I was downtown Minneapolis for meeting at a Starbucks on the Skyway level of a large office building. After the meeting I went to get my car out of the parking lot, and my wallet was not in my purse. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I keep desperately digging for the familiar feel of my wallet. Maybe it’s there. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe all will be back to normal if I can just wrap my hand around it. It was gone.
I ran back up the escalator to the coffee shop, knowing it wouldn’t be there but checking anyway. I ran back down the escalator to the security desk in the building’s atrium, where a kind, tired security guard helped me find phone numbers for my bank and my visas and then went off duty and walked away. I sat with my cellphone, calling, and trying not to scream at the automated voices until I was transferred to a real person in the right department, one of which said, “Oh yes, someone already tried to charge over $1,000 on your card. Don’t worry, it was declined.”
I called the police and made a report over the phone. The parking lot attendant let me get my car, and I drove home on side roads since I wasn’t concentrating all that well. That night before I I fell asleep, I had flashes of the end of my marriage.
I had a sinking feeling then too, I desperately hoped things were not as I knew them to be, thinking if I could just get a handle on the situation, I could change what had happened. I became exhausted collecting papers for my attorneys, running to appointments, and fooling myself that I was calmly holding it all together.
It’s been three days since my wallet was stolen, and I’m still exhausted. I keep trying to move forward, determined nothing is going to slow me down. But things do slow us down, and we should let them slow us down. No matter what the world around us says: fast cars, fast food, fast internet connect, fast downloads…slowing down is vital for healing. Ah, yes, it’s time for self care, and I know how to do this!
I went for a walk, it gave me a burst of energy just before I collapsed into my living room chair.
I planned on eating well but was too exhausted to get up and go into the kitchen.
If a motivational book had been nearby andI had the energy, I would have thrown it across the room.
It turns out for me, and maybe for you, the best self care is patience.
Having your wallet stolen is nothing compared having your dreams stolen, and having the foundation of your life gone. So please be patient with yourself, with the process, and with any self care steps you choose to take.
If you can’t go for a long walk, go for a short one. If you can’t stroll in nature, go outside and lean against a tree in your yard. If you need get into bed at 8:30, turn off the TV, put down the extra paperwork you brought home from your job, and go to bed!
Listen to your body, listen your heart, be patient, and you will hear the whisper of new dream being born and new foundations being build.