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  • Laura Kozak

Scraped Knees and Snails

Updated: Aug 9, 2019



Be Still.


Slow Down.


Don’t rush.


But this kind of hurry is what I know – what we all do, those of us who came of age in the era of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is a traitor. It infiltrates the brain, corrodes the attention span, and it’s the source of many errors and mistakes. It’s dangerous: texting and driving. In my case, walking and talking.


The stuff we wield in our hurry, trying to succeed…to look a part, to play a part: Wedge heels on the feet, espadrille style with ankle straps. iPhone at my ear as I wobble with a hurried, earnest strategy/coaching/mentoring call – in this case, I am playing the role of “experienced, seasoned” professional, which is feeling to me more tenuous with every step. There’s an appointment in 26 minutes, a drive to it, but I’ve loaded the car and am pivoting (on my feet) toward the garden hose; will finish the call, while watering, then dash to the 11:00. Including walking and involuntary muscle activity – and thinking and distractedly, animated talk through the iPhone. And I fall.


This is what I call, “Living the Dream.”


Concrete eats up my knee. I eventually land from knee to rear end, stunned. I interrupt G – “I’m so sorry. I just fell. I need a sec.” The heals of my hands are scraped and red. The knee bleeds.


Resume convo. Crying is for later. You are a professional.


My earliest memories are of falling when I was a toddler, maybe 18 months, of my soft fresh baby knees impacting the grainy sandy sharp teeth of the concrete sidewalk. The shock of that fall. And now this one makes me feel about two years old.


I’m prone to car accidents and falling, especially when my world is changing rapidly. These come in major shift seasons, painful years, where the labor pains of trying new things (say, being a mother of special needs baby or going to graduate school for an MBA). I typically fall because I am doing too much. My feet in summer open toed heels betray me, but my ankles are the true reason. Weak ankles. Maybe I should add yoga and more strength training, or just sit on the stoop and be late for my meeting and cry.


Been there?


I can’t talk about work life balance and not acknowledge that I pray. I pray to do it better…but perhaps I should just be still, slow down, pay attention. Surrender.

I am looking at my hands which have the salt of the concrete on them, and some red lines, when I discover in my hand the tiniest of snails.


Message received.


This is scraped knees and snails…the wounds and little things we encounter as we go about living, working, mothering, praying, and I realize, again, that something has got to give. I think it’s the multi-tasking, the rushing…in the past 10 years iPhones and Social Media have given us more capacity to communicate, share knowledge, be all over the world if we want, to be sure, but I can’t say I’m better for these tools. If anything, the expectations and demands have only increased, along with the “fake news” and the rampant narcissism…among the other “isms” of our day.


I made it to the meeting on time….


And then I cried.


Be gentle with one another today,


Laura


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