You’re at a party, having a great time, feeling no pain. Then – blammo – that tortilla chip flips the wrong way and the roof of your mouth is ripped apart in a small silent agony.
You try to play through. Some more sips of your beer, a little potato chip action with some soothing French onion dip – and you’re feeling better. Then, without thinking, you go back to the chips and salsa and BLAMMO do it again.
WHY!? Why do these things happen to us? Simple – it’s life reminding us to focus.
We’re caught in a world where doing one thing at a time seems like a waste. We watch TV… while texting. We eat breakfast… while watching the news. We write a blog… while listening to the kids sing the greatest hits of Daniel Tiger on the baby monitor. We drive our cars… while doing a MILLION other things we shouldn’t be doing.
Time to re-focus. Concentrate on the task at hand. Won’t we enjoy the TV show more if we actually focus on what’s being said and not just looking up from our tablet every couple minutes?
So, it’s my belief that these little annoying ‘pains’ in our lives are small wakeup calls from the universe.
Aside from the #1 razor sharp blade-like precision of a mis-chewed Dortitos chip, what else wakes us up?
Here are a few more of my “favorites”…
Spilling an entire cup of hot (insert beverage) on your lap in the car.
For me it was an extra large cup of hot tea from Dunkin Donuts. I was pulling into the farm, where I used to work, and as I was gliding into the parking spot I was putting my phone in my pocket, looking around for my bag and grabbing for the tea in the cup holder, all at the same time – while the car was STILL MOVING!
I was scalded pretty bad, and got to sit with wet pants all day.
Lesson learned? Just drive, stupid. Get the cup after you put it in park.
Clipping your finger nail WAY too close to the skin.
Ouch. It’s a little teeny slice, but man, oh man, does it hurt.
And it doesn’t stop. It just keeps going. Every time you touch something, type a key or put your hand in your pocket – you hit that spot again.
Lesson learned? LOOK at your fingers while trimming the nails. Pay attention to the location of the clipper in reference to, you know, your SKIN!
Need to know how the experts say to clip your nails? Read GQ’s How-To Article.
Stepping on Lego
Yes, we know this is a rite of passage for a parent. But seriously – we saw these things in the pile before we turned out the lights.
Why the hell did we forget, in the 30 seconds it took us to hit the light switch, to take an alternative path away from the lamp and not just back across the minefield of little plastic pieces from Denmark?
Lesson learned? 1. Use your phone as a flashlight if you’re treading back through an untidy play area after lights out. 2. CLEAN UP! Sure, it’s the kids’ mess and they should be responsible – but they’re in bed and that’s a small victory in itself. Pick up the pile of Lego before you lose a toe.
Or – you can try these awesome Lego slippers!
Biting your tongue or cheek
You’re eating and you’re so excited for whatever it is that you go with reckless abandon like you’re in the July 4th hotdog eating contest. The lip, tongue or inner cheek gets in the wrong place and you’re done for.
It swells up and chances are this will just keep happening to you for a few days now. Was eating that cookie in 2 seconds that important?
Lesson learned? Slow down! Food is expensive. Food takes time to prepare. Savor it! If it tastes so good that you’re rushing through – then stop and think about that – take the time to savor it. You’re a grown up , no one is taking it away from you.
Ok, if it’s candy and your kids don’t have any… eat it as fast as you can. They WILL take it from you. By force, if necessary.
Burning the roof of your mouth
That first spoonful of soup. That hot slice of pizza right out of the oven. That chicken wing straight from the fryer. We just can’t help ourselves. We see the steam surrounding our target and we still dive right in. It’s like the villains in Star Wars or Star Trek – they know the ship has a shield yet they still keep firing. They just can’t help themselves, and neither can we.
We dive in to that really hot food – and you know what? That ruins our ability to taste for like a week.
Totally not worth it. Even worse, when you can’t spit it out and you sit there slowly dying. You try breathing in around the food while it’s already in your mouth. It’s just a bad looking scene all around.
Lesson learned? It’s hot – WAIT A MINUTE!!
There are tons more we could look into – stubbing your toe (wear shoes), paper cuts (slow down), splinters (use gloves), but it’s a new year. Let’s just focus on all the times we aren’t in the silent, ninja like surprise pain, that comes with being in a rush.
Slow down folks. Let’s enjoy the ride a little bit more.