This weekend I was speaking at a conference, nothing unusual there apart from it required me to travel to Perth! I quite like travelling and the run up to the north is one of my favourites as I absolutely adore the Northumberland coastline.
On my way home, I reflected on how I had tested a number of seats in my carriage to ensure I had the right view and how so many would miss the glorious scenery as they’d sat on the wrong side or not by a window, I wondered that how in life we always have a choice as to how to view things, but I wasn’t expecting to have to put this theory to the test
As I sat pondering I went to glance at my watch, the watch my husband had bought me nearly 16 years before for my birthday, the year after I had been called to the Bar, the watch he’d paid for in instalments because it was so expensive, the watch I always wore. You can imagine my horror when I found that my wrist was empty. It had gone!
My head flooded with panic, where had I seen it last? I mentally worked my way backwards through my morning. My heart sank as I realised the last time I saw it, it was on my nightstand at my hotel. I must have left it there. Again panic of what to do started to fill my head along with a large dose of self recrimination, how could I be so stupid, why did I not check the room! If only I could literally turn the clock back and repeat those last few minutes.
But of course we can’t do that, we have to deal with the moment that is in front of us and in that moment I thought something very special to me had now been lost.
I felt hopeless, like there was nothing I could do about it, but there was something that was in my control my perspective about how I felt. Just like choosing which window of the train to look out of.
I initially allowed myself to feel incredibly sad about what had happened but the bottom line was that it was just a watch; I was safe, my family was safe there was no catastrophic disaster. My thoughts then turned to whoever may now have my watch and wished them well, I hoped they would enjoy it as much as I did; maybe their need was greater than my own, I considered it my gift to them.
By the time my train pulled into York, I felt a sense of peace about what had happened. Whilst I was sad over what I had lost, I had a different perspective. I reflected on how in a previous life I would have replayed these events over and over in my mind chastising myself for being so careless and even remembering more evidence in my past to support the belief that I couldn’t be trusted with such things! An exercise that not only would have ruined my memory of a lovely weekend, but also my evening and days to come as well. But I’ve learned that looking out of that window does not make for a good view and those intrusive, negative, critical thoughts know very little about my ability, my carefulness, what it means to lose something precious or indeed what impact it has on the future; they are simply horrible, rubbishy thoughts that are no help or use at all.
By allowing those thoughts to pass and focusing on more peaceful, rational ones, I had allowed myself to naturally reset, I was able to spend a lovely evening with my family and plan, and look forward to, my week ahead and as I unpacked my bag that evening, feeling that although something a little sad had happened, we were very blessed, you can imagine my surprise when at the bottom of my bag, I found my lost watch!
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