Checking the Back Seat #sol18


    1. Checking the Backseat #sol18

March 18, 2018

One extremely busy day a few weeks ago, I had seriously overcommitted my time, my talent, and my resources. I was at the edge of my proverbial pier. 6:30 a.m., having gotten up to make some baked good for today’s meeting. Packing our lunches, planning for dinner, making coffee. Wait, do I have my phone?  I rush to the car,  pull out of the drive, head down the street.  When I get to nearly half way,  it occurs to me,  those cookies are not in the back seat.  I have to have those cookies.  That’s my thing.  Treats for meetings.  I pulled over the car.  During my commute.  There really wasn’t time to go back.  Whatever the outcome,  there or not,  I would still have to continue on.   And yet,  there they were.  Plain as Life.   Waiting there in the backseat.

When I first wrote down this story,  I thought it was a lesson in noticing, in being present.  Now, weeks later as I write it down,  the lesson has changed for me.  From the end, here it is plain as life.  The thing we need is often waiting there in the backseat,  in the brain spinning rush, we forget to look in the obvious place, our own reserve, the skills we carry.  Quick to dismiss them as inadequate,  we search for a bigger, mightier something.  In coaching,  we show up,  we have a plan or a halfway plan,  we start with How’s it going? and then… we have to repack the bags, stop halfway,  check the backseat.  In the quiet planning,  in the preparation,  we remember what our thing is,  but in the fray,  sometimes we forget.  Notice the forgetting.  Pull over the car.  Check in the backseat.  It’s there.  It’s always there.  If it’s not,  we continue on.


img_1716-1Writing as part of the 31 day Slice of Life Story Challenge.  Check out some amazing stories at Two Writing Teachers.


17 thoughts on “Checking the Back Seat #sol18

  1. I love this. It’s a great reminder and a great moment. The picture threw me off the trail. I was wondering how the dog was going to figure in the story. Had he eaten the cookies? Was he a stowaway trying to come to work with you? I guess he was just the teaser. I’m glad you’ve reminded me to remember what’s already there, especially on those stressful days.

  2. Oh how I needed this…At this time of the year, things are SO busy and, although generally a very reflective practitioner and person, sometimes I find myself just go, go, going in a direction. I needed the reminder to look in the backseat for what is often there, and if I don’t find it, move on. Thanks. My week will be better because of you.

  3. I love how you take a moment to pause and see the lesson, then revisit and see the lesson again. Not only is what you share here – that what we need is already there if we look for it – a powerful lesson for me as we head into the last third of the school year, but I also love the lesson of look again to find the real learning. What a great Sunday post. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Powerful, wonderful advice – I appreciate how you connect it to both life and coaching. The analogy of the phone in the backseat, the rush, the scatteredness – it’s all too good.

  5. Such a good perspective, especially this time of year when things are just so crazy. I’m glad this is something that you reflected on over time—also something we rush through too often. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I agree with Brian – I am intrigued with how the meaning changed for you. I find this all the time with writing. I often jot quick pieces and leave them. When I go back I see it in an entirely new light. I love the idea of noticing the forgetting and trusting it is all there! Lovely!

  7. I’ve had this open but unread for a couple of days… waiting on my backseat?! lol. I love the way you took something so simple but spun in several important lessons, bringing us all along with you on the journey as it evolved. This is great.

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