… is something I’ve always done.
I try to be aware of everything around me at all times – not only for my safety but also to have as little impact as possible on the people around me.
Since picking up the pen (or keyboard, as it were) my motivation for paying attention has changed a bit. I want to look at people and things. I want to absorb the world around me, not simply flow through it with as little impact as possible.
Instead of staring at the floor and other people’s feet, I’m engaging. Not really conversation – that’s still far off unless you’re the cashier at the grocery checkout or my server at a restaurant – but I’m looking at the world and making mental notes. As soon as appropriate I whip out my phone and make notes because if there is one thing I know about myself it is that my short term memory is exactly that. Short. (I use Evernote.)
So, looking is my new pastime. I prefer “looking” to “watching”. It’s slightly less creepy. Looking at people still gives me trouble sometimes. Personally, I do not appreciate being watched. Or looked at. Observed, inspected, viewed, gazed upon, ogled – whatever you want to call it, I don’t like it. And I hate being caught staring at others. So, I am glad I have very dark sunglasses. My next pair will be mirrored. In fact, can I add that as an afterthought? Note to self, ask the optician about the mirror coating as an add on.