Is the Automatic Pilot present?

3 Feb

A friend recently shared with me how on her way to work, she forgot to take her daughter to daycare.  She couldn’t really remember how she got to work but she drove straight there, safely.  Her mind was so preoccupied she forgot about her daughter.  However, she still managed to get herself to work.  Has this EVER happened to you?

I know it’s happened to me.  I’m not talking about being distracted by a cell phone or anything.  I’m talking about driving somewhere and then immediately thinking to yourself  “wow, how did I just get here?”  We are on auto-pilot.  Our brain and memory are facinating.  We don’t even have to “think” and we end up exactly where we should be!

Does this ever feel like your life?  You have a memory that was decade(s) ago.  You enjoy that memory and then immediately think “how did I get from there to here?”  For some, that might occur as a good thing.  Maybe the last few years or so have not been your favorite. 

For others, it’s like, what the ???  How did the time go by so fast? 

Are you experiencing your life or are you on auto-pilot just going thru the motions?  Does anyone remember that movie with Adam Sandler when he has the remote control and fast forwards thru the parts of his life that he thinks he doesn’t want to experience.  The funniest part I remember is how he skips through an entire fight with his wife!  Ha!  Not so easy buddy!  Okay, the funniest part is when he fast fowards and they show the dog humping the stuffed animal! Of course at the end of the  movie he realized that the small things in life do matter.  He regrets not making the time for his family and experiencing their lives with them. 

I’m not an expert in this field but I am a participant in my life.  I have caught myself ignoring my boys because I’m on Twitter or watching a ridiculous reality TV show.  (although it doesn’t seem ridiculous at the time, RHWOA OR BH, ha!)  Or because I just  need to get ONE more email sent.  The crazy thing though is by the end of the night, I have  made them dinner, given baby his bottle, changed pampers, picked up toys and got them in bed.  I can’t tell you how it all happened but it gets done. 

My fear? That this will continue.  And before I know it, they’ll be walking across a stage to receive a diploma.  I acknowledge it now so that I may stop.  Hopefully the time gets shorter and shorter in which it takes for me to recognize it daily. 

My husband works long hours, my boys are growing quickly and I crave solid memories with them.  Some will be funny, happy, sad, or memories of driving one another crazy!  Mainly, I want authentic and specific not auto-pilot and generic. Is this too much to ask?

I mention my family because I have small children right now. But what about you?  What do you want to be present for in your life?  What do you crave to create authentic memories around?  Do you want to look back at your career and remember your sense of purpose?  How about in your community and where you specifically impacted your nieghbors?  Are you present?

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4 Responses to “Is the Automatic Pilot present?”

  1. Michelle Poteet February 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Great post Melanie, and so relatable for many of us with kiddos. I’ve learned through the years (my oldest now 7) that what is really important is the quality of the time I spend with my boys. We’ve set certain rules in the house, and even the parents are to follow them. We decided a few years ago that it was best if we didn’t have the boys (or us) watching TV after dinner. That time was completely dedicated to the boys, homework, playing, and getting ready for bed. Sure, my hubby and I can catch a show later on (thanks DVR), but we have blocked out the 5-8 timeframe pretty much for family. Same pretty much goes for the phone and computer. I’ve been there, and sometimes still get sucked in, to going through life on auto-pilot. I, like you, don’t want that to be my life. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. mendezgonzales February 6, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks Michelle. My hat off to you for your commitment to your boys. 5-8 time frame is not easy. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. laurence karasek March 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I met you last night, with Richard outside the seminar so I read your blog to see how that works as a communication construct and it seems to me like the English having tea in the afternoon, a one lump or two kind of informal, friendly chat, sometimes reinforced by biscuits but mostly as a ritual and its comforts. I’m an American so “teatime” no longer factors except from a distant recess I hear the echo call. Do you know where I can buy some digestives?

    Laurence.

    • mendezgonzales March 13, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Laurence. Thanks. I do want this to be a place of conversation. I do not know where you can buy some digestives. I’m pretty much reading blogs at the moment. Maybe Barnes & Nobles online will have some ebooks you may be interested in??!

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