Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Miss Oblivious

I have always thought of myself as a detail-oriented person. I come from a family of detail-oriented people, so I just assumed I was the same way. This probably comes as a surprise to most people who know me, because I have a reputation for being a bit spacey. It all hit me about a week ago, and I saw myself a little more accurately.

You know how they say that you can miss the forest for all the trees? I miss the trees for the forest.

I was almost literally nicknamed "Miss Oblivious" at the office I worked at a few years ago. They had very good reason for this name. I can't tell you how many times I would be talking to a co-worker in the break room, and they would ask me why I didn't wave back when they passed me on our way to or from work on the interstate. I simply did not see them. I pay attention to the road when I'm driving, and very little other drivers' maniacal attempts to get my attention.

Probably the funniest example, and a story that my friends will not let me live down, happened one time in late spring. In Alabama, spring starts early in the year, and things become green fast. I did not have a window in my office, but the front doors in the lobby were all glass. One day in May, or maybe early June, I walked up to the front doors, looked outside, turned to the receptionist--who happened to be an old friend of mine--and exclaimed, "There's leaves on the trees!" Considering the fact that there had been leaves on the trees for a couple of months, it's understandable that my friend laughed herself silly before spreading the story throughout the office.

I also recently discovered that my mother does have a trash can in her laundry room. I've been carrying the lint from the dryer all the way to the kitchen trash because I couldn't find the can by the washer and dryer. Was it hidden? No. My brain simply failed to register what my eyes were seeing.

This isn't to say that I'm completely capable of detailed work. I'm actually pretty good with data entry, mathematics, and fine stitching like crochet and cross-stitch. but I think my mind wanders whenever I'm doing something repetitive. I suppose I am more of a big picture person. Details escape me for whatever reason, and I really don't know how to change that.

Does anyone else find themselves missing the trees for the forest? Any suggestions on how to train my mind to notice the details that it really needs to? I'd love to hear about it!

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