Olivia Newor toy chickenProbably you have more exciting things to do on a Friday night.

Me? I’ve been running around like a headless chicken for the last four hours. Pay the bills. Pow-wow with daughter about a project she wants help on. Trip to Target for the glamorous stuff we all have to buy. Stop for food on the way home because by now it’s 7:30 and I’m too hungry to cook.

All the while I’m thinking, “As soon as I get all this stuff done I can work on the blog and then tomorrow I can WRITE.” (Even though I had no idea what I was going to blog about.)

Do you ever do that? Expend tons of energy trying to get to the point where you can do what you really want to do?

By then I was tired and a little achy and thought I would be comfortable on my bed, maybe a little TV in the background while I cleaned up the corners of my day.

Well, I left my glasses downstairs in my office. Then the remote needed new batteries. Of course. Back downstairs. Then the cap to my water bottle was not on tight enough and it spilled all over my shirt. Then I remembered a note I needed to leave myself—yes, downstairs—about something I’m going to do tomorrow.

You get the drift.

In the middle of all this—and perhaps oblivious to it all—my son comes in with his iPhone for what has become a weekly ritual for us: Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Hashtags feature. Fallon creates a hashtag and invites tweets. It always trends worldwide in 15 minutes and Fallon always says it’s “awesome.” I always mimic the way he says that. But it’s always funny, and it’s always a moment my son wants to share with me. (Though he does reserve the right to edit topics if he thinks his old mother’s ears will be too sensitive. Does he think I lived under a rock before he came of age?)

I used to think I didn’t have time for late night nonsense. I mean, if it happens past my bedtime in the first place, do I really need it in my life? I would sort of half-listen to placate my son while I emptied the dishwasher or something actually useful. But he would follow me around with his phone and jab it in front of my face to make sure I was listening. After awhile I realized I was laughing, and that it was a lot more fun if I just stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the humor, to be interested in something my son is interested in, to realize he is reaching out.

So if you’re having a headless chicken kind of day, with your life’s blood draining out of you, stop.

Just stop.

What is happening right in front of you that can lighten your day, bring you joy, give you a breather?