Thursday, January 5, 2017

Last Chance to Lose Your Keys

If you got that reference, you get a cookie and a hug.

I locked myself out of the house twice in a seven day span recently. This happened fairly frequently when we lived in University Village, because all I had to do was walk five minutes to the office and grab a spare key. Now, with my husband on base twenty-five minutes away, it's a little trickier to get inside.

The first time, I was trying to go to Winco. We'd just returned home from our Christmas travels to California, and we had no milk and hardly any food in the house. We'd driven for twelve hours the day before, and we were all pretty sleep deprived. I made sure the front door was locked, that I had everyone's coat and the reusable grocery bags -- and then, when I checked my purse, I had no keys. I'd been so focused on getting everything else that we needed, that I left the most important component of our trip to the store -- the keys to get there.

Fortunately, for whatever reason the car was left unlocked, so I buckled the kids in, tried to remove the screen off the window, called my mom crying, and texted my friend that lived nearby. Also fortunately, we were close enough to get a WiFi signal and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was on YouTube, so we hunkered down in the car with coats on (it was 30 degrees outside) and watched the show. By the time the show was over, my friend had texted me back, and we went and hung out at her house for a couple of hours until Scott returned home from work. It wasn't ideal, and it threw me off a bit. But we'd survived.

The second time, though, left me feeling like the universe was out to get me. I'd been feeling stressed out after all our traveling, and Nolan had been waking up quite a bit at night, so when Scott and his sister's family went to Seattle for a day trip, I stayed home, with strict orders to take a nap. I decided I would, after I went for a run. I tucked my house key into an inner pocket of my jacket, had a great run, and went home... only to find that my key had somehow fallen out. I spent the next two hours combing the trail, asking others if they'd seen a key, and getting colder and colder. I didn't know when Scott would be back from Seattle, and I was embarrassed to tell him I'd been locked out again. Only when it became dark (at 4:30...) did I return home, keyless, freezing, and starting to panic.

Fortunately, when I called Scott, he was only 15 minutes away. I took a hot bath, and went to Lowe's the next day to make several copies of my house key (as well as grab a wristband to keep it with me when I run). Everything turned out well, but in the moment, I was so furious and stressed.

It had me wondering, what am I supposed to learn from this?

Obviously, to always have my keys in hand before I leave the house. But also, I think, it was meant to show me that sometimes things happen out of my control, and flipping out doesn't make it any better. I live under the illusion that I can plan out my days. You'd think I'd have learned after having two children and working in pediatrics that the unexpected can descend at any moment, and that it's important to think on your feet. Most important of all, I realized that crying and panicking just impedes my ability to come up with a new plan. It stagnates me instead of helping me to move forward.

Hopefully I've learned my lesson and won't have to get locked out again. But I'm definitely never locking the door again unless my key is in my hand!

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