts I (we?) could have if the Step Over Life disappeared altogether…
So, here’s to a new year where the “Step Over” lifestyle comes to an end, otherwise I may end up inadvertently stepping over life itself.
(note: images have been left out of this post; the original contains several images)