The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on June 23, 2011.
I had a crazy and challenging day not long ago.
It was a Tuesday, and I had a coaching call first thing in the morning with a client who lives out of state. We usually do video sessions via Skype, but for some reason we couldn’t get a connection and had to do our call the old-fashioned way – by phone. This wasn’t a problem, but it caused us to get a late start.
After we were through, I got a call from someone about a project I’m working on that has a tight deadline, so it was important for me to talk with him. But now I was even later in leaving for a meeting with another client in St. Paul. I had allowed plenty of time to get there. In fact, since I don’t go to St. Paul very often, and was meeting her at a place I’d never been to before, I had padded my travel time in case I had trouble finding the location. And that padding was now getting stripped away.
I made it on time, and we had a wonderful session. When I got back, three phone messages were waiting for me. The first was about an event I had signed up for that I thought was on the following Friday, but that I later discovered was actually on Thursday, which necessitated my canceling out of another meeting I was supposed to take part in at the same time on Thursday. The phone message I got was telling me that the original information had been correct, and the event was, indeed, on Friday.
The second message was from someone with whom I had scheduled a phone consultation for Wednesday of that week. She was asking if we could change it to a different time. I called her back and said that that actually worked out better for me, since it gave me a little breathing room between our call and another meeting I was attending that day. She told me that she was planning to be at that same meeting, but even though it normally took place on Wednesday, it had been rescheduled for Thursday – the same Thursday that I had originally double-booked but was now wide open.
The third phone message was from someone I was supposed to talk to in a few hours about a project we’re working on together. She had called to let me know that because of a family medical emergency, she had to postpone our call and would get back to me when she could.
Other than that, the day was fine.
In some ways, the day seemed like a comedy of errors – with a bit of self-recrimination thrown in. I was upset with myself for inadvertently scheduling two things for the same date and time, then reassured when I found out the error wasn’t mine, then upset all over again because the other error WAS my mistake.
In other ways, the day seemed like a miracle of match-ups, with everything falling smoothly and miraculously into place after being thrown up in the air in a crazy jumble. I found myself being grateful that one meeting had ended up getting switched, that another one hadn’t, that one person’s need to reschedule something kept me from ending up at a meeting on the wrong date, and that another person’s need to reschedule gave me some breathing room I desperately needed by then.
The really interesting part is how energized and efficient I felt by the end of the day, rather than irritated and exhausted. It was the kind of day when I felt the presence of a higher power looking out for me, making course-corrections as I navigated through the day. It made me think of a sign I saw once that said, “If God is your co-pilot, maybe you should switch seats.”
“What have we learned from this?” is a question my husband used to ask our kids on a regular basis, and which used to annoy them when they were growing up but is now somewhat of a family joke. One thing I’ve learned from this is that it might be time to cut back on the number of meetings and events I attend. Or to pay closer attention to ALL the details, so I don’t miss out on important ones like changes to the normal routine. Perhaps I need to start color-coding things in my calendar. Or just get a bigger calendar.
At any rate, I’m happy to say that I lived to tell about the crazy and challenging day I had recently. I’m grateful for the things it taught me, for the strength it gave me, and for the fact that days like that don’t come very often.
© Betty Liedtke, 2011