Bobbe White Writes

Perspective – it’s a pretty big deal.

Other People’s Time. It’s a Pretty Big Deal — January 7, 2020

Other People’s Time. It’s a Pretty Big Deal

 

I considered some New Year’s resolutions. Then I thought, “That’s stupid. Just make better habits.” That’s all resolutions are: better habits. 

Here’s my Happy New Year habit proclamation to all seven people reading this post:

“I will be punctual for appointments. If not on time, I shall be early!”

Simple. Everything’s written in my planner, iPhone, iPad and on the fridge. Do we have tools out our wazoos or what?

And yet, January 3rd, three days into 2020, I missed my 7:00 a.m haircut. Not late for it. I missed it completely.

First you wonder, “Why would anyone pick seven o’clock a.m.?” 

The first appointment means no waiting. This time doesn’t conflict with other commitments. It’s the best slot.

Second, I love my hairapy. (Hair + therapy). If you are a good fit with your stylist, you know what I’m talking about. Every four weeks Kris cuts. We talk about stuff. What I’ve been doing. What he’s been doing. Travel stuff. Life stuff.

Also, short hair needs regular cuts. If stretched further, you’ll have wonky spots (i.e. basic bedhead or hat hair). Not pretty.

In December, I stuck the appointment card in my backpack-card-keeper. I wrote it in my planner. That should have taken care of it.

I should’ve done a lot of things. I should’ve typed it into my work calendar, which pops up with daily. I should’ve written it on the refrigerator calendar. I should’ve stuck the card on the door with a magnet like usual. I should’ve, but I didn’t.

And as I’ve said it before, “SHOULD IS A DUMB WORD!”

I found the card and realized I hadn’t read my planner the night before. 

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I said. (Plus a really bad word.)

I beat myself up all weekend for being inconsiderate. 

Kris will say, “It’s okay.”

But it’s not okay. I feel rude and irresponsible. Most importantly, when appointments are disappointments -meaning a no-show- the business loses money. Time is money. Believe it or not, someone else may have wanted that 7:00 a.m. And I disappointed. Like pearly white teeth, with a front tooth missing. That was me. Being late or a no-show makes me feel disrespectful. It shows how little I must care about someone else’s time. But it’s really not that. It’s not. It’s more like being Busy Bobbe. Too many things in too many directions. Kris should charge me anyway. 

So I’m proclaiming it for all to read, “New habit. Right here. Right now.”

We can have 100 excuses about why we‘re late or why we disappointed. None of them carry weight, other than laying on an ER gurney or searching for a lost child, parent or dog. Aside from those, they’re just excuses.

The bottom line is: it’s about somebody else’s time. And that’s a pretty big deal. 

Honor it. Happy New Habit Year.

Bw

Practicing Help Thanks Wow — August 2, 2020

Practicing Help Thanks Wow

Practicing Help Thanks Wow

Bobbe White – 8/02/2020

I asked a friend to recommend a book that had been helpful to her during a tough time as I needed an idea for a struggling friend. She sited Anne Lamott’s bestseller, “Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers.” The ironic thing is that I had given it to her in 2012!

I like this book. So much so, that I reread it this weekend. It’s a brief book and full of ideas on ways to offload problems that are bugging us (HELP!). She shows the benefits of being grateful for seemingly insignificant things (THANKS!) and to acknowledge amazing occurrences (WOW!) I decided to practice below.

Here goes.

HELP! Our refrigerator died May 30. Conked out. Just. Like. That. I moved salvageable food to our basement freezer, gathered coolers, and made multiple trips for bags of ice.

THANKS. We appreciate our new dorm-sized fridge. Jeff argues, “It’s not dorm-sized. It’s 5 feet tall with a freezer compartment.” Okay, so it’s graduate school size. I’ve named her, “Short Stuff.” She’s more efficient than coolers, even as the freezer door pops open when you shut the refrigerator door. Kind of like the Beverly Hillbillies: the phone rings; they answer the doorbell.

WOW! It’s amazing how cold Short Stuff keeps the contents. Or “wow”, is that garage hot or what?” And, “wow,” think of all the weight we’ll lose, because it’s too hot in the garage to fetch food or treats that we don’t need anyway. THANKS for this opportunity! But, HELP! The reverse is happening. I’m consuming more than ever. It’s easier to just eat the rest of something than going out to the hot garage. Sigh.

HELP! Our new fridge was ordered June 1. It’s slow, due to parts being from China. You know why.

THANKS! Store tells us our new fridge landed in St. Louis. (That’s two hours south for east and west coasters readers! In other words, it’s getting closer!)

WOW! Installation is in two days. It’s a pretty big deal as you can imagine.

Here’s another example.

HELP! Last Monday, after work, the house felt warm. The thermostat read 27 degrees Celsius. “Hey Siri! Convert 27 Celsius to Fahrenheit.” Siri says, “That would be 80 degrees Fahrenheit.” Great, Oh hell, I mean, oh HELP! It’s going to be a long night.

THANKS to our fans sleeping was fairly comfortable. Also, THANKS to Jeff who got Wayne, an air conditioning repairman, to come the next day. We’ll be really thankful if it simply needs a charge and some freon.

HELP! The A.C. is kaput. We need a new unit. But “WOW!” Wayne can install the new unit in a few days for $3,000. So, that’s what that stimulus check was for. THANKS Congress!

Also, THANKS Jeff for installing an A.C. window unit in the bedroom. Sleep, glorious sleep!

HELP! The installer had heart palpitations. He’s having tests on installation day. Install tabled for now.

But, hey God, seriously, THANKS for the cool front! At 64 degrees this morning on our deck, I was thankful for my sweatshirt.

Have you gotten the gist using The Three Essential Prayers? Anyway, it’s Sunday, a day of prayer for many people, so a logical day to experiment with Help, Thanks, Wow. There are many things to pray “HELP!” for: our country, racial unrest, the economy, health, students, teachers, parents, and healthcare workers –– basically anything COVID related –– which seems to be everything lately doesn’t it?

There are many things to say, “THANKS!” for. It’s okay if you have to get creative. Like our one cucumber plant, that now spans a 10’ x 4’ foot garden plot. HELP! Cukes have overtaken the garden. Still, “THANKS!” A garden of any vegetable is a good thing. And WOW! There are so many of them. Also, there are myriad ways to pray and personally, I’m thankful for an additional, non-traditional, logical way.

THANKS for reading my post. Now, this is your cue to yell, “HELP!” if needed, say, “THANKS,” when you can and amaze yourself with WOW-worthy things!

bw

WTH? (Where’s the humor) — May 8, 2020

WTH? (Where’s the humor)

Good Friday Morning! I didn’t mean Good Friday, exactly, or is it? In psychology circles, we call this, “Reality Orientation” and some of us a really struggling with simple things, like, “What day is it?”A43CD6C3-DEAC-4F44-92C5-67E61F7E2E48

SHORT BUT SWEET post today readers. My pinky is impaired. Yesterday I joined a sorority called “Phi Slamma Jamma.”  (See photo.) If you revise the song title, “I Fought the Vault and the Vault Won,” and you know I am a banker, then do the math.  A friend asked, “Burial Vault?” No, thankfully. It was a bank vault. OWWEEEEEE! I get shivers each time I replay it. The good news is that (1) I was the only person in the clinic waiting room, (2) it’s not broken and (3) the biggest loss will be a nail. To RN wrapped it with enough gauze to wrap my entire arm. Long story, short, you’d be amazed at how many times you use your left pinky to type. Who knew? If I speed up it’s going to look like this, “Aweather outsdike is cloudy aqnf Twainy,” (Weather outside is cloudy and rainy.) Sigh. I’ll be fine. I still mowed the grass and walked the dog.

THE (J)OYS OF ON-LINE GROCERY SHOPPING are numerous. I love it. I don’t need to squeeze the melons or look at the lettuce. They select for me. So far, so good. It’s not a perfect system, but perfect enough for me.

LAST SATURDAY I pulled in between two SUVs for my pick-up time slot. I meant to put my drivers license in the back where the hatch is. The clerk can easily ID me for a liquor purchase while social distancing. I also meant to leave a a ten dollar tip under the license. I love tipping hard workers. I stepped out of the car to take the money to the back when my body suit (AKA onesie) came unsnapped at the crotch. ZING! Think of your third grade teacher snapping the classroom window shade. That’s my onesie! I tried tucking it in the front and back of my pants, because to go through the gyrations of resnapping it in the crotch might raise eyebrows by the nearby drivers. ZING! There it went again. There was just too much memory in the elastic. The driver next door looked away, but I could tell she was laughing.  Finally, here came the clerk with my cart of purchases. I pointed out my ID and tip. She was appreciative. “Oh, I forgot the liquor. I’ll be right back.” Lordy, forget the Lima beans. Forget the lunch meat. BUT DON’T FORGET THE LIQUOR!

THE LIQUOR CART, with a different clerk, rounded the building corner. I figured I should tip her too, or she’d be mad at the other girl. She was appreciative. I headed home, unloaded my groceries and realized they’d omitted my dog food. We confirmed it paid for. They would send the dog food with Door Dash. How nice! I realized I should tip the Door Dash driver too. Man, this on-line method was getting pricey!

THIRTY-DOLLARS LATER and a major wardrobe malfunction, I found myself shopping online again. Not for groceries. I’m purchasing a device like our babies used to wear when their onesies got to short. It’s called a “crotch extender.” That should keep my window shade in place! Bw

 

 

 

 

Why We Can’t Have Dinner Parties — April 17, 2020

Why We Can’t Have Dinner Parties

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(Not now, any time). It’s not cost, space or lack of serving pieces and dishes. Now, that I’ve inherited Mom’s pieces, we are more than equipped. It’s because we have a noise problem. Her name is Lily White, a black Lab with a persistent personality. She’s a beggar.

It’s Jeff’s fault, not mine. He claims Lily saved his life while hunting. He got stuck in mud, quicksand or something gooey. Lily let him grab her collar until he could get his footing. Jeff gratefully vowed to feed her whatever she wanted. Which is everything. That was the beginning of the end of Lily’s table manners.

During COVID-19, we’ve participated in three ZOOM dinner parties. It feels very social. Very enjoyable. The best part: no driving home. The worst part: people want to mute us, thanks to Lily’s incessant barking. She sits quietly underneath the dining room table. For a while. Then she starts tuning up from a yip to a full-out bark.

To quiet her during Passover Seder, I tossed pieces of matzah under the table to her, as well as Charoset. (Apples, nuts, cinnamon, wine), Kugal and matzah ball soup. She loves any main course: beef, pork, fish or fowl.

Lily doesn’t bother Jeff, because he carries the conversation on Zoom and just talks louder over her barks. Meanwhile, I stress, because every time she barks, ZOOM audio cuts out. I worry about the amount and type of food Lily’s ingesting – on top of her dinner which we fed her earlier. I swear, this dog is insatiable.

We “ate” with Tim and Marilyn from Denver on Wednesday. While they engaged in stimulating conversation, I fed Bob Barker. I’d frozen a little cup of dog treat concoction. That lasted forty-five seconds. Next, she got a huge bone, normally lasting hours. This night: maybe seven minutes. I tossed pieces of pasta. Linguini, to be specific. I didn’t want dinner to end, but honestly, I was running out of  food and was afraid of being up all night with a diarrhea dog.

We said good-bye and how we must do this again soon. All I could think of was vacuuming under the table, after assessing the pooch’s picnic. My stress fully evaporated, however, when Lily emerged from under the table. Pieces of linguini were hanging off of her  black head fur in all directions. Okay, so my aim was a little off and I forgot how sticky pasta eventually gets. We got the last laugh of the night. Right before her bagno. That’s Italian for bath.

Take good care,

Bobbe

America Has Changed (and it’s a a big hairy deal.) — April 1, 2020

America Has Changed (and it’s a a big hairy deal.)

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jeff, the other side of Bobbe. She asked me to write a guest blog. I assume this first time request was in disguise of her saying, “You’re bored. Leave me alone!”

The Times Are A-Changin’. In so many small ways, this damn virus is changing lives. For myself, I see so many changes that are positive in the environment, which is otherwise filled with so much negativity. I am tired of daily updates of contracted cases and death counts…this isn’t a damn NBA game. Can’t they just report it as a percentage up or down?

Let’s Stop The Blame Game. I don’t care what country COVID-19 came from and I certainly don’t care who is doing the best or worst job handling the crisis. In the end, it will be we, the people: frontline health professionals, first responders, garbage professionals and etc., but mostly, it is up to all of us to take responsibility for it and defeat it!

I am neither a republican or democrat. I am sickened by what I have seen in Washington DC for many years, but I am encouraged and made more optimistic by the performance of the state governments in this time of crisis. For years now, Hamilton, the Broadway play, has been all the rage and yet, his warning of the federal government stripping state rights and thus, the individual’s rights didn’t get a song.

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff. I vacillate between reality and humor, which affords me some mental balance that Bobbe preaches. She doesn’t realize it, but I do read and pay attention to her messages, even though our perspectives are very different – as is our humor. At first, I’m sure she thought my attempt at humor below was about her. I promised her it wasn’t, but still, she suspects. Anyway, she was more than willing to post it, so that makes me believe she agrees with what’s happening in general.

My god, who is this woman laying next to me in bed? Her nails –usually all digits are filed and polished –  look like she’s been digging a foxhole on a rocky beach. And that hair! It was always trimmed religiously – once a month- to the proper length. Now, I’m thinking: hurricane hair – blown by unseen winds of 87 mph. Please don’t tell me unibrows and goatees on women are now in vogue. This just can’t be happening. I hope she doesn’t fight me for my last razor. The only saving grace is that this woman went gray prior to COVID-19. I mean, she couldn’t cook a cake from a Betty Crocker box mix, let alone tackle her own hair color.

So THIS is how it’s going to be:

• Haircuts: cancelled!

• Mani and pedi’s: gone!

• Brow and chin hair grooming: kaput!

• Color touch ups: buh-bye

Should this lockdown continue into week six, small luxuries, which we’ve taken for granted will continue to be unavailable. We’ve put an inordinate amount of social importance on these above habits for so long. These habits will have changed forever. As money becomes scarce for some individuals, the savings accumulated from cancelled grooming services will add up and be re-evaluated.

Hey! When this is all over, we just might be able to afford that BMW down payment after all!

  

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know — March 27, 2020

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

The OG of eternal optimists, Dad had a great outlook on life. Sometimes too much so! Sometimes, I’d want to say, “Mediocre down, Dad, mediocre down!” He had oodles of life experiences – some life threatening, but his attitude carried him through most of them.

Irvie didn’t do well without answers. He’d really be struggling with the current pandemic. Eventually, he’d come around and resort to a saying, which I’ve said or thought of frequently.

You don’t know what you don’t know.
You may never know what you don’t know.                                                                           
You may not want to know what you don’t know.

 Let’s break down the first sentence, in terms of today. You don’t know what you don’t know is a suitable answer for most of our questions. When will COVID-19 be over? Will it hit our city? When will we be able to socialize again?  Is there any hope for a treatment? A cure? Will there be a relapse? Will it be seasonal? Can you become immune? Will it cause a recession? Depression? Rebound?

These are not unreasonable questions. We are all thinking and asking the same ones. Even the best of the best of experts can’t offer answers, only predictions and guesstimates.

Just for today. Let’s accept the unknown and do the logical. Obey the orders to, stay at home and wash your hands and socialize responsibly: 6 feet of separation. Phone-a-friend or loved one, text, e-Mail, snail mail, Skype, Zoom, bloom, vroom. Wait! Bloom? Vroom? Sure, when the weather cooperates, get outside your home and prep the garden, or just appreciate that new grass is growing; . Mow it. There’s a good solitary activity for you. Take a drive to nowhere and back again.

Just for today. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. Until you don’t have to anymore. Relax your angst over the unanswerable, unrelenting questions. Because you don’t know what you don’t know, may NEVER know and may not WANT to know what you don’t know.

Take good care,

Bobbe

Stay Connected: it’s a pretty big deal — March 22, 2020

Stay Connected: it’s a pretty big deal

Unusual times call for connecting with your bunch!

(ElleGee Design: illustrator)

Feeling a bit on edge and a little (lot) scared? Are you claustrophobic at home already with nowhere to go? Even Lily White, the black Lab, is confused, “I need my space!” She growled. For now, it’s our new normal. And we are the pioneers. Will we – or a loved one – get sick? Lose our jobs? Worst of all, “Will somebody we know and love die from this virus? Dark clouds hang heavy over all of us.

HOLD EVERYTHING! Let’s get positive for a change. You’re joking. Now? Yes, in spite of the gloomy news, there are some terrific stories to read.

Try these for starters:

  • NBA’s Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans: paying Smoothie King staff for 30 days. How cool is that?
  • Farmacy (skincare): donating 10,000 meals/day to Feeding America.
  • Peace Out (Sephora): donating 10% of online sales to Milan hospitals to families and high-risk
  • Lipslut: (Love that name!) donating 100% on line earnings to those affected.
  • Korey and friend, Julie, are setting up a type of “Meals on Wheels” for Schaumburg elderlies. It seems our college friend’s son, Johnny Eggert, has a catering company called, “RELISH”. These two caught him on IG and started noodling. The mission: get prepped meals to people. Donations are already flowing, from Illinois to Texas to California to Long Island! (And that boy can cook.)
  • Madelyn(6) and Arianna(7) chatted at daycare about their family finances.
    “Mommy, I told her I have dollars in my piggy bank. She said she only had pennies.”

“That’s okay,” Mom said, “Not all kids are as lucky as you.”

Madelyn found tweezers in the bathroom. She tugged one dollar from her bank. And then another. Before daycare Friday, Madelyn asked, “Mommy, is it okay to give these $2.00 to Arianna so she has some dollars in her bank?”

“It is just fine, Madelyn, it’s just fine.”

  • Yesterday, Jeff gave a box of Entenmann’s to the little neighbor girls, Haddie and Ellie. He thought they might need a treat by this time in their homebound week.

So what can you do? Check on a friend? Make a call? Face time. Send a text/email. Just tell them, “I want to make sure you’re okay. Do you need anything? How can I help?”  (Check out @Morning Brew for an extended list of how you can help. It may start your juices flowing for your own community.)

Starting today, I challenge you. Look and listen for positives. They’re out there. It will help balance our current world of negatives. Promise. Our family is truly the best. Reach out to those who may need your help. Take good care to all of our family and remember that ours is truly the best!

Love, Bobbe

P.S. We are fine.

“After rain, there’s a rainbow. After a storm, there’s calm. After the night, there’s a morning. And after an ending, there’s a new beginning.”  Unknown.

Part 2 of 2:

Jeff’s message:

The virus has and will put a dent in our lives – whether you’re retired or still diapered. But as with all tragedies, there will be opportunities – stay positive.

Grandma is doing fine. Everyone, please do not go over to her house to visit! If delivering something to her is required, leave it on the porch or visit through the glass door. If the weather warms up, bring a lawn chair for yourself and stay awhile.

Pets: for those of us with pets, remember, they sense our levels of stress and have also noticed their routines have changed. Give them an extra pet, scratch or a special treat. It’s food for them as well as us.

Bobbe and I are blessed to have the following in our freezer: 54 ducks, 19 geese, a side of deer and a partridge in a pear tree. We won’t share them unless you ask. However, if you need fresh meat – call the woods and lakes. They’re loaded up with them this spring and we are bored. Those “orders” will come delivered whole!

Love,

Jeff

 

Don’t assume: it’s a pretty big deal. — February 1, 2020

Don’t assume: it’s a pretty big deal.

 

An elderly woman sat down at my desk. We’ll call her, “Mary”. She was accompanied by her daughter. We’ll call her, “Pam”.

Pam did most the talking, “I need to be on Mom’s account. She needs help writing checks because she has Macular Degeneration.” 

I directed my  question to Mom, as Pam had no authority in the matter, “Is that what you would like, Mary?”

“Yes I would,” she answered. 

Mom’s information needed to be updated. I collected Pam’s information too. There were a few more questions along the way. 

“Do you need a new order of checks?” 

“Huh?” Mary said.

Clearly, in addition to vision loss, Mary couldn’t hear either.  

I cranked up the volume and enunciated s-l-o-w-l-y, “DO YOU NEED A NEW ORDER OF CHECKS?”

My voice echoed throughout the bank lobby. My co-workers are used to our acoustics. Not only that, we have a number of hearing impaired customers.

Pam repeated the question to her, “Do you need more checks?”

“No, I’ve got plenty.”

I belted out my next question even more s-l-o-w-l-y, “DO YOU WANT PAM TO HAVE A DEBIT CARD?”

“Sure,” Mary said. “That’s fine. It might be more convenient for errands.”

Pam spoke up, “She’s not deaf! She just can’t see.”

UGH. What a rude assumption I’d made! Embarrassment caused heat to instantly rise to my face.

“I am so sorry, Mary,” I apologized. When you didn’t hear one of my questions, I just assumed…”

Why do we jump to conclusions like these? It happens frequently. When they can’t see us, we slow our speech and speak louder. Way too loud. 

Just because someone has vision loss, doesn’t mean they are deaf or mentally impaired as well. But this is how I treated Mary.

I learned a hard lesson that day, “Treat people where they are, not where we assume them to be.”  When Mary answered, “Huh?” to one of my questions, I instantly confirmed in my mind that her hearing, as well as her mental faculties were also compromised. Many of us say, “Huh, what, excuse me”, every day. Sometimes we don’t hear the first time. Other times we’re simply not paying attention.

You’ve heard the adage, “When you assume, it makes an ASS out of you and me.” 

In this case, it wasn’t anybody but me.  Bw

Aftermath: the forgotten haircut — January 11, 2020

Aftermath: the forgotten haircut

When irony occurs, It’s both amazing and amusing. I’ve received several benefits and insights from that missed haircut last week. Go figure. Mistakes have a way of providing those things.

First, Kris, the stylist, was gracious about my no-show. How does he do it? I’m not sure if I could be as forgiving. This a good lesson. Second, someone’s cancellation provided an opening for me and while there, I found my black scarf I’d left last time. Third, my no-show last week inspired me to adopt an appointment keeping system. 

PROCLAMATION: It is hereby noted that said turquoise 2020 planner will accompany me wherever I go.

How’s it going with the planner proclamation? Here’s how. The muses of time think my idea is a joke.

They’re laughing at me, “You know, Bobbe, your planner concept sounds logical, but it’s merely like a fart in a windstorm. You made a little noise, but it’s possibly already lost and forgotten.”

Stupid muses…

This became my reality as I exited the car for my makeup haircut. I held my wallet and planner. The wind blew that planner right out of my hands.  The pages stood straight up from wind gusts. It slid down the sidewalk like a flat rock, skipping happily upon the water surface. There I was, chasing and being teased by my planner. Every time I reached it, poof! It took off again. And again. What a mean trick.

Clearly, becoming aware of a habit needing attention is the first step. Then you really have to step on it. Eventually, I was able to step on it. More accurately, I stomped on it. There is now a huge boot-print stamped upon the month of January. Hopefully, the boot will kick me in the tush, every time I have an appointment this month. And I’ve got a bunch of them.

People driving by probably found paper chasing activity fairly typical of windy day activities. They wouldn’t know the pure irony of me chasing the planner.  There I was, literally and figuratively chasing my appointments.  

What habit are you needing to improve in 2020? And willing to share? 

Once you speak it, it becomes real. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Happy habit making!

Bw

Stress No Evil: writing it, living it — October 14, 2019

Stress No Evil: writing it, living it

 

 

 

 

 

7A372605-D1B9-4803-ABA2-A0BA97B220F4I’m not just writing the book. I’m living it. Yes, research is necessary, but…geesh.

On Tuesday night, Jeff drove me to St. Louis to the airport.  I usually take myself, but he was evaluating the car’s highway behavior. My Thursday presentation in Virginia Beach, VA was the destination. Take off was 9:14 a.m. Wednesday. We were in no real rush. We just wanted dinner before bed. 

Before locking the house, I checked for lights, phones and chargers – oh, and Lily White, the black Lab, needed food an water. The two hour drive was uneventful, as was hotel check-in. Lombardo’s fed us well and has the best dipping oil in the Western Hemisphere.

We went to get our luggage from the car. Jeff grabbed his.

“Where’s mine?” I asked. 

It was hard to see inside the dark car and lighting wasn’t great. Still, my royal blue roller bag should’ve been obvious. Except it wasn’t. I’d forgotten to carry it out of the house while checking everything else.

We looked at each other and knew instinctively. We were NOT driving two hours each way for Bobbe’s bag. That meant two nights and two days without stuff. Nice. 

How could this work? 

I needed a mental moment.

We were shocked at my reaction, mostly because there wasn’t much of one.

Inventory assessment lasted through the night. Make-up: check. Toothbrush: check. Medications: check. Spare pair of underwear: check-check. Mom taught me that. As for clothes, the suit I’d worn to work, could work for my Virginia work. Fortunately, I hadn’t changed before leaving town. Nobody would know I’d forgotten my suitcase. What I didn’t have was, well, anything else.

WAIT! There were clothes in the car. I had taken extra clothes to the gym Saturday: long  t-shirt dress, jean jacket, swimsuit, flip-flops and (clean) workout socks. I know. Only me. There was a t-shirt for the Salvation Army in the car, but it came with me instead.

Why on earth would I have these clothes in the car? My sister’s pool was closing that previous weekend. Before plans changed, I was going to help. Fortunately, I never removed the clothing from the car. I would make do. Or shop. This could work. 

Then there were my program materials. I had a few items with me. Other props were in the suitcase. If there was a Walgreens nearby, that could work. Uh-oh. I had forgotten little cards needed for my program, but the print shop from home emailed the file. Office Depot was near the hotel. Things were looking up, with a bit of hustle.

7:00 p.m. The order was ready. But, and this is a BIG but, one card was two-sided, except Office Depot’s printer broke. Instead, they printed the sides on separate sheets instead. This called for a scissors, glue stick and several hours of assembly.

11:00 p.m. I’d glued fifty cards together.  Time for lights out.  Hopefully, my body clock would remain on central time so I wouldn’t be tired. I could glue the remaining fronts to backs in the morning, prior to my 8:15 presentation. (If you attended my presentation, this explains why those “Stress No Evil” cards were thick little devils!)

Family and friends suggested shopping for clothing I need. I exercised restraint and settled for a new top to work with what I had. It seemed wrong to reward my forgetfulness – or what Jeff calls, “lack of focus” – with a shopping spree. 

Do you know that traveling light was great? I felt like a minimalist. Rick Steves, the travel guru, might be impressed. But I doubt it.

Before returning the rental car to the airport for my departure, it steered me to the beach. The clouds were heavy and gray. The wind blew sand continuously on a cool day. But when oceans are THAT close, they always cry, “Bobbeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The waves repeatedly slapped the shore.  Noisy fighter planes roared overhead. Blowing sand stung me from every direction. Even so, my beach fix was satisfied. Meanwhile, Jeff sent a picture of my suitcase standing in the middle of our family room. Lily wasn’t sure if I’d left or not. Before long I’d return home, as I’d left it. With very little.

Very little clothing.

Very little replacement purchases.

Very little angst.

And most importantly, very little angst.

It felt like this was a small victory, especially when compared to different reactions from earlier stages of my life. There are times when we lament growing older. But they are leveled off with moments like these which make me thankful to have reached this age and stage.

And I didn’t even need my swimsuit. Go figure.