My husband and I were on our way to my first official outing with my new employer, the incomparable Miles & Co. I was a deliberate packer, checking my list twice as we left for the airport. The skies were blue. I was going on an adventure. Life was good.
And then it happened.
As I approched that point of no return in the security line, the voice in my head whispered, “You don’t have your phone.” In a nano second, I felt complete nausea and entered that well-known parallel university where you see everything in slow motion, with no sound other than your other, less rational inner voice screaming something like, “Oh, *@#%!”
With eyes wide open, I continued toward the gray bins, submitted to the security scans and confirmed my loss. I did not have my phone. My smart phone. My connection to everything.
Contrary to the number one response I heard from my friends upon learning of my predicament, I did not die.
I did learn a few things about dealing with the unexpected, especially when you’ve done your very best to prepare.
Here’s a rundown:
1. Acknowledge the sense of dread. Picture Macaukay Culkin as the left-behind Kevin in the movie “Home Alone.” Allow yourself no more than 30 seconds of freak out time. Resist the urge to wag the finger of blame or assault yourself with the club of self-condemnation. Neither will advance your agenda.
2. Accept the new situation. Decide to own it. You are not a victim.
3. Assess your new reality and separate absolutes from non-essentials. (This step will be most effective if you follow my advice in #1.) My absolutes were the ability to communicate with my family and engage with my colleagues at Miles & Co.
4. Adjust accordingly. Using a laptop, I shared my new reality with our family members. “Just text me” was replaced with “Email me.”
As for engaging my Miles & Co. colleagues? Have you heard the one about the marketing director who misplaced her phone…