Blind Spots

Nothing rouses my road rage quite like Lurkers.  You know the ones, the cars that love to find your blind spot and then match your speed for miles and miles, just lurking in that one little spot where you can’t see them. You speed up, and they speed up; you slow down, and they slow down.  It’s completely infuriating.  (It shouldn’t even be possible for me to pick up a Lurker, because size-wise, my car is pretty much the next step up from a Smart Car.  And yet, it happens.  It makes me want to punch a squirrel.)

Just kidding, little dude!*

I’m usually really good about being aware what’s happening in my rearview mirror, so Lurkers rarely sneak up on me.  But every once in a while, when I’m distracted or sleepy or worn out, I am beset upon by a Lurker whilst changing lanes.  I swerve back into my lane in the nick of time; and, while I wait for my heart to restart, I kick myself for neglecting to glance over my shoulder.

My point?  Every driver is responsible for verifying that the coast is clear every single time they change lanes, even if they’re absolutely sure that nothing’s there.  Lapses of awareness will happen.  You can’t avoid dangers lurking in your blind spot unless you turn your head and look for them.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the blind spots I have in other areas of my life.  For example, I’m generally a pretty tidy person (at least one previous roommate would say “clean freak”).  Mind you, my home does get messy during busy seasons of my life, but that slowly drives me crazy until I finally snap and deep-clean every inch with furious intensity.  Right now, with the new marriage and the new apartment and the new job, lots of simple household chores have fallen by the wayside.  Food splatters are becoming one with the stovetop, Laundry Day has been redefined as The Day One of Us Runs Out of Underwear, and the bathroom is inching its way towards the college-guys’-dorm-room threshold of sanitary neglectfulness.

It's not quite this bad, I promise.

I am horrified by the mess that’s accumulating in every part of my home… except for the floors.  I don’t care one lick about the floors.  Our kitchen is a bare foot’s minefield, and our vacuum cleaner hasn’t been used since we got it as a gift – for Christmas.  I should be just as stressed out by the state of our floors as I am by the ring around the bathtub, but I just am not.

Clearly, the floor is my house-cleaning blind spot.  So if I want to keep my home clean, I have to be sure to check that blind spot occasionally and see if there’s anything lurking thereI need to set a recurring “CLEAN FLOORS” reminder on my computer, or maybe just put Husby in charge of the floors.  Otherwise our apartment will never be truly clean… and even though I might not see it, guests probably would.

Bizarre, right?

Being oblivious to the state of my floors is a pretty minor problem, but I’ve noticed a much more serious blind spot in how I go about improving my health.  I’ve embarked on a sort of quest to achieve vibrant health in the past year or so, after realizing how awful I felt on a day to day basis.  I’ve gotten really into researching the topic from pretty much every angle, and I’ve taken steps to apply what I’ve learned to my own life.  But I realized that there’s one massively important key to health that I’ve been reading about nonstop but ignoring, in action, as hard as I possibly can:  fitness.

I know that exercise is super, super important for maintaining health, both physical and mental.  I know that it would help regulate my hormones, and stabilize my moods, and increase my confidence, and just generally make my body function better.  I’ve researched the most efficient ways to exercise, and made fitness plans, and told Husby many times that “we should plan on going to the gym tomorrow.”  Somehow, throughout all my thinking about exercising, I’ve managed to ignore how little I’ve actually been doing it.  It would be completely obvious to anyone else.  Fitness is the dirty floor in the spotless apartment of my lifestyle:  my healthy-life blind spot.

Not pictured: Physical exertion of any kind.

I’ve put a lot of hard work into my health, lately.  The largest part of that hard work has been focused on cleaning up my diet; most of our meals are homemade now, although I’ve yet to settle on which diet philosophy (or combination of philosophies) will work for us in the long run.  I’m actively working towards goals like growing my spiritual life, and decreasing my stress, and getting more sleep, and building my relationships, and expressing my creativity… and I am a healthier person today than I was when I started my journey.  But it doesn’t matter if I have a full tank of gas, an up-to-date inspection sticker, and tires that are inflated to precisely the manufacturer’s specifications – if I’m not aware of the Hummer that’s hovering in my blind spot, I’m likely to crash and burn.  All those things I did to take care of my car are pointless once it’s totaled.

So I’m making a commitment to start looking over my shoulder at that inadequate-fitness-routine Hummer, and taking actions to try and shake him off.  I encourage you to examine your life for blind spots, too… Is there a goal that you’ve been working towards for a long time without making much progress?  There might be an obvious solution that you just can’t see.  Maybe ask your spouse or a close friend for their input (and then don’t shoot the messenger).  Or maybe you’re well aware of your blind spot, and just need to renew your efforts in checking it vigilantly.  Either way, I hope this post helps you lose those Lurkers!

Do you have any blind spots in your life that you were already aware of?  Have you discovered any new ones?

Shared on Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS!

*Unless otherwise indicated, all of the doodles on this blog are my own original work.  Feel free to use them if you like them, but please give me credit!