The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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The “Did That Just Happen?” Pause

on November 21, 2012

You know how sometimes something happens and your brain pauses for an extra moment?  Like staring for an extra second is going to make you comprehend it better.  I’ll give you an example.  When my oldest children were quite small the front of the trunk of our Christmas Tree (unbeknownst to us) got soft and suddenly the whole tree fell over one evening.  Right in front of the walker my 3 month old daughter was sitting in.  I remember distinctly standing from my vantage point in the kitchen watching it start to fall and being unable to move.  It was like my brain needed a moment to wrap around what was happening before I could respond. Or there was a time when I accidentally touched one of the burners on my stove and it took the extra moment for it to register “Hey! That hurts! Pull it back!!” Not that I cognitively thought those words.  I just remember that split second of looking at it before I pulled my hand back.    I guess this is why I never pursued a career in emergency response. My brain pauses when something happens in front of me. It needs a minute to catch up to what I just saw.   I had a day filled with brain pauses yesterday.

While driving our younger daughter to school yesterday a mother (who was obviously in a hurry) decided that the “no left turn” sign out of the high school parking lot didn’t apply to her.  She whipped out of the lot, turning left of course (because those arrow signs with the red circle and a line are so hard to understand) right in front of oncoming traffic.  Me and the high school driver who was drag racing me to get into the correct lane to turn into the parking lot to be exact.  Squealing brakes, horns blaring (not mine) and everyone managed to avoid an accident but I had a moment of “Did she really just do that?” as I tried to calm my spiking heart rate. Thankfully it was only momentary because I was driving at the time.  After a few more “who taught these people to drive” incidents I managed to make it out alive and headed back home to pick up our son for school.

Arriving home I discovered that our fourth grader wasn’t in fourth gear quite yet.  I had to hurry him along.  To help I opened the freezer door to get out the ice pack for his lunch and one of the cakes that I baked the night before started to slide out.  Thankfully the “pause” didn’t occur until after I caught the thing before any damage was done.  Again with an elevated heart rate I breathed a brief thanks to the Lord.  At least I was the one who opened the freezer instead of him. I don’t have time to bake that thing again.  Then I realized my hands were getting really cold.

Once at work I loaded some paper to run the monthly newsletter. Backwards. It took a minute for my brain to catch up enough to hit the “stop/cancel” button on the printer. (Don’t you wish live had a stop/cancel button sometimes?  Hmmmm…..that’s a blog for a different day.) Did I just waste fifteen sheets of paper? Because my brain was pausing – yes.  Things were not looking good.  Thankfully the rest of the morning went without further incident or office supply waste.

Home for lunch I was tidying up the kitchen and bumped the coffee carafe against the sink.  Sure enough:

I really didn’t think I’d bumped it that hard.  I stood and stared at the silly thing for quite some time.  As if my vision would somehow meld the glass back together.  Or if I looked at it long enough it wouldn’t have happened. Life without coffee first thing in the morning? Oh – I don’t think so!  (I have mentioned that I don’t see in color until I’ve had my first cup of coffee – right?) Somewhere in my frozen brain I started wishing for that stop/cancel button.  Or maybe a rewind button.  Since they do sell replacement carafes I realize that this wasn’t the world’s greatest tragedy. It just felt like it for that moment of pause.

After managing to complete my work day without any more destruction I headed home enjoying the unseasonably warm 62 degree day.  I glanced over to see a gentleman walking down the sidewalk without a shirt on.  My brain froze.  Really?  Did I just see that?  It’s 62 degrees outside.  Is that warm enough to shed your shirt?  I might add here that this young man should probably keep his shirt on at 162 degrees, but that’s just an opinion.  I had barely unstuck my brain to turn left at a light when I (thankfully) noticed that a F350 with a really large trailer was making no indication he was planning to stop for the red light.  Again my pulse spiked and I slammed on my breaks.  This time I did use my horn.   Did he really just blow that light?  I unpaused long enough to get home with body and vehicle in one piece.  I’m beginning to think that was more of an accomplishment than I thought.

Logging on to Facebook I noticed that our oldest son had posted about feeling great because he has been able to spend more time in the weight room again lately.  He posted some numbers: squat – 615lbx2 Leg press – 1260×4. My brain once again paused trying to grasp those numbers.  Then it kicked into high gear. “Who in the world needs to be able to put that much weight on his back and squat?? He’s going to pop every muscle in his leg…..”  Okay – maybe that should be filed under ‘Things a mother doesn’t need to see or know’ rather than ‘Did that just happen?’.  Either way the boy elevated my heart rate for a moment. Again.

Thankfully the rest of the evening was incident free.  We managed to attend our daughters’ jazz concert without anything messing with my brain. (No small achievement considering how my day had gone.) Their dad had a moment of elevated heart rate but that had more to do with some choreography than anything odd happening.  It didn’t faze me as much which is good.  I don’t think my heart could have taken any more quirky spikes and pauses yesterday.  My pulse was elevated enough  just trying to survive the stuff I kept doing.  Who needs aerobics anyway?

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4 responses to “The “Did That Just Happen?” Pause

  1. Hilarious!! Yes, I have slow reaction time too! I often catch myself wondering how I’ve made it through life thus far because of my inability of being on the ball!!

  2. javaj240 says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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