Slowing Down

Friday night I changed my Facebook status to say that I need to slow down!  When I wrote that, I had just finished training a group of advocates for 8 hours, rushed home to grab my bag for my the weekend, rushed to the Metro to get to the bus to take me to New York.  My SIL went with me to New York this weekend.  As we were trying to get out of the train station to make the bus on time, I realized that I didn’t have enough money on my fare card.  I stuck my card in the machine to add fare and reached for my wallet…which was nowhere to be found.  I never carry cash.  I never carry a wallet.  I rarely carry a purse.  I usually throw my bank card and driver’s license in my back pocket, lip gloss in hip pocket and roll out.  Friday, I had almost $200 cash, my license and bank card in a wallet I apparently left on the train.

I needed to make a split second decision — go to New York and attend the classes I’m paying out the ass for, or say forget it and try to do the little to nothing I could do at the moment to get my wallet back.  I had 14 minutes to walk 3 blocks to catch the bus.  I told the station manager what happened.  He made a couple of phone calls, shook his head and gave me the number to lost and found.  My SIL told me she had me for the weekend and that I could pay her back when we got back.  We ran to the bus and made it.  I checked my bags a hundred times because I couldn’t possibly imagine how I could have sat my wallet down on the train and left it.  Nowhere to be found. I called and canceled my bank card and tried to figure out how I was going to make 3 apples, a bag of almonds, a bag of trail mix and a bottle of kombucha last all weekend.  My SIL was going to have to cover the hotel room; I wasn’t going to have her pay to feed me too.  Got to the hotel, checked bags 4 more times.  Wallet was nowhere to be found.

My wallet isn’t the first thing I’ve lost lately.  Two weeks ago, also in route to New York for the weekend I lost an expense check from work.  I had specifically gone into the office to get this check so that I’d have money to eat over the weekend.  I ended up not needing to cash the check, but when I returned and needed the money — the check was nowhere to be found.  Nowhere.  I asked the finance manager at work to cancel and re-issue the check.  She suggested that we wait a few days to see if it turned up.  I understand her not wanting to pay the fee — and I didn’t want to get into why I really needed the money.  We waited.  I got home from work two evenings later and a taped up envelope with no postage was on my steps.  The check had my address on it and it was showing through the little envelope window.  Someone found the check, taped it up and put it in the mail.  With no other address to send it to, it was delievered to my house stamped, “Returned for Postage”.

I also recently lost my Zune, which turned up later, and several other things which all turned up.  I’m clearly seeing a pattern  — one that reveals that my attention is way too scattered at this point in time.  I have let my whole yoga/meditation thing slip for a whole month, been burning the candle at both ends, spinning  my wheels, accomplishing a lot, but neglecting what’s most important.  Me. I’ve neglected placing a premium on my Self and my peace of mind.  I can’t afford to do that.  To the tune of $200 in cash and the cost of getting a new license.  Except that it didn’t cost me that after all.

I believe we can find a lesson in anything if we look hard enough for it.  I was convinced that there was something for me to learn with this last loss.  I knew instantly that part of it was that I needed to slooooooooowwww dooooooowwwwwn.  But beyond that, I believed that there was more.  As you can tell from my last post, I had become very troubled.  I’m training sexual assault advocates, attending a training to work at my local rape crisis center, trying to support people close to me through domestic violence, becoming aggravated by “the” domestic violence story in the news. I was becoming consumed, all of a sudden, by the reality of violence and assholes.

And then I got a text from my dad while in class with the name and telephone number of the gentleman who found my wallet on the train.  He looked up my address in the phone book, found my dad’s listing, called and arranged to get the wallet to him –  with every penny still in it.  A lesson?  A reminder?  A message from the Universe:  People are essentially good. Don’t let go of what you believe to be true.

Finding balance isn’t half as hard as maintaining it.

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I’m Being Punk’d!!!

The universe has Punk’d me!! It got me gooooooood!

I have a meeting this week in Olive Branch, Mississippi. No, that’s not the prank, but that alone would have been a good one too. Olive Branch is about 15 miles from Memphis, Tennessee. We flew into Memphis. Before I boarded the plane in Baltimore I noticed that there were a LOT of black, church-looking people getting on the airplane, acting like they knew one another on some level –not too familiar, but familiar. I saw an inordinate number of long denim (although quite fashionable) skirts, up-do’s and, yes people, hat boxes. The people seemed too excited to be going to a funeral (besides, when does a whole family book the whole plane to fly to a funeral?), so I thought maybe this was a family reunion, until we landed in Memphis.

When we got to baggage claim I noticed that hat boxes were pouring off of every conveyor belt. Old couples in matching sable coats were walking through the airport pushing dollies with 5 and 6 suitcases…for 2 people!!! I couldn’t understand what in the world Memphis had going on that this many people dressed the same way, packed in the same excessive manner, with HAT boxes were descending upon the town…until I got outside to Ground Transportation. Outside the automatic doors was a maroon van with a trailer for luggage and on the side of it was the seal of the Church of God in Christ. People, I (me, Lex, who just posted about how I’ve gained enough distance from my “church” experience to try to figure some things out about my belief system) landed smack in the middle of the Church of God in Christ 100th Annual Convocation!!! Continue reading