Have you ever had one of those days? You know the ones I mean. The kind where it feels as if the universe is conspiring against you? Or at least wanting a laugh at your expense? That was me last week. I got a firsthand lesson in how to deal with such a day.
It started as any day does. Nothing out of the ordinary, but that’s usually how it gets you, right? We’re plodding along, doing our thing and then the rug is yanked out from under us. I’m dealing with a yoga injury that’s been plaguing me for some time, so my morning routine is out of sorts. But, I managed to get through it as well as feeding the animals who want food, but they don’t want the food I give them, but they waaaaaaant food. Just not the one that they love if they would just take a bit and realize it’s the one they love. But I digress.
I had my breakfast, and just finished my morning tea when my daughter came home from an early morning meeting at her work that she mixed up and it wasn’t until the following day. We laughed—rather, I laughed, she was too irked by the fact she didn’t get to sleep in as usual—and I noticed the neighbor’s rottweiler walking by himself outside. Gillian immediately ran outside to try and grab the rotty before it ran off. I decided to go help her, but I left Sisko inside. Because, well, Sisko loves dogs like a bee loves flowers, and his 80 pound self is a lot to handle when he’s that excited. It was a spur of the moment decision to leave him in the house instead of outside on the patio. I almost let him so he could see us through the bars, but he has separation anxiety, and I knew if we walked off with the rotty that Sisko would lose his damn mind. I assumed—wrongly—that Sisko would be content to watch us through the windows.
Gillian and I corralled the rotty easily enough. He’s a lovable dog and came right up to us. He didn’t have his collar on, so we were deciding on how to bring him back when I could hear Sisko whining and, for all intents and purposes, losing his shite. But, I ignored him.
After the rotty was safe at home, we made our way back through the 100 degree heat (with a heat index of 120 with the humidity) drenched in sweat and talking about the sweet rotty. We were laughing and smiling. Right up until I tried to open the door to go inside.
Because it was locked.
Yes. That’s right. Locked. And because I honestly didn’t think that could be possible, I tried the door three more times. (yeah. You read that right.) There are two deadbolts on my door. One that is visible from the outside, one that isn’t. One that uses a key, and one that, well, doesn’t because of the hidden part.
So, as you can imagine, Gillian and I exchange what the fuck?! looks. The only thing I have on me is my phone. Same with Gillian. So, I call my son who has a key. He’s a work, so I’m SOL there. My next option is heading to the front office and get the key from them. Which, of course, we do. I tell her what happened and ask to be let in my apartment. She looks at me and asks for an ID. I repeat that I don’t have anything on me to prove who I am. I then tell her she can pull up my website and see my photo and compare the name and such to what’s on my apartment. She waves away my words and says, “I’ve seen you around. I know you.”
I barely bite back the “Then why did you ask for an ID?” question. But I kept it to myself. My daughter knew what I was thinking because she nudged me with her elbow to keep quiet. (Yeah. She knows me well.)
So. Finally, we’re headed back to the apartment. From across the complex, I can hear Sisko howling his head off. The woman asks me to explain everything to her again. I do. I then have to detail how big Sisko is, and that, yes, he does jump up on his hind legs, and yes, he can reach the deadbolts with his paws. Easily. She kinda laughs and says, “Let’s hope he only locked one.”
Now, I’ve been dreading this since I realized the door was locked. I hold onto that tiny, sliver of hope that we can get in with the key. That Sisko didn’t lock both. (You know where this is going, don’t you?)
We reach the apartment. She unlocks it and steps back so I can open the door. I can hear Sisko doing his happy dance on the other side of the door, waiting to see me again. I take a breath and turn the handle to find it…locked. Panic. Complete, dazed panic sets in. And then the following happens:
Me: “OMG. What do we do? How do we get in?”
Lady: ::snorts:: “I have no idea. Check a window. Surely you’ve left one unlocked.”
Me: ::gobsmacked:: “A window? I’m on the ground floor with an apartment full of windows. I have an alarm system. I’m not going to leave a window unlocked.”
Her: “Check anyway.”
We check. As I said, nothing is unlocked.
Me: “Okay. Now what?”
Gillian: “Guess we have to break a window.”
Her: “No! We won’t be doing any of that.”
Me: “Surely this has happened before. How did y’all get in?”
Her: “This has never happened before.”
Me: ::staring at her in confusion::
Her: “I guess you’ll have to figure something out.”
Me: “Me?! Um, no.” My patience has run out at this point. “I live in the complex for situations like this to be resolved by you and/or your team.”
Her: ::sighing loudly:: “Fine. I’ll call Hector (maintenance). We’ll probably have to take the molding around the door off and drill to get to that deadbolt.”
Me: “Thank you. Do you know how long this is going to take?”
Her: ::while walking away:: “Don’t know.”
I watch her walk away. Gillian is pacing. Sisko is clawing at the door. Amos is meowing his head off, because by this time he doesn’t understand why we’re outside. After some chatting (and a call to Charity), we head to the front office that has AC. I walk in to find her on a personal call, chatting away about nothing important. I’m doing my best to remain calm, using the opportunity to put in some lessons I’ve learned from mindfulness and meditations to not lose my collective shite. Somehow, I actually manage it and give myself a pat on the back because I’m not exactly known for my patience, especially when it appears that someone isn’t concerned about a situation.
Within ten minutes, Hector calls her. I listen as she tells him what happened. I can’t hear him, but she ummhmms him and hangs up. Then she tells me that he’s going to get the door open. In the minute and a half it takes for me to get to the apartment, Hector already has the door opened. I’m beyond relieved, because I was imagining it was going to cost me a fortune. Sisko is utterly unaware of the chaos he’s caused, he’s just so happy to see us returned.
Me: “Thanks, Hector. I hope it wasn’t too difficult to get in.”
Him: (after he explains how, which was NOT complicated at all). “Nothing to it.”
Me: “I can’t believe this hasn’t happened before.”
Him: ::confused look:: “It happens all the time.”
Me, internally screaming I KNEW IT!
What I thought would be a long, exhaustive day with who-knew-how much money spent to get in (not to mention a wasted day of not working), the entire episode from being locked out to getting in was less than thirty minutes. So many times I could’ve given into anger, frustration, irritation, and annoyance. I had to work on it several times during those thirty minutes, but I did it. The mindfulness part of my self-care really made itself known during the woman’s uncaring attitude. And it proved to me once more that focusing on self-care in all its many versions is vital to living our best lives!
This month’s song is Stay with Me by Faces. Enjoy!
“We have little power to choose what happens, but we have complete power over how we respond.”
~ Arianna Huffington