This morning, my toddler decided to play hairdresser with my 4 year old. Let’s just say there was plenty of water involved (hey, he’s got stubborn cowlicks) – and, very unfortunately, also my i-phone.
Yes, my phone was a casualty by sheer luck of its location.
Three hours in AT&T and Apple stores, over $400, and a new phone later (former phone, by the way, was a mere three months from upgrade eligibility), I’m back at the house, mourning the losses from my never backed-up, very water-damaged phone.
Of all the things lost, it was the photos and videos of my children – those ordinary moments in our life – that had my eyes welling with tears today.
(And if I hadn’t been at the Apple store talking to techies, I would have let them flow.)
I still have the option of paying some $500-$700, apparently, to do serious data extraction from my phone, so it’s not a (total) lost cause. But still…
It’s been a rather bad day.
Except, there was a light at the beginning of the tunnel. In the form of my dream last night.
Some people have anxious dreams about missing exams. For me, it’s almost always about collegiate lacrosse, even though it was one of the best experiences in my life.
Or maybe that’s exactly why – it mattered a lot that I show up and play. Whole-heartedly.
Anyways, in my dream last night, I was terribly anxious about being late to my game, and leaving my kids behind. At one point, I was pedaling a kid’s bike uphill, then trying to hitch a ride, and then, after melting down into a puddle of tears and feeling like the whole world might collapse on me, I stood up and said to myself: I’m just going to have to accept that I am going to miss the game and take responsibility for it.
And that was that. I stopped carrying-on like a crazy, panicked monkey.
So that was my dream. And there were maybe thirty minutes between me waking up from this dream and the phone-in-water incident.
When I realized what had happened, I kept going back to my dream – and the feeling of giving up all the drama, excuses, and blame. And simply taking responsibility instead.
It was so powerful – that I was determined to stay in that calm, cool and collected place.
Sure, I snuck in a couple of woe-is-me moments over the course of the day, but I mostly focused on what needed to happen now – rather than on what already-happened-that-really-sucks and all-the-unfortunate-fall-outs-yet-to-come.
And no one (including me) got hurt in the process.
As I left the Apple store hours later with mostly bad news, I noticed that I felt Ok. Actually, I felt especially capable today. And it occurred to me that self-confidence grows or shrinks in relation to how we handle the seemingly small trials of life.
Welcomed or not, the obstacles or setbacks, the strokes of bad-luck, and even the losses give us an opportunity to go deeper into our capacity to handle whatever-shows-up.
And we get there when we give up the monkey dance (or maybe it’s the chicken-with-our-head-cut-off dance.) And, instead, own it. Own our power – and our responsibility – to take care of ourselves in that particular moment and circumstance of our lives.
Whatever the crazy moment may be.
So while much was lost today, something was also gained. As it often is.
(And, as a footnote, I would’ve published this earlier, except our internet went down. Sigh.)