October 11 - A Change of Plans, Ready or Not!

Wednesdays are my personal days…I often spend them with my family just doing fun things. Occasionally, I get my hair cut… sometimes I play creative woman in my favorite discount store. I may stay home and write or any number of a variety of other delightful activities. I try to keep it totally unstructured so that I am able to just check in with myself and do whatever life seems to be calling for me to do in the moment.

Over the last ten years I often have had to guard this day with what seems like my life! It has been a great opportunity to learn how to be more comfortable with declining the requests of others in order to genuinely meet my own adult needs. Within this break I rest and become renewed so I can be totally connected with my clients during the rest of my work week.

This Wednesday was “get a haircut, run errands, play in a store day.” In between tasks, I listened to beautiful music and created possibilities for eClubSoda in my head. As the afternoon drew to a close, and it was nearing time for our wonderful conference call, I jumped into the car and headed for home.

The traffic was horrible, and I realized that I might not make it home for the beginning of the call. As a result I reached for my cell phone to connect to the group. There was only one problem…I could not find the phone!

I knew I had had it before I went into the last store. I had placed it in my lap because I remembered calling someone. That is the last I remembered seeing it.

Now what? I was stuck in rush-hour traffic with no phone. If I weren’t on the call, I knew the others would worry. Since it was my telephone that was missing, I could not call any of my friends or family and let them know. I felt boxed in and pretty helpless…for just a moment. I had ransacked the car…torn my purse inside out…and then did it all over again. I decided it must have fallen out in the parking lot during my last stop, so I did a U-turn at my first opportunity (which seemed like it did not appear for one hundred miles!) and went back to look for it. Every light seemed unbelievably long but gave me the opportunity to talk myself back up into my adult mind…over and over again.

My thoughts included the following, “I will call someone from the store. Hopefully, someone else can facilitate the call until I get there. People will understand that this is out of my control once I explain the circumstances. There is a lesson to be learned here…please let me learn it so that I do not have to repeat it!!!”

This was a great improvement as in the past my thoughts might have gone something like this…“My life is ruined! There won’t be anyone to lead the call. Everyone will be so mad at me…they will probably all quit. I am so stupid…I will never know how to do life very well. What an idiot I am!”

By this time I had arrived at the parking lot. I spent the next few moments crawling on my hands and knees looking for the cell phone… hoping all the while that no one had a hidden camera! Observers must have wondered what in the world I was doing…I think I did as well!

I finally got discouraged looking and went inside and asked if anyone might have turned in the phone. No one had found it, so I then asked if I could borrow the store’s phone. They generously agreed, and I was fortunate to reach a friend on the first try. He agreed to lead the call and explain my circumstances. I left my phone number at the store in case anyone found my phone, and I headed home.

I wasn’t even out of the parking lot when I heard the familiar ring of the missing telephone. I couldn’t find it, but I could hear it…so I knew it was there! I whipped the car into another parking place and again ransacked the car. I finally got out of the car, went around to the passenger side and opened the door. There under the passenger seat was my “developmental technological angel”!

I could see from the caller ID that it was my friend trying to call so I immediately called him and let him know how wonderful and brilliant he was for calling my number. He said he was hoping that either someone would find it, or as happened, I would hear it! And as a result, he got to hear how much I appreciated him!!!! Then I called the eClubSoda number and settled in for a delightful connection.

I believe that life is a University of sorts. We are often enrolled in required classes that we would probably never choose for ourselves if they were in the elective category! This felt like I had been given the assignment of recognizing my power in a situation that at first seemed hopeless and horrible. There was a time in my life I would have been in tears, unable even to ask to borrow the phone. This time I was firmly in my higher intention to connect with my friends and facilitate the call as soon as possible. I knew the phone itself could be replaced but the moment could not be.

I was being given the opportunity to speak for my needs and create a solution when it looked like there was none. I am delighted to report that I think I passed the exam and hopefully won’t have to repeat this particular class!

What do you do when you are faced with a situation that at first seems hopeless? Do you look for evidence to support that point of view, or do you immediately start looking for solutions to your situation… knowing they are there? When your plans change unexpectedly, what do you think at first…what do you do? Will you make a list of these thoughts and actions? Now, can you see if you are reacting to the legacies of your childhood or responding in the moment as an adult? Next time, will you be ready for a change of plans…or not? Which would you prefer to be?

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