Tuesday, February 5, 2013

365 Inspirations—36: Keys Locked in My Car

"Mistakes are portals of discovery."—James Joyce

I know what you are thinking. You're thinking, Can locking your keys in the car be an inspiration? Well, last night that little incident was my inspiration because it taught me a few things. I finished my class at the college at 9:40pm. It was a good class, but afterwards,  I just wanted to get in my car and head home. Sometimes, after I finish teaching a large class, I'm wound up from the energy and need to "come down" and change the music on the "track," if you know what I mean.

I stopped off at my favorite grocery store and decided to buy myself a Kombucha and some fresh fruit. I called my husband to see if he bought eggs since we were out. He did because he's good that way. I was happy to have my own time and wandered around looking at this and that. I was slowly winding down as I meandered through the aisles. The grocery store I  go to is HUGE and full of all sorts of organic and international foods. They have EVERYTHING! I love it. It smells so wholesome in there and everything looks so fresh.

I made my way to check out with some grapefruit, bananas, oranges and a healthy drink in my basket. I purchased everything and then headed for my car. I felt around for my keys and realized I didn't have them. I went back into the store and inquired about them. No one had seen them.

I called my husband, but was pretty calm. I just said, "I think I locked my keys in my car. Can you come get me. I'm not sure what else I can do." He said, "Okay, I'll be right there."

I knew the situation wasn't good as I only have one key to my car and I haven't renewed my AAA membership, so roadside service wasn't an option. I didn't want to leave my car in the parking lot all night with the keys in it. After all, I had recently had my car broken into.

Just then I felt this calm wash over me. I know it sounds strange, but I knew that somehow it would work out. I walked over to my car again knowing that the keys were inside and just stood there in silence for a moment. Then I walked behind my car to the back left door. For some odd reason, I had left that one particular door unlocked! I opened it, climbed into my car and found my keys in the front seat.

I called my husband and told him he didn't need to come. Right away I knew why this happened and what I needed to learn from it because this is what I felt before I found my keys:

1. I heard the words, "Slow down. Pay attention!" I knew I needed to heed these words right away. This was my lesson.

2. The second thing I knew for sure was that this was just a warning. I knew things would work out. I had no idea how it would happen, but I felt I'd drive home that evening.

As soon as I came back to myself and the present moment, I knew what I had to do. Most of the time, I do things from the inside out, but teaching ESL is a very extroverted job. I occasionally get lost in thought after class. This particular night, I still felt the class whirling around in my head on my drive home.

The situation of  having my keys locked in my car reminded me that it's important to SLOW DOWN and take the time to transition from one thing to the next. It was also an opportunity to handle the situation one moment at a time, rather than in a state of confusion or panic. As soon as I did this, everything worked out just fine.

I'm happy for that little incident today. It was my inspiration, believe it or not!

Have you ever had something unfortunate or unexpected happen that turned out to be a lesson or a blessing in disguise?


  1. I actually once locked my keys in my car twice in one day...true story. :)

    1. Hi Keith,

      That actually makes me feel a little better :)! I hope you were able to retrieve them quickly both times!!

  2. I know just how you feel after class. I was an adjunct English instructor at local colleges for several years. I'm an introvert, but I had to project and be extroverted for class. I had to expend a lot of energy. By the end of class, I really had to take some time to calm down and get into more of a resting mode.

    I'm glad you were able to be in the moment and learn the lesson that the situation brought you. Kudos to you for being able to do that! :-)

    1. Yes, teaching to a large group of students does require quite a bit of energy. I'm teaching ESL students, so English is not their first language. Added energy is needed to make sure they understand what they are doing and what I'm saying! I really love teaching them, so it makes it worth it.

  3. I had almost the same experience with the car keys! Only I was at my cabin and thought I had dropped the keys in the snow. After I gave up looking and just went to sit by the creek, I returned to the car and reached inside to a place that is not visible. There they were, where they had fallen while I was gathering up things to carry inside.

    By the way, I'm halfway through your book and loving it! We have had some very similar experiences (no, I haven't married a monk), and we write about some of the same lessons. I so enjoy your perspective and your writing.

    1. Hi Galen,

      Oh, that's the worst when you think they've disappeared into the snow! I'm so glad you found them. I'm so glad you are loving my book! Pass it on....^_^