I’m grateful that I’ve learned to let things go and I’ve learned to roll with the punches when plans fall apart. My former spouse used to tell me “things happen for a reason” and “look at this as an adventure.” Instead, I struggled to see the positive and allowed my frustrations that everything didn’t happen just as I had planned to taint not only my happiness, but the happiness of those around me.

 

When I allow myself to view life from a different lens, I find that wonderful memories are formed.

 

This week I was scheduled to go to a job fair and had asked the family to join me. Unfortunately, due to flying stand by, we quickly had to change our schedule when airline flight loads forced us to make last minute changes. Other than changing airlines and arriving later, all would have gone as planned except…I left my iPad sitting on the front seat of our car.

 

I was worried that this was an invitation for someone to steal it. I sent the family through security and proceeded to rush back to long-term parking to get this electronic device.

 

When one needs to take a bus and a 15 minute drive to the parking garage, the word “rush” is not in the vocabulary.

 

I leapt off the bus, looked at the text on my phone, and it says, “flight leaves in 30 minutes. RUN!!”

 

Panic sets in. I try to call my former spouse. No answer. I leave a message. I grab the iPad. And sprint to the elevator (well sprinting as fast as one can with a roller bag and garment bag)

 

As is habit, I touch the side of my leg. I feel immense panic seep through my bones.

 

There’s no phone!

 

Somewhere, between the bus and the garage my phone disappeared. I run through the garage looking on the ground. I check back at the car. I check the elevator. I retrace my steps, not one time, but three times. No phone!

 

A nice lady who sees the frantic look in my eyes offers her phone so I can call my former spouse. Thank God! They had no way to reach me otherwise.

 

I find out that the family couldn’t get on that flight, so they’re are heading over to the next airline. I said I’d meet them ASAP (which was 25 minutes later).

 

What to do? I had just purchased this new phone last month. Using the Find My iPhone app on the iPad I had salvaged from the car, I can see, the phone is somewhere in the garage. Do we leave and hope someone returns the phone? Or do we search for the phone?

 

I think, let it go. Let the phone go? Let the trip go? My former spouse suggests we could go to a different destination.

 

I make an executive decision.

 

“Ok, $100 to the person who finds Dad’s phone.” The girls are so excited. It’s a treasure hunt with a substantial monetary prize. Off we go to search for the phone.

 

My youngest daughter finds the phone sitting on the back of the car next to ours. Evidently, in my rush, I had placed it there while I got the iPad out of our car. I also can’t seem to understand why the damn phone is ringing? I can’t turn it off. It’s on silent mode. What the heck?

 

As my youngest daughter and I go down the elevator to tell her sister and Mom that she “won” the $100, my oldest daughter is walking around with my iPad pushing a button over and over. I was not aware that the Find My iPhone app allows you to make the phone ring to help in locating it. Would have been nice to know an hour earlier! A brief argument breaks out between both girls.

 

“I should get some of the $100 because the ringing helped you find it.”

 

“I was the one that said Dad probably left it in the car.”

 

“But Dad didn’t leave it in the car. He put it on another car.”

 

Needless to say, to quell the argument, one daughter made $100 and the other $50.

 

We then jumped in the car and drove two hours to our new destination. One that was not planned or envisioned.

 

A wonderful family dinner, S’mores by the poolside, hot tub, meeting my former spouse for coffee in the morning followed by going through shops, the family going to an aquarium, ice cream, and watching Jumanji at the girls first drive in movie (a place my former spouse and I had gone on a date eighteen years prior).

 

Through recovery, through growth, through learning to let things go, through learning to look at what we are grateful for and not to focus on all my energy on the negative, my family created memories to last a lifetime. And, something to harass Dad about for years to come.

 

I’m grateful that I’ve learned to live life as an adventure. Took me a while to get there.

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