Earlier today, I read a heartbreaking story. It seems the past few years, there have been more and more cases of parents leaving their children in the car, and hours later, they discover their child has passed away. This news story was no different. A mother went to pick up her daughter from daycare, and the daycare works told her she never dropped her daughter off. Come to find out, the child was in the backseat all day while the mom was at work, and passed away.
Of course, reading the Facebook comments, a lot of people had very strong opinions about this. Some people felt like there’s no way she could’ve forgotten that her toddler was in the backseat the whole time. Other people could empathize and see how such a thing could happen in today’s day and age.
In all honesty, we’re extremely distracted. I can’t tell you how many times things slip my mind on a regular basis. I am autopilot a lot of times, and end up at home when I meant to make a stop before hand. I’ll be walking toward a room and completely blank on why I was headed in that direction. We’re preoccupied and not all here.
I have the gift and the curse of knowing when I’m overstimulated. My body and brain will shoot off signals when I need to basically do a soft reset. I turn off the TV or close my computer. I put my phone on do not disturb and sometimes I even have to turn the lights off. When you have notifications popping up on your phone, TV shows competing for your attention, and so many things passing through your mind on a regular basis, it’s easy to see how you can miss what’s in front of you.
I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy a few weeks ago, and one of the intern doctors was at risk of losing his job. He took a risk, opening a patient up in the hallway, stating he had no other choice because the hospital was on lockdown. Surveillance video showed that not only did the elevator doors open, that would’ve taken him to an operating room with resident doctors, but that he looked straight at the doors, and decided to operate anyway. The debate throughout the episode was whether or not he actually saw the doors, even though he was looking right at them.
I started a meditation practice a couple years ago, and it really helped me to get back into the moment. I can feel that based on the past couple weeks, I really need to start it back up again. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is not a badge of honor, and it’s honestly super dangerous. There are so many signs to slow down, and I need to take heed.
Being busy isn’t always a good thing. Completely stacking our schedule with one thing after the other is not a good idea. What we need is scheduled down time, play time, and just free time in general. We need an outlet to be able to export some of the things we import throughout the day. Any one of us can be in a situation where our lack of attention can lead to a tragedy. But it’s preventable, if we just put our wellbeing first.