I’ve never been much of a city gal. The chaos and hustle, coupled with the fact that I have the directional skills of a yard goat, pretty much guarantees every visit to the city feels like an episode of survivor…will the flighty girl from the suburbs realize she’s walking in circles past Grand Central for all eternity, or will she break down and ask the NYPD for help? Thank you, men in blue. I have to travel from Connecticut to the city about four times a year for work, and it’s always full of special moments, like unknowingly hailing a taxi from the restricted police horse area …WHY are these cabs ignoring me?!… or walking barefoot down Madison Ave. because wearing brand new spikes to the city seemed like wisdom. But one stellar day last week when I found myself in the city once again, sprinting in four inch heels down 43rd East 71 street after missing the early train, was probably the most priceless memory, to date.
As I sat there out of breath at my meeting, covered in sweat and shame from lateness, I seriously looked heavenward, and thought, when, oh Lord, will I ever get it together? Will I ever think to take the earlier train juuuuust in case there’s traffic? Ever try to find the kid’s permission slip the night before so I’m not dumpster diving for before the bus comes? Ever remember a pen and notebook when going to major work meetings in NYC so I’m not left scribbling with brown eye liner?
Anyone knowing me for a year (okay a probably a month) has been entertained long enough to agree a knack for finding myself in the most ridiculous, embarrassing, and slightly precarious situations due to… well I don’t know why, but I’m demanding answers in heaven.
Life isn’t always a total circus, and things will run smoothly for brief stints of time- kid’s library books are all renewed, oil change is only a month overdue- and it feels darn good. I was enjoying a fair stretch of normalcy until just last week, when in the matter of three days, a tire went flat on the way to school pick up, I missed all morning trains to the city because of an accident on the interstate, and my account was overdrawn after harshly overestimating my ability to pay bills and buy the good face cream during one pay period. So. Stressful. It certainly hasn’t been even close to the worst weeks ever, but these kinds of days always leave me wondering if I’ll ever plan better, organize more or become a more evolved adult. Ya know, the kind who remembers to send thank you notes and file their taxes on time.
I’m not saying I don’t have other strengths, but it sure would be nice not to be found physically assaulting the printer for failing to print five minutes before every work meeting, or not be the neighbor sprinting to the curb every Tuesday morning, because heaven forbid I remember the weekly trash schedule. Gotta say, as I near the later portion of my third decade, the chances for change are not lookin’ good.
If I’m honest with myself though, the misadventures of my zany life are probably 70 percent self-imposed, due to a mix of flightiness, and resistance to the mundane. It’s as if Anne of Green Gables and Lucille Ball have morphed into a lanky modern day brunette with a fear of her vacuum and a knack for running out of gas on the interstate. I’ve always been a fly by the seat, last minute sort, which usually goes fine until weeks like these, when all my weakness seem to compound into a trifecta of terror. Fellow free spirits get it. Who has time for weeding or searching for that lost sewer bill when we can spend a half hour dancing in the kitchen before school’s out? Why take an extra minute to check the weather when we can stand outside at a work event, drenched like a wet poodle?
However. God is sovereign. And after decades of watching me hunt for missing keys and confuse a turkey baster for a mucus pump, he and I have come to an understanding. He didn’t exactly equip me with the most structured brain, so he seems to dole out tons of mercy and oh so much patience with me. Like I’m pretty sure angels remember turn my stove off, at this point. I believe God always wants to improve our ways- rush less, focus more, “be still” more often- but in the meantime, I can’t imagine doing life without him by my side. I -have prayed some of the most ridiculous, desperate prayers – God, let don’t let me run out of gas before the exit…God help me to find matching socks before the bus comes…and I’m telling ya, he always comes through. Even after repeating the same mistakes, and struggling with the same bad habits, there’s never been hesitation, on his end. Might be a bit adventurous along the way, but I’ve always had a heightened sense of his help throughout my life, even when I didn’t realize it, before knowing Him. And when we do know him, we of course have that priceless, constant sense of peace from him, even when taking a subway headed towards Jersey instead of mid-town.
Thank you God, for always being there, and never changing, even when we should. And while we’re at it, thank you for AAA. Angles of mercy, these people.