Generations of moms echo that phrase, some it seems almost ceaselessly, and with good reason. Locked inside the genetic code of every child is the ability to completely ignore mom’s admonition. But.. MOM IS RIGHT! (A big shout out to mothers everywhere!) Attention is EVERYTHING when you want to do anything.
How well I know.
A year ago I suffered a concussion as the result of an auto accident. The effects are still with me as my brain slowly heals. The biggest challenge – paying attention. My poor little brain gets oh, so distracted. Yesterday, for instance, I was driving home in rush hour traffic. I sat at a light through several cycles waiting to make a left turn. Now mind you, this is a very familiar intersection, one I cross many times each week. No matter the time of day, the cycle is the same — green arrow for left turn followed by green light for all but left turn. I’ve been there, done that innumerable times. Yesterday was the same. I waited through the cycles inching closer to the intersection until I was first in line to make a left turn. The light turned green and away I went… to the collective honking of dozens of horns. For some unknown reason this cycle there was NO green left turn only arrow. I was making a left turn into oncoming traffic. Gratefully, the mayhem of SUVs and minivans and cars all askew was soon behind me and I made it safely to my door.
What got lost in the equation was my attention. I’d dropped my guard – so easy to do with a brain injury – and gone into auto pilot relying on habit instead of full attention. It was a wake up call for sure and a not so subtle reminder of that eternal mom telling me to, “Sit down, Shut up and Pay ATTENTION.”