Today I had a dental appointment. I wasn’t sure what time, so as soon as I got to the office, I called the dentist and asked “Is my appointment at 10:00 or 10:30?” She said 10:00. OK.

I checked my watch and the clock on my PC all morning until 9:30. I told myself then that I needed to leave in 15 minutes. And then I accidentally entered “The Zone.” When I’m in The Zone, all my focus is on whatever task I have at hand. It only happens when the task is an engineering endeavor. I don’t know why. I usually cannot control The Zone, but I can say that when I’m in it, Things Get Done. Awesome things. When I’m in The Zone, all other things become non-existent. I forget to eat. I also forget dental appointments.

I exited The Zone at 10:06. I immediately grabbed my keys and dashed down the stairs to my car. I called the dentist again. “I’m running late. I’ll be there in 5 minutes!” She said she wasn’t sure they’d have time to work me in and asked me to hold. “OK.” I continued to the parking garage, got in my car, and put the key in the ignition. She came back online. “Sorry. There won’t be enough time.” Then she made me another appointment in two week’s time.

I went back upstairs. I do not understand how I can do this, but it has happened on many occasions. Once I forgot to pick Va up at the Metro station. On the day her CPA exam results came in. That was not a good day for me (except from an engineering standpoint – it was most excellent in that regard, for I had been in “The Zone”).

The dentist called back 15 minutes later. “We had a cancellation. Can you still make it?” “I’ll be there in five minutes.” Back down to the car I went. The hygienist observed that this was not the first time I had done that. I confessed my powerlessness to prevent it from happening. She and the receptionist even remarked about my 8:30am call.

Then she suggested that perhaps I should schedule the next appointment for before I went to work. Thinking that she may have hit upon a solution (at least as far as dental appointments go), I agreed to do that. I do not enter The Zone while commuting, so I stand half a chance. We’ll see what happens in September.