First off, let’s get something straight, I’m not a “go slow and be cautious” kind of gal. I’m a card-carrying “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of gal. The kind who walks fast, talks fast, types fast, and challenges everyone and everything to keep up. So, slowing down and scrutinizing details doesn’t come natural to me. However, after living with my husband (who’s typing fingers, walking shoes, and words never seem to be in much of a hurry) for going on 28 years, I’ve picked up some of his country boy ways.
Slow down. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Check and double-check.
Sometimes when we’re in a parking lot and he grabs my hand in an effort to slow me down, I want to kick him in the seat of his pants. But I’d have to walk backwards to catch him. I thought about his effect on me in this regard a few days ago and the last thing I wanted to do was kick him. I realized I owed such a debt to him that the feeling of relief has yet to fade away.
At the risk of rambling (Who? Me?), I have to set the stage. We live in a rural area that happens to be behind a gate (the gate’s probably a 1/2 a mile from our house). From the window in front of my computer desk, I can see the gate, so I know when someone’s there. Usually the UPS man leaves our packages in a certain spot, but lately we’ve had a “fill in” that tends to turn around and take off. Since we’ve got packages coming regularly for Christmas, I’m keeping a keen eye out.
The day before yesterday, I saw the UPS man pull up to the gate and ran out the door in my house shoes and jumped in my vehicle to go stop him from getting away.
As you probably know, we have 4 cats (3 outside and 1 inside). It’s been chilly, so the outside cats have been staying in their various cat houses or even in the garage. Even when they do occasionally get under the vehicles, they sprint out as soon as a door’s opened.
As I threw myself into the driver’s seat, I took a quick mental inventory of where I’d seen my cats (just minutes ago). The two girls were in sight, by the carport door and I was 99 percent sure the sweet boy cat (Jelly Bean) was still in his favorite cat house, where I’d seen him only about 10 minutes ago. As I saw the UPS man beginnng to swing around, I thought, “I’m just going to double check…” and I hopped out, got on all fours and looked under the vehicle. Sure enough, there was my chubby, solid black, much beloved Jelly Bean SOUND asleep – right behind a front tire. He didn’t even wake up when I called his name.
One of those nights, I guess.
I lured him out and took off for the UPS man, ironically enough, thinking, “Slow down for crying out loud! What’s your freakin’ hurry?”
I’ve been thinking a lot since then. If I had ran over my sweet chubby faced cat that day I’m not sure I would have ever recovered. My vehicle is a big heavy thing and he would have, undoubtedly, been killed. I cannot even imagine the feelings I would have had if the unthinkable had happened. It’d take another animal lover to understand when I say that it’s something I would have lived with forever. Jelly Bean was a feral kitten that I won over with endless patience and even more love. In the picture above (in his thinner days!), I was as close as I could get to him. He’s now a big baby who trust me completely. He purrs loudly as soon as I even look at him. Such a sweetheart.
Thanks be to God – and to the influence of country boys who refuse to get in a hurry about anything – the scenario ended with one caught UPS man, two delivered packages, one relived cat mom, and (most importantly) one safe and unharmed black cat who isn’t so unlucky after all. Can you even imagine the cat treats he got that day???
On a lesser… make that much lesser… level, I have also dropped the ball a couple of times lately. I’m sure it’s because my mind is on Thanksgiving recipes, Christmas gifts, and cookies but I’ve made a couple of STUPID spelling errors and little goofs online lately. Ironically, one was even a huge pet peeve of mine. I forget the details (because they’re too horrifying to remember for someone who has always had a love affair with grammar) but I sent a tweet out in which I used “there” instead of “their.” I happened to catch it several days later and was mortified.
Yes, silly to be mortified by such a thing, but I’m obsessive about things like that. Allowing myself to get in a hurry and not taking the time to slow down and double check led to a regret. That almost always happens, doesn’t it?
This post is simply to serve as a reminder for everyone to take pains to slow down and double check what’s going on around you. We live in a society that’s so fast-paced right now, it’s almost on hyper drive. Think about it, people get ticked off if they have to wait in a drive through for more than 3 minutes!
I’m convinced a lot of grief could be spared if we just learned to slow down and live completely in the moment. At worst we’ll spare ourselves embarrassment, at most we’ll save a life.