When Life Goes Awry

I lost my phone tonight. It was one of those big mistakes that makes you want to kick yourself.

But it was a mistake. It was the same mistake that probably thousands of people make every day. In droidthe old days, Melissa would have beat herself up about such a stupid mistake. I would have been obsessed with thoughts of how I could have done it differently. If only I’d been paying more attention. If only I’d been more present. If only….

I’ll admit I definitely had moments of panic and  there were tears. In the actual moment, though, I stayed calm. I went back and looked for it. I informed the store the I’d misplaced it.  I didn’t blame anyone. I didn’t scream and get upset. I didn’t curse. I had a moment of, what am I going to do now, but that quickly shifted.

The Melissa today was okay with making a mistake. It’s a costly one, yes, but it’s just a phone. I changed my passwords…for the most part. I located my phone, not where I’d lost it, but a few blocks away. So someone had found it and kept it.

Now, I’ve lived in Kansas for fifteen years and when I first realized what I’d done I didn’t panic. Overwhelmingly, my experience in Kansas has been of really good, upstanding people who returned my ex’s wallet when he left it at the store, who return things that don’t belong to them. Tonight was different. And that’s okay. I should also say here that I once dropped a suede jacket that belonged to my ex’s grandfather who had just died on the sidewalk, outside our car in Chicago. When I realized, we sped back and someone had hung it on the parking meter. This is more my experience in the world, regardless of where I’ve lived. It’s not just Kansans who are good and upstanding.

Tonight, I didn’t go to the dark place. It’s not the decline of society. It’s not an indication that Lawrence has changed or turned into a crazy place. It’s just one of those things that happen. On a daily basis I’m happy that the world is made up of all different kinds of people and this was no exception. The police and the phone people were kind. My ex went above and beyond to try to track it down. Thanks to Google Chrome we knew where, in the general vicinity,  it was. We couldn’t find it though.

Loss is a part of life. This loss is very small. It’s a phone. One day soon my parents will be gone. Even sooner my daughter will move out of the house , go to college and start a life all her own. . There will be a loss of life as I’ve known it. Loss is a part of life.

Tonight, strangely I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I live in a world where I get to have a tiny computer to take with me everywhere. I’m grateful that I have family and a really great love in my life and the loss of a phone really isn’t that big. I’m grateful that I’m here.

Because, really, it could be a lot worse. Tonight I have love and friends and family and a pretty good life and losing a phone doesn’t change that.

Sometimes, I know, loss is different. Sometimes it does change everything. Sometimes it feels so big that you can’t breathe. This is not one of those times. This is small and since I’m able,, thanks to my love, to replace the phone, this will be termporary.

Strangely, I’m grateful too for the tough life I’ve had that makes losing a phone a very small thing. This is not even close to the worst thing that’s happened to me.

Gratitude is so powerful and I’m so awed, inspired and thankful for the people who have taught me to embrace it. I’m thankful for the yoga teachers, the therapists, the great friends and amazing love who have taught me that it’s okay.

It’s a different life today. It’s still sometimes filled with angst and suffering, but today  I see the lessons within those uncofortable feelings. . Today I can be grateful for even the difficult and the unseemly.

It’s a new Melissa.


2 thoughts on “When Life Goes Awry

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