A few days ago, I locked myself out of my bedroom, bathroom, closet and office by mistake. I live in one of those sturdy old houses – meaning, in effect, that the hinges were so well-made and tight that I could not remove them, and the door handle also was not removable from my side of the door. It was late enough that I had no desire to call a locksmith. So, I was stuck outside of my room overnight.
I was cranky. I wanted the world to know of this grave injustice. A bunch of routines I never really thought about were disrupted – my clothes for the next day were behind that door, as well as my makeup, toothbrush, my bed for sleeping in, my phone charger (with a phone about to die). I thought about showing up to my school the next morning, disheveled, in yesterday’s clothes. How awful.
It took me until the next day to appreciate: The fact of my frustration alone was a privilege, because I have already been given so many gifts. I could worry about this and be annoyed by this because there were hundreds of bigger things that had been taken care of for me already.
I got to sleep in my warm house, not the cold outside.
I had a roommate who responded generously and lent me a change of clothes for the next day, as well as use of her phone alarm.
There was a spare futon in the basement, with sheets on it! I still had a comfortable place to sleep.
I could afford to call a locksmith the next morning.
Recognizing this, it was easier to laugh at myself and the circumstance, and to be grateful and receptive to the moment I found myself in.
Do we often recognize the thousands of things that had to go right in order to have an “ordinary” day?
– If I drove anywhere and got there safely, it’s miraculous that all of the drivers on the road were paying attention, and stayed safe.
-If I ate food, it’s miraculous, the number of processes that brought this food into my hands, and the fact that I had enough money for it, as well as the fact that I didn’t spill any food on my clothes.
-If none of my many appliances, light fixtures, electronic devices broke down today, that’s a pretty good day.
-If I was able to walk, not worry about some health issue, then that’s a pretty miraculous day.
-If I didn’t need to think about friends or family members who had died or were suffering, my day was miraculous.
-If I knew where I’d be sleeping tonight, that’s a miraculous day.
I could go on for many more bullet points. The thing is, there are thousands of ways I can think of that my needs are met each day, that I seldom ever think about.
This is what my locked bedroom-office-bathroom-closet door taught me.