Yesterday was a bad day. Today was a long day.
I missed a deadline. An important one. I needed to have some paperwork turned in to my graduate school and I forgot. This paperwork needed to be signed by 5 different people and then handed in.
I could make excuses, and at first I did.
“I’m so busy how was I supposed to remember this?”
“The school didn’t remind me, if this deadline was so crucial why wouldn’t they remind me?”
“I turned it in to the clinical director forever ago and just now got it back.”
I tearfully told myself this over and over again, and resigned myself to failure. The school was closed by the time I realized my mistake.
At a loss for what to do I decided I needed to slow down and breathe. After a few deep breaths I jumped into action. I started calling everyone. Everyone who’s signatures I required. Every person who is in charge of processing this paperwork. It was 8:30 pm, no one answered.
I waited, meditated, kept breathing, and focused on what I wanted. I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
Suddenly I was flooded with calls from people willing to help. I could meet them at their homes, offices, and restaurants to obtain signatures. The head of the department called me and said she’d make an exception if I could get it in by 3pm on Friday.
This morning I got up, fed the cat, dog, tortoise and rabbit, and went for a walk. I put an amethyst and rose quartz pendant on, for some soothing and self love, and marched out the door to get the signatures.
I drove an hour to meet someone, 45 minutes back up to meet with two other people, an hour back the other way to turn everything in, and finally, after hours of traffic, home.
This giant trip took me over 7 hours. I was on a tight time schedule and didn’t get an opportunity to eat until I got home at 5 pm. I was stopped in gridlock traffic for 2 hours, on a stretch of freeway that should have took 15 minutes.
All this time I was grateful.
This experience has taught me a few things. First and foremost being, CHECK YOUR DEADLINES, WRITE THEM DOWN IN MULITIPLE PLACES, and CHECK THEM AGAIN!!
I learned that I have a huge beautiful support system of people ready to rally for me and help me out.
I learned that if you pause and calm down you can find a path through the chaos.
I learned that no matter how bad you feel, if you ask for help, most people will want to help you.
I learned that if you really want something, never give up, no matter how hard it gets.
Lastly, as I sat in those two hours of traffic I learned to shift my perspective. As I sat there, anger rising, plotting how to get off the freeway sooner, daydreaming of driving on the shoulder all the way to my destination, the radio cut through my train of negative thoughts. Fatal car accident, all lanes blocked.
I’m mad that I have to wait?
Suddenly the sun seemed brighter. I noticed for the first time all day how blue the sky was. I looked to my left and saw cows grazing in the golden dry remains of a California drought fried field.
I am lucky.
I’m lucky to be alive. I’m blessed to experience this beautiful day. If I hadn’t had been delayed in the city, I could have been in that crash. I’m lucky everything worked out for me, even though I messed up and no one owed me any favors.
I suddenly felt grateful to be in that traffic, in fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that grateful in my life.
We get so wrapped up in what we are doing and where we are going that we lose sight. We bolt to the finish line and miss the little hurdles along the way. We “Can’t see the forest through the trees.” We get mad that we are inconvenienced waiting, when we should be kissing the earth that we are alive to live another day. We want to fight every delay, every red light, every speed limit.
I stopped fighting, I found the trees, and traffic has never been more beautiful.