The other morning, as I was racing to get the kids out of the house for school and myself dressed, ready, and to my desk in order to tackle the long list of to-dos that awaited, I was feeling frenzied. My competent self was suppressed by a multi-layered haze—the fog of the urgent needs of the people in front of me, the cloud of concern about the tasks of the day, and finally a deep, floating ache for a horizon that wasn’t yet clear.I set off fora walk to clear my head for the day and make some plans, but I couldn’t shake the daze. So I gave myself a mantra: “taking care of business.” I thought that I could power through these feelings by setting an intention of practicality, and, for a bit, it worked.
I went from walking to jogging, energized by the rhythm and certainty of these words, and started to feel like sheer will would be all it took to move from the swarm of the big picture to the achievability of the right now.
While trotting along with growing conviction, something caught my eye just off the trail. With my gaze diverted, I failed to see a rock in my path, and stumbled. Suddenly, I was on the ground, the dog's leash, my sunglasses and phone all scattered around out of reach, like my recently-found confidence.
But I had hold of something new—clarity about how to go forward: One step at a time. I got up and started walking again. This time though, I set my sights on that misty horizon, and made sure each footfall was bringing me closer to where I wanted to be.
It’s all fine and good to take care of business, but you have to watch where you’re going, if that business is going to get you where you want to be.
What's your horizon? How can you make sure you're moving toward it, even when the haze comes in?