The important ones

5 years ago

I dash down the stairs and briskly push the door open. Out on the sidewalk I dodge pedestrians as I make a mad dash to my car.

It’s 4pm and I must get to my car and on the road if I have any chance of making it home before 5pm. A few minutes late is no big deal, of course, but our nanny is a busy lady. She has places to go and things to do. And the earlier I walk through the door, the more details I get to hear about their day. I live for those details.

Making it to my car is my main goal. But, now that I've left the office, the floodgates have opened. All of the phone calls I forgot to return, emails I forgot to send, documents I forgot to review, meetings I forgot to set – they all rush into my brain. They are screaming. “Remember me! You'll forget to do me tomorrow but I'm here now! And I'm REALLY important!” And they are really important. I goof and check my email as I walk. At a dizzying pace, emails are appearing in my inbox. Emails from co-workers still sitting at their desks, rounding the last corner of their days, and looking over their nicely written to-do lists. While I rush home, they'll be crossing things off. Those ‘I forgots’ won’t plague them as they drive home. Nope. Their ‘I remembereds’ are sitting in my inbox.

20 feet from the parking garage, I look up. Coming towards me is a stroller. A young boy is bundled and babbling as a young woman pushes him along.

And I realize. I haven’t been outside all day. I try to at least take a walk for lunch but today was a scarf-a-granloa-bar-at-your-desk kind of day. I haven’t been outside. And I haven’t thought about her.

My brain tries to rattle on, listing out even more things I've forgotten. But my heart sings out in a soothing tone. “Be calm. Those things will be there tomorrow. You'll remember the important ones. But now you're headed to where you need to be. To the most important ones.”

I take a deep breath and slowly let it out. I make it to my car and start the journey home. To the important ones.

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