When you come in our back door, immediately to your left is a table, and on that is the saucer of a terra-cotta pot. It is covered and shellacked with pictures cut from magazines. Madi made it in preschool, and it immediately found its home on that table. Our keys are supposed to go there as soon as we walk in the door.
I’m sure you noticed the words “supposed to." To be fair, 95% of the time the keys are where they are supposed to be, but oh, that other 5% of the time! When looking for lost keys the owner will turn the house upside down and when that reveals nothing, the owner will then begin to retrace his or her steps back to the last time they had the keys. It almost always works.
It’s usually an odd combination of things that disrupts the normal chain events and causes the keys to be lost in the first place. Isolating each step we took usually renders them.
It’s funny that the way events line up cause certain outcomes. I heard someone point out how many different things had to line up EXACTLY as they did or you would not be in the relationship, job, or activities you are in or have the friends you do.
Actress Keri Russell said, “Have you ever made a seemingly inconsequential decision, and looking back on it years later, it turned out to be huge?”
One such decision came when I was choosing my class schedule while I was at college. One semester I was taking several English classes at the same time. I was burnt out from all the books to be read and the papers to be written. To give myself a little break for the next semester, I signed up for a class called “Healthy Lifestyles.” It was meant to be a fun break in my day. It turned out that other than in my major, there was no other class that had a bigger impact on my life. It taught me about meditation, guided imagery, anxiety and stress relief among other things. Everything needed for a “healthy lifestyle.“
While I was taking the class, one day I arrived for the lecture, and on each desk there were 8 notecards and a piece of paper with the numbers 1-8 on it. The professor then told us to label each note card with a trait we thought was paramount in a potential partner, and place them in order of importance on the other sheet labeled one through eight.
Once we had finished this, the professor asked us a series of questions. What if XYZ happened? What if this or that happened? Would it change the order of the traits? I pondered and reordered the note cards. It felt like a jigsaw puzzle for a bit. The majority of my note cards changed in their ranking, except for one. The number one trait was humor. It never wavered. I think I’ve probably subconsciously known since I was about 12 years old that humor was important to me, but this exercise distilled it.
It wasn’t long afterwards that I met Paul. This past Monday, April 10, we celebrated being married for 30 years. I had to remind myself a few days beforehand that I chose him because of his humor!!
Paul very sweetly said, “I can’t believe we’re coming up on 30 years of marriage.” In a panic I asked, “We’re not doing anything, right?” He looked at me and said, “Just regretting.” I laughed and then I slapped him. And then I went and hid his keys!