I don’t believe in commuting. Sure, I used to, but after a strong, concerted effort, I got local. That was 7 years ago and I haven’t commuted since. Until yesterday. Had a big important meeting in the City. Left home at 7 am, got home at 7 pm. Stood for close to 2 hours on packed trains.
I was out of my normal routine and making a mess of things. Got out the door late. Wasn’t going to make my scheduled train. In traffic, I slowly realized I wasn’t going to make my backup train either. Not at the station at the end of the line where I’d get a seat. Diverted en route to a closer station. Better to stand than to be late.
But there were no open parking spaces. Desperate, I parked in a permit-only space, ran across the pedestrian bridge, forgot to pay for parking, and in the time it took for my credit card to fail twice, I missed my train. Technically I made my train, but not into it. The doors closed right in front of me and I could only groan as it slowly pulled out of the station. Without me.
Mathematically, I could still be on time. The next train was scheduled to arrive 2 minutes before the start of this super important meeting. If I hustled and took the right exit from the station, just maybe…
No. I was a full five minutes late. Reputation ruined. I should have stayed home, made some excuse, rescheduled, protected my image. Because only an irresponsible, unreliable person would show up late for such an important meeting, scheduled so far in advance.
But I did none of those things. I confronted my mistakes, made no excuses, and prepared to take my medicine.
I got to the conference room sweaty, out of breath, ready with mea culpas. But it was empty. What? Had they given up on me and left?
No, the person meeting with me was stuck on another train! He had to call in. He was profusely apologetic and embarrassed, not me!
Grace had shined upon me.
My meetings went well, productive day, blah blah blah. Now I’m on my way home, standing, packed train. Sorry I wore my Big Boy shoes, feet killing me. Remembering my parking transgression. Crap. Probably getting a ticket. Let’s go see the station agent and maybe he’ll let me pay after the fact.
No. Too late. They ticket in the morning. You can’t pay now for parking 11 hours ago. Damn! Oh well, I’ll just pay the darn ticket. Take my medicine.
I get to the car. The choir is singing.
A) I’d left it unlocked all day yet no one has stolen my stuff.
B) There is no ticket on the window.
Grace has smiled upon me once again. Twice in one day.
Funny, I had not been feeling Grace’s presence these past few months. Things had been falling apart for me, not falling into place. Putting out fires by day at work and coming home to fires raging in my living room by night. It has not been fun and has not seemed fair.
But twice yesterday, the universe had coddled me. Parted the waters, lightened my burden , cliche, cliche, cliche.
Maybe since I was willing to take my medicine I was gifted a break. Maybe it was just my turn. Or maybe we invite the universe to reward us when we slog through the muck despite our setbacks.
Perhaps I should invite Grace over more often…