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As I sit here by myself in my new house in Golden, Colorado, on New Year’s Eve, my family is in Costa Rica and I am at peace—a far cry from what I was at the airport at 4 a.m. when we realized my passport was not with us.
A realization that sent me out into the freezing cold panicked and angry and confused. I had been hanging on for dear life the past month or two with my eye on this very day, this very moment when I get on a plane that would take me to a hot, humid, lush, and salty paradise (and no house projects), and it was being taken away from me.
I could barely walk without pain because the night before, I took a fall and busted my knee bad, so I hobble-jogged to the shuttle bus stand shivering and crying, trying to explain what happened. My husband insisted the passport must have fell out on the shuttle because it was in his bag with the rest when we left the house at 3:15 a.m.
I wanted to exhaust my search in a timely manner and took that shuttle back to the lot, got in the car we parked there, and did laps hunting down each shuttle in the icy dark morning, dressed for the tropics and searching for my lost passport while passengers gave me the evil eye like I was a hijacker!
There was no point in the rest of the family not departing with the luggage. I explained to my deer-in-headlights husband, I would have a much better chance getting on a flight later without them needing seats too, and I certainly wasn’t going to drag my kids around on my hijacking quest. I finally gave up and went home, and there it was on my kitchen table.
I completely unravelled. I screamed and cried all the way home. I called my amazing mother who was just waking up in Massachusetts. She was exactly what I needed her to be: calm, compassionate, and allowing. Someday, I want to be that too.
When I got there, I didn’t even care I found the damn passport. I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. I went to bed and spent a good couple of hours wallowing as I watched the sunrise and sent my husband harsh emails every time he had a suggestion for what I should do (free Wi-Fi on Southwest for “The A List” is not always a good thing). They were off on this amazing adventure without me. We were going to kiss the sun goodbye for one last time this year together at the beach. I packed sparklers!
But as I sit here in Colorado, by myself, in peace and quiet, I couldn’t be happier. Not happy that they had an arduous journey with a tight connection through Houston and a three-hour drive on potholed dirt roads and river crossings with a completely inappropriate rental car. But that I had a day to decompress from the insane few weeks and months I have had.
It turned out it was exactly what I needed, and I didn’t even know it. I was so anxious to get to the beach that I was rushing from aggravated chaos and busyness and undone house to crowded airports sandwiched between kids (one who puked) on two flights and seven hours in the air and a three-hour rough ride.
Instead, I slept and got my house in order so I wouldn’t come home to such an extreme mess and ruin the post-vacation glow. I ran some errands and got takeout sushi. I did a bunch of little things that I had been trying to get done for weeks but was constantly interrupted by the next emergency or request or appointment. Important things I thought I would never get to! Getting boxes out of my bedroom and off of my desk and out of the pantry. “My spaces” that are the last to get organized and grounded.
There were times in the past few weeks and in the past 24 hours when I was pissed at the universe (how could she do this to me?) and couldn’t help but wonder why my karma was so f*cked. But as I sit here smelling sage and sipping my wine and eating my cream-filled chocolate (thank you friendly, new neighbor) and chatting with my family in Costa Rica, I am once again reminded of why I am so grateful for my life, my family, and my friends.
I am also grateful to Virginia at Southwest who made it easy for me to enjoy the rest of my day by breezily getting me on the same flight tomorrow (no fees) for my amazing husband who, even though he made a mistake, really got to see what he was made of today. I had every confidence in him completing his mission. I am reminded that this, too, I can use.
I can weave this into the fabric of my experience. I can try to remember to stop contracting, resisting, and getting mad and stay soft and open, and remember that the universe has my back.
I have always known, but sometimes forget, that I need alone time. Time to really slow the hell down and be with myself. Listen to my true voice and reconnect back to home. It has been too long. I needed this day, and I didn’t even realize it until it was dropped in my lap unexpectedly and undesired.
I am a yogi, a seeker, a rememberer, and a healer. I have awareness and curiosity about how to use what comes up and was luckily able to recognize (eventually) this gift. My goal as I grow and evolve is to be better at knowing, at trusting, at recognizing sooner, and at saving myself and everyone else the emotional drama of it all.
As the year turns and I find myself in paradise with my family in 20-ish hours, it will all have been a dream and I will be back to be the CEO of meals and laundry and transportation and planning and cleaning. This has been truly a gift. The fact that I can even sit here and type—uninterrupted—is a miracle.
This year, I will remember to stay curious about what is in store. Not attached to my expectations and not afraid of what may happen. I will be open to the lessons and trust my inner knowing and the unfolding of things. Trust the universe, the divine, God, or whatever you choose to call it.
I may not always understand, but I need to believe.
She has my back.