There is a situation that happens to us. A generic situation that makes our lives the horror show we sometimes feel they are.
And I can sum it up by describing how my morning might have gone, how it went, and why even though it turned out okay I still felt anxiety and panic.
The situation involved the keys to the car, the only set of keys that seem to exist for this particular car.
And it also involves me. Of course.
The set up
It’s Wednesday, and on Wednesdays we load up the car and head out of town to another municipality.
This gives me the opportunity to work in a café where I am not surrounded by the aspects of my household that require constant and distracting attention. That’s not why we do it though.
My partner works for an organization that has a second office and Wednesday’s are her day to man that office. I just take the opportunity to go with her because, as I said, it get’s me out of the house, so off we go.
I load the car
There is a tote that goes to this other office with inter-office stuff in it, my partner’s work bag, lunch for two, and my work bag that get loaded into the back trunk of the car. And there’s two travel mugs of hot liquid to put in the console to sustain us on the road.
I usually make two trips to load the car. Today I took the work bags and the tote out to the car. I had the keys in my hand, and I was wearing mitts.
It’s cold enough that the trunk of the car was frozen shut so I had to turn my back to the car, get hold of the trunk with my free hand (the work bags were hanging from my shoulder), and heave the trunk lid open.
I got the trunk open, turned around and put the tote in. I shoved it in as far as it would go and put the two work bags in after it.
I reached up for the lid of the trunk and went to close it.
Here’s a funky thing …
I have some rather weird habits. They often annoy me. They’re almost OCD like in nature.
One of them is this. When I open the trunk of the car with the remote, even though the car doors do not unlock, I like to “re-lock” the car doors after I’ve closed the trunk. Why? I have no clue.
But as I was closing the trunk I started looking for the keys to fire the car door locks.
There are times
There are times when I refuse to lock the car doors because I know they are already locked. They were never unlocked.
And yet, I still think about locking them.
Every. Damned. Time!
I couldn’t find them
The keys were nowhere to be found. And … I hesitated. I had the trunk lid almost closed.
I let it go and it lifted again on its own while I searched my pockets and mitten covered hands for those keys.
Then I started shuffling things around in the trunk.
And there were the keys, first in to the trunk, obviously dropped out of my covered and senseless hand when I put the tote in and shoved to the deepest part of the trunk by the tote when I pushed it in.
And I kind of freaked
For about fifteen seconds I lived through the horror of locking the keys in the trunk, realizing they are the only set, having to call the auto club, having to explain to my partner why we were standing and waiting in the driveway while her appointments came and went in her other office.
I’m happy to report that the key to the successful resolution of this situation was my hesitating to do the thing that annoys me.
And to those of you who recognize this example of that situation that causes us all the anxiety, I’m sorry.
I know you went through it with me just now, it’s how we’re built, the way we’re wired.
Even when things work out, we know that was just “this time.”