Shotgun Sort of Life

Some people describe their focus and vision in a way that can be compared with a rifle and a bullet.  Aimed toward one goal and chiseled to perfection toward one task.  A bullet is a single point that spirals out of the barrel when fired from a rifle.  The barrel has spiral shaped grooves inside to increase the focus of the projectile as it accurately leaves the weapon and flies toward its destination.  These people might know at the age of seven they will have a specific career and live in a certain neighborhood and drive a certain car.  Situations that do not describe me at all.

I consider this is more of a shotgun sort of life.  Inside a shotgun shell, the metal tip has the gun powder and the shot pellets packed in a plastic tube.  The tube is precisely crimped at one end in a fashion similar to a jiffy pop foil container when a shotgun is fired.  The firing pin strikes the metal tip of the shotgun shell and the gun powder ignites.  The metal beads of shot pellets are forced out the end of the barrel in a sprayed field sort of pattern that flies basically toward the target.  Several of the pieces of shot will not strike the target, but if aimed properly and fired close enough to the goal, some of the shot will strike the desired target.  This is similar to how I roll with each day.  I get up in the morning with the intention of accomplishing the goals I wrote down or discussed the previous day.  Amy thought the day only one eye dilated was a funny moment that needed to be documented.  Not everything works out smoothly.


Sometimes, waves of sickening dizziness change the potentially productive day into an oblivious of nothingness.  Sometimes, random distractions draw my attention away from achieving actual things that can be checked off of a pre-approved list of tasks.  Sometimes, a call comes in that sounds better or more important than the approved list of errands and projects.  There is the occasional person at the front door with a pressing need.  There have been many traffic accidents that have happened right next to our property that demand immediate attention.  There have been two occasions when a vehicle struck our neighbor’s houses.  At a moment like that we are certainly not going to announce, “Sorry, this was not on our list of things to do today.”  Things come up, things change, plans need flexibility.

After a session of dizziness has overtaken the functional section of my systems, the living room is difficult to locate under the stacks of blankets, papers, plates, towels, pillows and comfort objects that eased the spinning this time.  The kitchen can barely be navigated through as the dishes, trash, recyclables and stages of dirty laundry occupy more space than mere mortals can comprehend.  Attempting to find car keys, shoes, grocery lists and clean enough hair to venture to the store to restore any sense of routine takes more energy than can be mustered.  The empty refrigerator seemed more demanding of my attention than the level of exhaustion that overwhelms me.  Sometimes, on those days of functional reset I get a few things done, other times I plop on the chair and navigate through a movie title or two.

Sometimes, I actually get up in the morning and chug right along with the written list and get the items checked off.  Those are the rare moments that encourage me to believe that regular days do happen.  Those are the moments when I realize what the box might look like that people refer to when they discuss thinking outside the box.  Most days I forget to look at my calendar and jump into panic mode 4 days later when I realize a due date for a bill flew by again without any action being taken by the bill paying file in my brain.

Then there are the glorious seasons when everyday goes according to plan.  A rut or routine begins to develop and confidence in being a functional adult grows.  Those are the days of acting as if every project is a round of clay pigeons being flung into the air and firing a hefty shotgun toward the projects getting things finished one by one.  I wonder what it is like for people who rack up perfect attendance at school, work, club meetings, church events and household chores.  Fading in and out of having a functional body that cooperates and is willing to be useful is an odd way of getting through life, but it certainly makes the good days worth striving toward.  I am thankful for the days when I can follow through on a promise and be where I said I would be with the stuff in hand for the event to run smoothly.

I may not be able to approach life with a precise rifle like style. I  have grown adept at firing away with a shotgun sort of life and hitting enough of the targets to try again next time.  Each day brings a new adventure whether we know where our car keys or favorite socks are or not. Remember, enjoy the journey.


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