Dice or Dominoes?


June 21, 2017

          I was rushed. And tired. My mind was already a hundred miles down the road. I had just left one load of essentials in the camper and and was headed out for the next one. Then I wasn’t. I was rolling around in the grass hoping I was blowing the matter out of proportion. When I stepped off the last step, my right foot landed on the edge of a rut, a deep one, and my ankle rolled, pitching me forward and into agony.
          That was nine days ago. Since then I’ve been wondering about the origin of mistakes. Do they happen in a single, isolated moment — an individual roll of the dice? Or are they the product of a series of decisions — the final domino in a long line of tiles carefully placed?
          Am I sitting here now with a rainbow colored foot because I let my focus stray and myself move too quickly in that one second? Or is it because months ago I chose to have my work schedule compacted and worked ninety hours in ten days, failed to have the camper properly loaded in time, slept only three hours, then began to race around to get it done?
         As with most things, I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. If I hadn’t been so tired and preoccupied, I’m sure I would have been paying more attention to what I was doing coming out of the RV. I could have arrested the process, though, at any point, by slowing down and taking the extra millisecond to focus and be present.
         Maybe next time I’ll think further ahead — make sure my decisions now set me up for success three months from now. Maybe next time I find myself tired and in a hurry, I’ll slow down and focus and remember that mistakes taking longer to rectify than taking a few extra minutes to do them right.
         There’s an important lesson to learn here. Maybe my down time won’t be for naught. I feel like this might apply to a few more things than loading the RV…