When You’re Not Looking

I was at the hospital yesterday and looking for parking. Now, for anyone who’s ever been to the Mis, you know the outdoor lot has limited spacing. If you’re really clever you make your appointment early—especially in winter, when the snow clearing takes some of the spots. I lapped the lot a few times and lucked out by finding the last spot, which made me feel a little bad for the girl who came after me.

As I got out of the truck, I noticed that if I rearranged my vehicle, I could make a spot for the girl (now, technically it wouldn’t have been a spot, she would have been partly in the lane, but I figured if she wanted to take the risk, it was her call). I paid for my ticket and kept my eye on her SUV, waiting for her to drive by so I could let her know.

Sure enough, she drove by. We made eye contact but before I could signal her, she looked away. Luckily for her, she found a spot in the row behind me (and I still rearranged my car), but the incident got me thinking.

How often am I so consumed with something—a project, a task—that I over-focus and miss the fact that there are people waiting on the sidelines to lend a hand, if only I would look their way. How many times have I felt alone or panicked in a situation when all I had to do was glance around and see that help was close by.

The experience taught me something. I’m going to start breathing more often. I’m going to start looking around and making eye contact, and when I feel like I’m all alone in some situation, I’m going to remind myself that there is always help around, I only have to look for it.

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