back to the future

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The other night my husband and I went to our storage locker where virtually all of our belongings sit while we renovate/gut our house.

We hadn't been back in months, so when we finally arrived and opened the doors, we were shocked by what we saw...

"Holy Crow. How did we accumulate so much stuff and what happened to our careful placement of the boxes?"

Apparently the items had shifted over time and now resembled a wild game of Jenga.

Not deterred, we carried on with our mission.

Have I mentioned the purpose of our little visit that evening?

Ah, well that's the pièce de résistance.

You see...we had come to look for a cord that would recharge our lawn mower.

Yup. 

Amongst the mountains of boxes and sofas and tables and beds and bikes and chairs, we were looking for one small cord.

The proverbial 'needle in a haystack.'

Determined to remain good-humored, I held the flashlight as my husband traversed the boxes and bins in search of the elusive cord. Each bin was opened and closed, moved and shifted with no success. 

We were about to throw in the towel when I noticed the time.

10 pm.

Did I mention that the outer gate to the outside storage facility closes at 10 pm?

No?

Well...

it does and it did.

Off we sped to the entrance of the facility.

I doggedly punched in the code at the closed gate.

Nothing happened.

I repeated the process and wondered at our circumstances...

we were literally sitting in a car...

in the middle of nowhere...

in the dead of night...

having utterly failed in our attempt to retrieve one small cord...

with an apparently unresponsive security gate!!!

My mind raced for a solution:

"I could knock down the gate with the car!"

or

"I could gun it up over the hill to the left of the gate and hopefully clear the line of strategically placed boulders!"

or

"I could go around the building and somehow gain enough speed to jump the small pond on our way to freedom!"

Ridiculous. All of them.

My mind flitted to the future as I reviewed these options and their corresponding consequences:

"If we break through the gate...we'll eventually be arrested. There are security cameras everywhere."

"Jail. We'll have to go to jail."

"My kids will be alone."

"I'll be like that woman from "Orange is the New Black."

"My husband...oh Gawd...they're going to love him in jail. What will he eat there? He has food allergies."

Seamlessly, my mind flitted to the past.

"You know, this isn't the first time we (meaning he) hasn't managed time well."

"I should have said something sooner."

"Who's kidding who, even if I had said something earlier, it would have fallen on deaf ears."

Suddenly my calm cool supportive demeanor had turned into full on annoyance with HIM and ME and our unbelievable PREDICAMENT!!!

I closed my eyes and took a breath.

Wait a minute.

None of what I was imagining had actually happened...yet.

The only thing that had happened was my thinking.

My thinking had gotten ahead of me.

In fact, my thinking had gone directly to the future and the past without passing go and without collecting $200.

I took another breath and returned to the present.

"Perhaps there is a phone number we could call," I suggested through clenched teeth.

My husband, now equally annoyed, found a number and called.

From the time we realized the gate would not open to the call that would quickly secure our freedom...all of 2 minutes had passed. 

2 minutes!!!

And yet, in that short amount of time, my mind had managed to conjure images of me...

becoming a female version of Evel Knievel...

going to jail...

abandoning my kids...

questioning my marriage...

and... 

berating our time management skills.

Wow.

How quickly it all went to pieces.

And...

how quickly it all came back...

when I took a breath and stayed present to what was actually in front of me.

Our minds are powerful things, non?

They can imagine the very best for us and the very worst.

What a phenomenal reminder.

And so...when I heard my husband say the next morning,

"Hey, I think that cord is actually at the house in a bin,"

I didn't go to the past and I didn't go the future.

I stayed right where I was and I laughed.

The universe does indeed have a sense of humor.