En route to the hardware store, the thought flittered through my consciousness.
“Did I shut the garage door?
By the time I left the hardware store – freshly minted key copies in hand – I had not only convinced myself that the garage door was wide open – oh no, that would be far too easy – I was certain that a posse of cold-hearted criminals had been prowling my safe, secluded neighborhood on this particular morning. They were cleaning out my garage at that very moment – I just knew it. The half-full paint cans! The dusty fake plant in the corner! The Christmas tree and holiday decorations! They were emptying the extra fridge of its assorted Gatorades and Vitamin Water’s. As I rushed home, I knew I would arrive too late to save anything, despite my best efforts.
I even turned right on red in this one spot that explicitly declares “No Right On Red” in bold, black-and white-signage. This is capital L-B Law-Breaking in my world. But it was okay if the cops caught me at that one, I thought – they could follow me home and see the scene of the robbery firsthand.
I turned the corner and saw my house right away.
The garage door was closed.
As I turned around and drove toward the remainder of my day, I thought about the lessons I could learn.
First, be present and conscious – watch the garage door close, see the red light go dark on the curling iron as it is clicked off, think about the click of the lock as the key turns in the keyhole. Every day is full of so many ordinary moments that go untracked by the conscious mind. There can be joy in ordinary things – or at the very least, angst avoided by remembering those things specifically.
Second, wherever I am in any given moment is where I am supposed to be. Even if it is driving across town for no good reason. I’ll never know why; I can only accept and be thankful that life works out as it should.
Finally, the mind is a powerful thing. Whenever possible, use it to convince of good, not evil.
Have you ever convinced yourself of a would-be-tragedy that wasn’t?