Wednesday, March 19, 2008

brain damage?

One of the interesting quirks about the place where I work is that we "contract" with R, one of my fellow psychologist's wives, to do our billing, to follow up with insurance companies, and to pick up the mail. R is, coincidentally, the only truly irreplaceable member of our group. We often joked when we were asked to create our "emergency plan" (a HIPAA required plan for how we would respond as an agency if there were an emergency) that we would all join together to make a protective circle around R.

So anyway, K (the fellow psychologist I mentioned) and R went on a nice vacation this week. And because I am one of the only full time workers here, R asked if I would be interested in picking up the mail. Which I've done before and was fine with.

So today, even though I fully knew of all of the above, I walked into the office and checked to see what mail had come in. "Hmm," I said. "No mail yet. That's strange." And again, later, I checked the mailboxes. "Gee, R still hasn't picked up the mail. That's not like her..."

And then it hit me.

Now aside from some humorous musings about whether I injured more than my arm in my fall 7 weeks ago (or whether I might be suffering from an early-onset form of Alzheimer's), what strikes me about this experience is the process of going through the motions, of getting into routine, of failing to notice something that should have struck my attention.

Routines, it seems to me, simplify our lives, make them manageable. They are useful, even necessary. But they are not, it seems to me, sources of life, of joy, of insight -- at least not when they are done without mindfulness. It humbles me to think of how often I might lapse into such mindless routines, how much I may fail to notice, how many opportunities I might miss.

I pray to do so less.

Peace to you all.

1 comment:

Wyldth1ng said...

Totally understandable