Doesn’t matter what feeling. Just accepting it. Not needing a reason or excuse. Because a natural response to something is nothing to feel bad about.
Take this week, for instance. I am insanely busy every night of the week and that stresses me out. At first, I feltguiltyfor feeling stressed. I mean, every after-work activity on my schedule is something I chose and want to do: holiday parties, dinner with a friend, yoga, pilates. So why should I feel stressed about it!?
Doesn’t matter. I just do and I’m accepting that feeling. There is absolutely no reason to add guilt or beat myself up over it.
As I write this, I’m sipping a grande two-pump caramel soy latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
You know when you’re going through something crazy in your life and you pick one or two constants to cling to to help you feel calm? This particular latte was my constant when my father was in the hospital. The status of his health was inconsistent and uncertain but the one thing I could rely on from one day to the next was that this latte would taste the same every time I ordered it.
I think of my father with every sip and for a while I avoided ordering it. I eventually decided, however, that avoidance is not the way to deal with things. Yes, I think of my father every time I order this drink, but I’m finally OK with that.
I’m just letting it be.
Accepting my reactions and not fighting/avoiding them is something I’m constantly working on. It’s definitely easier said than done, but mastering it is one of my biggest goals for 2014.
So, tell me, what do you do to accept and not fight your natural reactions to everyday life?
But instead of focusing on the bad in my day, I want to talk instead about the incredible thing that happened Monday night that completely changed my perspective and helped me to see the good.
Just for background’s sake, here are two very important facts about me that I think will help this story come together:
I’m a bag lady. No. Really. I carry at least two bags everywhere I go. I also have two wallets in my bag at all times and they both have very important things in them.
I’m a little spacey. Especially on off days.
Now that I’ve gotten those two things off my chest, let me also tell you that aside from the incredible thing that happened Monday night, the saving grace to my otherwise very stressful day was that I got to meet up with a blog reader/new friend Elizabeth for dinner in Clarendon. And that, my friends, is where this story begins.
Elizabeth and I had just finished dinner after talking forever about everything imaginable (because that’s just what blends [blog friends] do). We said our goodbyes and I headed to CVS to pick up a few things.
As I headed down to the metro platform, I had three bags:
My laptop bag
My CVS bag
My purse (containing: two wallets [remember?], my apartment and work keys, my gym membership keychain, my camera, prescription sunglasses, my actual glasses, and a Nothing But Noodles menu [very important])
This is an old picture that only half represents what I had in my bag on Monday night, but I wanted to give you a visual.
The train was about 10 minutes away so I planted myself on bench with all my bags and proceeded to email my Elf4Health buddy on my iPhone (which had about 7% battery left and died immediately after I hit send). The train came and I scrambled to collect all my things and get on. I sat down next to a nice man reading on his iPad and then moved to an empty row of seats when one became available at the next stop.
About three stops later, after blankly staring out the window for ten minutes, I looked down and suddenly realized I didn’t have my purse.
Needless to say, I FREAKED out. I jumped up and started searching frantically all around my seat. I glanced over at the seat I had been sitting in and saw nothing but the nice man still sitting, calmly reading on his iPad.
My next few thoughts went something like this:
WHERE IS MY PURSE!?
OMG DID SOMEONE STEAL IT?
DID THAT NICE OLD MAN STEAL IT!!?
NO, REBECCA, SHUT UP. THAT’S RIDICULOUS.
OMG IT’S ON THE BENCH AT THE CLARENDON METRO STATION.
OH CRAP, OH CRAP, OH CRAP.
When the train stopped at the next station, I was the first one off. The next train going back to Clarendon was 12 minutes away, so I grabbed my dead phone out of my pocket and started obsessively pressing the power button over and over again. Just when I was about to give up, my phone miraculously turned back on<- that never happens.
My phone only had 4% battery and I knew I had to work fast. I called Jeff and started yelling as soon as he answered the phone. I asked him to try to call metro customer service and explain what happened so that maybe, MAYBE someone could save my bag before it was stolen (if hadn’t been already). We hung up and I attempted to call customer service but all I got was an automated answering system that kept putting me on hold.
At some point between calling customer service and insanely pacing back and forth across the metro platform, I suddenly realized that I could go talk to the station manager and ask him to contact the Clarendon station manager.
Duh! Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner? Probably because I was too busy freaking out that my WHOLE LIFE had been stolen.
As soon as the thought entered my mind I raced across the platform and down the escalator. I must have looked absolutely insane to the other people on the platform but I didn’t care.
I told the station manager what happened and he immediately jumped into action. He called the Clarendon station manager and all he had to say was “there is a lady here…” and she knew exactly why he was calling.
Someone had turned in my purse.
I jumped back on the train and impatiently made the 10 minute commute back to Clarendon. I tried to stay calm but I still had no idea if the purse she had was even mine or if it still had everything in it. Again, when the doors opened at the station, I was the first one off.
I held my breath as I approached the station manager.
“Everything seems to be here,” she said and handed me my bag. I unzipped it and, sure enough, everything—including my two wallets—was still intact.
I breathed a sigh of relief and finally felt sane again. I couldn’t believe my luck.
I thanked her over and over again and told her I wished that I could KISS the person who turned it in.
“I thanked him for you,” she said. “It was a guy on a bike.”
(It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that a cyclist turned in my bag.)
And that, friends, is the story of how my purse wasn’t stolen three days before Thanksgiving.
So if you’re reading this and feeling down, just remember there is good in this world. My story is evidence of just that!