One Thing At a Time

When my husband asks, “Are you trying to bake that cake again!” I know it is my cue to slow down and concentrate on one thing at a time. It is a gentle reminder that started between us many years ago when our children were small, and our life was full of people and activities.

Right before guests would arrive for dinner, regardless of what a wonderful meal I had prepared, I would inevitably decide to add something else, which often made the moments before their arrival stressful.

Trying to do too many things at once can be not only stressful but also dangerous.  On my way to one of my appointments this week, I noticed the driver in front of me was talking on the cell phone, taking bites of a hamburger placed in her lap, and sipping a drink from a cup in the holder of her console–and driving.

It looked like an accident about to happen, and I quickly got out of her way. Unfortunately, this dangerous scene is an example of how we live now.

It seems that, most of the time, we are scrambling around, moving very quickly, doing three or four things at once, and only half-listening to the people we come into contact with.  Our minds are cluttered and overly busy.

We are blessed to have so many things to make our life easier, like cell phones, and a curse at the same time. The blessing is that we can do so many things at once and always be in touch with everyone. Of course, that has always been easy for most women, because as mothers, we usually have about 18-25 years of “on-the-job” training multitasking.

From the time the nurse places a child and the extra take-home supplies on a mother's lap on the way out of the hospital, until the day that child leaves home, she learns to cook, talk on the phone, sign school papers, hem a pant leg, and place a band-aid gently on a quivering knee, while getting ready for her own job.

The curse is-many of us have a hard time slowing down when they leave. Being able to do everything at once becomes a way of life. I'd estimate that I operate at about half the speed I did when I was a young mother.  However, I've learned that I get as much accomplished when I concentrate on doing one thing at a time, and I enjoy it more too.

When we concentrate on the moment, it can also make a difference in how we treat others.  While at the bank one day, I watched as a very friendly teller was helping a customer.  The man's cell phone rang while she was talking to him and he answered it.

Instead of asking the caller to wait, he ignored the nice person waiting on him.  She finally stopped trying to talk to him. When the transaction was over, he took his money and walked out without acknowledging her.

Respecting the dignity and pride of the workforce, who are making a difference in our country’s well-being, is important.  We never know what is going on in people's hearts and lives.

Sharing and appreciating our collective vocations helps each of us get through a working day. It wasn't a big thing, and maybe it didn't bother her as much as it did me as I watched the scene unfold, but it seemed to me that it could have been a more enjoyable moment for both of them if he had concentrated on one thing at a time.

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Deana Landers
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I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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