Oh my goodness. It was 7:15 AM, Sunday morning and I’m heading out the door still in my PJ pants, to do a quick drop off to a friend’s porch. I am taking her a small bouquet of birthday balloons with a tiny token (felt pads for her chair legs). Gifts get way more practical when we get older. Useful. Practical gifts. I was not totally boring, as the balloons were fun, sparkly and exciting.
With the balloons in hand, along with my phone, purse, sun glasses and keys – I head out the door. By the time I get to my car I see I have accidentally called my grandson who is on vacation out of state right now. I quickly hang up and pray the accidental call did not wake him. I get in my car and position the balloons in the passenger seat. I planned to tie the balloons to my friend’s door to surprise her on her birthday.
It’s a 5 minute drive to the gated community where she lives and where I called home for 13 years. I arrive in the guest access lane and tell the guard my purpose – show her the balloons and tell her please don’t call my friend as I don’t want to wake my friend so early, and I want to surprise her.
The guard was by the book. She was not going to let me in without calling my friend. Since I was not on the guest access list I was not allowed in – without contacting the home owner. Not even if I was here just two days ago. Not even that I lived in this community myself for 13 years. Not even, nothing. She was not budging. Then she told me to back up and make a uturn to leave. I at least made her raise the gate so I could pull forward and make a UTURN. A more adventurous person would have made a dash for it once the gate lifted…but I reluctantly made the uturn, as I said I would.
I drove away so disappointed. So deflated. I was bringing the now “not so happy” birthday balloons back home with me. Undelivered. I was sad.
As I walk in the door I hear the coffee I had put on before leaving, sizzling…the sound of liquid hitting a hot burner…and the counter is covered in coffee. Diluted coffee. I had failed to empty the pot from yesterday – before starting today’s coffee. The water I had left in the pot yesterday – after my last cup, had now destroyed today’s brew and had caused an overflow.
Thankfully I was not gone long – in my failed attempt at delivering the balloons. Thankfully I was able to catch the mess before it was much worse. I took a deep breath – dumped the coffee out and took a picture – before starting over in brewing a new pot.
It was 7:30am and I had already racked up three fails. Accidental call to my grandson, balloon delivery defeat and coffee overflow.
I wanted to wrap myself in bubble wrap and sit on the couch – to avoid any more mishaps and call it a day – before the day even started.
My grandson texted me to make sure everything was ok. I owned my accidental dialing mistake and was actually thrilled for the chance to have the connection with him. However unintended, it was so special. Truly delightful.
My coffee (2nd time around) was great.
The picture of my coffee overflow on FB generated several connections with others who have “been there, done that” and silly as this is – it is when we are most human, most real, the greatest parts of life happen.
As for the guard doing her job. As much as I hated her denying me access – I can only be grateful for the diligence she took in doing her job. I will admit I thought about parking around the corner and walking in through the unlocked gate with the balloons in hand – and had I not been in PJ pants I might have been just defiant enough to do this. But the PJ pants saved me from being too belligerent – and truly making a spectacle of myself. And likely I avoided more security being called to haul me out. Kind of hard to be discreet walking past the guard shack carrying a balloon bouquet, which I had already showed her, in my plea to gain access.
So…how many lessons did I learn before 7:30 am? More than I want to count.
The greatest blessing was knowing that even the best of deeds and intentions can be tested and filled with challenges and disappointment. The key is to not loose site of the goal. The intentions. The good intentions. Don’t let challenges deflate, deny or dilute the experience. May I “do over” as needed so I can delight in the good intentions as well as the unintended and unplanned events.
Here’s to going from excited to disappointed, deflated, denied and diluted to finally delighted and delivered!
NO Thanks to allowing challenges to Steal the Joy.