16 April 2014

N is for Noticing: Sleepwalking Through Life

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
~ R. D. Laing

Back in January, I began the One Page a Day Challenge and immediately threw away my quill.  Now in April, I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and prepping for a Wilderness Writers’ Retreat.  I need ink, a stiff drink and therapy.

ear God, what is that thing!?”

This phrase echoed in my perfect ears this morning as I walked through the lobby on my way to a meeting.

A little embarrassing to admit that I’ve been working in this building for close to four years and never noticed the huge model plane hanging from the lobby ceiling.  Until today.

Seriously, it’s a model plane but you could put a small dog or toddler in there and watch them fly away.  I know I’m not tall, but even I should have seen a mid-size replica of the brain child of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Which led me to wonder: what else escapes my notice in the course of a day?

N is for Noticing
Sherlock (the BBC-BC version but of course) once told John: “As ever John, you see but do not observe.”  A way of living that sadly, most of us could cop to.  We look at things, people, places, but do we ever truly see them?  Notice them?

Or do we rather drift past them, always on the way to somewhere else?  Focused on something else?

The dictionary defines notice in three ways: 
noun1.       attention; observation.
synonyms:          attention, observation, awareness, consciousness, perception; More2.      notification or warning of something, esp. to allow preparations to be made.
synonyms:          notification, warning, advance warning, announcementverb1.       become aware of.
synonyms: observe, perceive, note, see, discern, detect, spot, distinguish, mark, remark 
All three involve time and focus.  Attention, observation, awareness, discerning ~ these are not things you can do in a rush.  And if we’re living our daily lives like this, they can’t be very fulfilling.

Life should not be lived on auto-pilot.  I understand that some tasks are best done out of habit.  But if we sleepwalk through our days, we are missing out on so much. 
Image credit: Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson
Parents seem to lament this attitude the most ~ that they blink and their two year old is now sweet sixteen and going to her first dance.  Junior is heading out the door on his first tour of duty. 

And you wonder: where did the time go?

When you should be wondering: what the heck am I doing every day?  And how can I be more present to those around me?  What beauty out there am I not noticing?

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Take some time tomorrow to really notice what is going on around you.  Then come back and tell us what you had been missing all this time.

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