I have this bad habit. I like to plan out my day and keep a running mental list of all of the things I’m going to do. Then when I am doing task one, I start to think about task two. When I start task two, my mind wanders to task three. And so on and so on.
Presence of mind and focus is a struggle.
I’m the only person affected by this when it comes to things like cleaning my house, running errands and other non-social things, which isn’t so bad. It probably just makes me less productive.
However, I do this same thing when I’m at lunch with a friend or coffee with a coworker. I’m looking at her and she is moving her mouth, but I don’t hear what she’s saying because I’m thinking about task two or meeting two that is to come. My mind races ahead leaving the person in front of me in my dusty cloud of “you’re not enough.”
Because that’s what I’m saying to them.
I’m saying, “you’re not enough for me in this moment.”
My excuse for this behavior has long been that I’m a planner and a doer and like to keep busy. In this fast-paced and frantic world, who isn’t like this?
But this isn’t actually what I’m doing when a friend is pouring her heart out to me and I’m jumping ahead to my dinner plans and the grocery store I have to hit up on the way home and “Do I have gas in my car? Where is the nearest gas station from here? Oh, I need to call my mom back. Did I set a reminder for that?”
I owe my friends an apology.
I know many of them have fallen victim to my eyes-glazed-over, I’m-thinking-about-something-else look. It’s not that I’m just so busy and scheduled and frantic; it’s that I have thought that my life and my plans were more important than you, and for that, I’m sorry.
It’s like when you’re at a party and the person you’re talking to keeps looking over your shoulder for someone better to mingle with. You’re not enough for them.
So maybe the answer isn’t practicing presence of mind and focusing on the here and now. Maybe the answer is assessing your own level of contentment.
Will the people in your life ever be enough?
Or will the grocery store and filling your gas tank and checking off that next task continue to propel you and make you feel competent? If so, you’ll never feel that way. There is always more to do.