I have a fear of being cold, a fear of getting lost, and I fear of being late for something due to circumstances beyond my control.
All three of these fears came into play recently when I took my younger daughter Sam to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for a professional soccer match. We left home with more than enough to get there for the start.
However, I had no idea it would take an hour to go the last four miles.
I also had no idea that I could not bring my purse into the stadium!
So, for an 8:00 start, there we were – 8:15 with our tickets, on high energy, having walked a half a mile from the parking lot, and not able to get in because I had a purse.
I took a deep breath and sent Sam in to find her seat and watch. After failing to finagle my way in by emptying my purse into a clear plastic bag and folding my bag and shoving it into my pocket, I admitted defeat. I then called my husband who had no idea the wrath he was about to endure. Many f-bombs and “I am never ever ever doing this again” and “Why don’t they have signs saying no bags!!!???” screams later I was back in the parking lot.
I made Darren stay on the phone with me. Crap – where was my car? Meanwhile, I was noticing that there were “NO BAGS ALLOWED” and “PLASTIC BAGS ONLY” signs everywhere…. OOOPS.
I normally see all the signs everywhere!
“Why did I not notice them before?” I said that last part out loud to which Darren replied, “Steph, you do not enjoy reading (following) directions – ever…” To this, I actually laughed because this is true. Then I laughed even harder because did I really think I could get away with putting my purse in my coat pocket?? Why did I think the rules did not apply to me? Ok…. deep breath, now I was back in control. Meanwhile, I needed to find my car so I hung up.
I tried to locate my car with the key remote. No such luck! Then I realized that I was one lot over. Ok, back on track, happy I was not lost. Found my car. Peeled off my 3 layers because I was sweating, (remember, I have a fear of being cold) I hid the contents of my purse, checked to make sure I had my ticket and wallet and keys and headed back.
On my way, I tried to restore my karma by telling everyone I saw with a bag that they had to leave it in their car. I realized I missed the signs simply because I was not open to seeing them. My stress was down, my awareness was up.
I called Darren back to apologize for screaming at him. To which his response was, “You are a life coach, Steph. You can do this” Ha!
I walked into the stadium and was overwhelmed by the enormity of it, the spirit and the emotions of games that had been fought and won there. Feeling more like myself, I found my seat and Sam, and despite it being halftime and the fact that we were leaving in 30 minutes to drive home again, her “I love you Mom, you are the best Mom ever!” made it all ok.