I like to go to coffee shops and sit. It feels good to sit for a while and drink coffee out of a real cup.
Sometimes I go to write, and often just to people watch. Don’t worry; I do my best not to stare. I was in my favorite little place recently. I like it for the real cup reason. They pour their coffee into a nice big white glass cup.
A Poke in the Eye
There was a man sitting a couple of tables in front of me. I usually sit in the corner with both a great view of the place and a place to plug in my laptop. He was also having a cup of a hot beverage. For the sake of the story, I will assume it was coffee.
When he got it, he stopped at the goodies counter and poured some cream in his cup and grabbed a couple of packets of sugar and one of those wooden stir stick. I think we used to call them swizzle sticks. Not sure if they still do.
After he walked over to his table and sat down, he held the packets of sugar, tore them open, and emptied them into his cup. Then he stirred his concoction with the stick.
Here is where it got interesting.
After stirring, he left the stick in the cup. Then he lifted it to his lips to take a sip and promptly poked himself in the eye with it.
Then he put the cup back on the table and stirred it a little more. A minute or so later, after he had opened up his computer and hit the start button, he picked up the cup again. Again, he poked himself in the eye.
I’m sitting there with only one eye, so his actions stood out for me.
After a couple of more sips and a couple more pokes, he finally put the cup down and took the stick out. I breathed a sigh of relief.
The first thing that came to me was my mother’s voice yelling at me when I was a kid, “Be careful over there, you’ll poke your eye out. Then what’cha gonna do?”
It was usually after my friends and I had found some sticks and started doing our best Errol Flynn swashbuckler imitation.
That Got Me Thinking
After I left the coffee shop, something else occurred to me about poking ourselves in the eye. Don’t we all do that in certain ways. There are many times we poke ourselves in the eye – and keep on doing it.
I do it by ignoring paperwork I know I should file. I keep promising myself I will file them “later” and don’t. Then at some later date, I am trying my damnedest to find something that I really need and end up going through the whole pile in a panic. After I scramble through it all, sometimes finding what I need, sometimes not, I vow again that I will keep up on putting things away and the cycle begins again.
I poke myself in the eye.
Over and over again.
The good news is that the first step in changing something we want to change is to notice it. This little metaphor has helped me notice my filing sloth and a few other behaviors. Now I can name them, now I can change them.
See what I mean?
If you are anything like me, you probably have some eye-poking behaviors, too.
What are some of the ways that you poke yourself in the eye? What happens when you do it? What have you tried to change it?
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