TANGLED by Sharon Cauthen
I woke up with a cold, a stuffy head, and a nose that had somehow forgotten how to do its essential job – air in/ air out. My car is in the shop, leaving me homebound today. I lost my glasses and frantically looked from room to room before finding them on the side table where they definitely do not belong. I needed to prep for a video meeting beginning in fifteen minutes when the dog started doing the potty dance. I quickly took him for a walk – but he needed more than a quick walk. He had business to do (have you ever successfully rushed a dog doing its business?). I required coffee to help me defy the cold medication and remain alert for the meeting, but the water reservoir was low, and I felt resentful that my spouse didn’t refill it.
Trying not to spill the hot coffee, I raced (walked briskly) to my desk for the meeting. I saw that most annoying message on my screen – the multi-factor authenticator blockade. Ugh. Text was the fastest way to get the code that obstructed my way. Fine. But my phone was playing a Daily Stoic meditation which I dumped unceremoniously on behalf of the code. I wasn’t feeling very stoic anyway.
Finally, I have access, glasses, and coffee, and I sit up in my chair with seconds to spare. Once I jumped through the hoops and could access my system, I saw a message from earlier that morning. “I’m sorry, I need to reschedule our meeting. I have an unavoidable conflict disrupting my calendar. Very frustrating.”
A few deep breaths and some introspection later found me reframing my morning. The cold is annoying but not debilitating. It will pass. I have a car and the funds to pay for its maintenance. I found my glasses and was reminded that no one puts them anywhere except me. I am grateful to have a furry companion and his need for regular walks is not a surprise. Moving his walk even fifteen minutes earlier would have made for a more enjoyable experience for us both. I have a nice coffee maker and access to clean filtered water for it. The Daily Stoic will wait for me. Patiently, because the Stoics are like that.
Two or three last thoughts.
My morning was irritating but not traumatic. There is a difference. Trauma should not be spackled over with platitudes. It deserves light and air for healing. This was not that. This was a series of slightly annoying events.
The meeting cancellation message was sent in plenty of time, but my messy morning disrupted its receipt. Just a wee bit more organization would have prevented the frantic race – after which I planned to look into the camera as though I had it all together all along. (I see my people nodding their heads at this.)
Finally, multi-factor authentication messages are ALWAYS annoying. I stand my ground on this one.