On my calendar, the appointment was for 8:30 AM today.
My appointments have been every two weeks since the summer. I even scribbled it on the card from the last appointment the new date before leaving his office two weeks ago. So why is someone else in with my therapist, and I am waiting another couple of weeks to see him?
I didn’t do anything wrong.
I wrote down the day and time as he keyed it into the online scheduling system. That’s why I always bring my day/date planner. My goal is to always be early. When I show up on time, I feel like I am late. This cushion gives me comfort, gives me time to focus on the upcoming session, event, job, whatever.
With the building not opening until 8:30 AM, and my appointments starting at 8:30 AM, my therapist has been coming to the door and letting me in a few minutes early. In fact, he remarked once about how I am always early and that he likes that because he never has to wait for me.
This leaves me wondering why I didn’t push the issue.
It was not my fault. Maybe my therapist did not hit F8 to save the appointment, I do not know. But I do know that it was my time and I did not get to use it. Now the person waiting in the lobby after I rescheduled was someone who was clearly in distress. Having been there, I felt an understanding and empathy that made the decision OK.
Now I am not mind reading or inventing a scenario about this person.
Anyone who encountered her would pick up on her concern, worry and angst. Knowing I was once up against a similar wall, with no visible way forward, I could vividly picture my own abyss, and the sheer terror it unleashed the morning I went to the emergency room and asked for help.
So, I am back home, working on something more day to day, our recycling.
Our local county was not making any money recycling glass, and #1-7 plastics. So, they have done away with that and now only take metal and aluminum cans, plus corrugated cardboard. Wanting to be responsible to the environment and future generations, I called a local trash hauler who does recycling.
Just for the record, we live in the country.
Every resident decides what they do with their waste. You can pay a service, take it to the landfill yourself, which is what I have been doing for 3 ½ years, or even burn it in a barrel on your property. So individual companies haul trash.
These companies must make a profit.
Picking up recycling is not something many country folk get behind, it seems. After setting up trash pickup, which is the prerequisite for getting them to take the recycling, the woman said she would need to check on the recycling schedule, to confirm that they picked up in our area.
Ten minutes later, I got strike two for the day.
There isn’t a route for recycling in our area. There is not enough interest in it. So, I cancelled the new trash service, and things returned to the way they were. I take the trash to the landfill, and take what recycling they still process, too. I have built a small Mount Trashmore of recycling that no one is interested in.
My plastic, outside trash can “shed” is almost full.
I am going to have to decide. In a neighboring county, I can take #1 and #2 plastic, but not the more prolific #3-#7 that our household seems to generate the most. Plus, to do that I must plan a special trip “into town.”
For 20 years in NJ, we recycled everything. And, moving to Virginia, we had been able to do the same, until now. It looks like I am going to be facing a decision. I cannot keep piling up the plastic no one wants but am I reluctant to add it to the trash, and I do not see that burning it would be good for the environment. I will keep you posted about this.
This was the second strike in less than an hour.
Now these strikes, according to legend, come in threes. And I am sitting on the front porch, watching the birds at the feeder, writing this out. In the back of my mind, I am wondering what the third strike will be?
But does there really need to be a third strike?
I have steeled myself to the possibility but am also doing what I can to just live the day as it comes. It is so easy to catastrophize situations, at least for me. This sends me into a tailspin without ever knowing the full story. And I did this early this morning.
When I picked up my phone to head to my appointment, I saw an email heading.
Automatically, without thinking why, I felt blame, like I had done something I shouldn’t have. And then, to compound the feeling, I did not check the actual email to see what it said.
I ASSUMED IT WAS BAD.
And you know the saying about assuming… (if not, Google it). When I finally got back from the non-therapy appointment, I read the email that had scared me earlier. It was saying thank you. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t saying that I had done something bad, it was saying thank you for doing what I had done!
Unhelpful thinking and automatic thoughts are still actively working on me.
Now I did catch this by opening the email and getting the actual story within an hour or so of feeling like I had screwed up. Before learning these tools, I might have carried that burden, that inability to discover the truth, around most of the day, before addressing it.
My recovery is often in baby steps.
To conclude the three strikes, I am adding the email issue to make three. There is no need to drag this along for the day, waiting for another shoe to fall. I got my three strikes, I have addressed my three strikes, and I am on to living the rest of the day in the moment.
What are you waiting for today?