Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Day 1: A Test of My Will

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Last night was the most interesting cleanse prep I've ever experienced. It was like a conspiracy to derail my decision to start today.

I had a refrigerated item in my car that needed to get home fairly quickly. I decided to purchase my lemons from a convenience store to save time.

Not a SINGLE location had lemons. My son went in and out of each place, and not a lemon in sight. Yes, we found other produce. But who bought all the dang lemons?

Already sensitive about starting the cleanse, I got angry and frustrated - which is unusual for me. My son saw my reaction and suggested that I postpone the cleanse. I explained that it wasn't an option, and he wanted to know why.

"Because I promised several members of the group that I would start tomorrow, and I don't intend to let them down. [Pause] Even more importantly, I promised myself and I really need to do this."

I was forced to make a huge gas-guzzling loop back to the supermarket.

Once this loop was over, the time was approaching 7pm. I hadn't seen home for almost 12 hours. I grabbed fast food for dinner near my home. With relief, I hit the gas and imagined how it would feel to walk through the door and kick off my shoes. Home was only down the street. Then I realized that I left my pocketbook IN THE SELF-SERVE CHECKOUT LINE IN THE SUPERMARKET.

Half of my life was in that pocketbook. Numbers. Bank account information. Computer files on a USB key. I had a flash of what a criminal mind might be able to achieve with the contents of my bag.

I grabbed my cell phone and called the store. Miracle #1: My cell phone wasn't in the pocketbook. Miracle #2: The pocketbook was exactly where I left it. The woman on the other end of the line was astonished - and I was relieved.

As I made the turn away from home for gas-guzzling loop #2, I was more than angry. I could spit fire. My jaw was clenched shut. If hell's fire went out at that moment, I'm pretty sure Satan would have called for a quick light. What else could go wrong?

By the time I neared the supermarket, my simmer was down. I had a conversation with myself all the way there, reminding myself of the hidden blessings - which can be found in ANY situation.

"Thank God I learned about the cleanse, and have enough money to buy the ingredients. Thank God for tests that try our patience and build character. And thank God my pocketbook is exactly where I left it."

The moment I stepped from the car to retrieve my bag, the entire day changed. As I entered the door, and older woman gasped and exclaimed, "You look beautiful!" I was floored. It was unexpected, and my attention was in a totally different place. I thanked her with a huge smile that literally melted onto my face. She broke the ice. My ice.

As I walked by her, a neighbor was standing there asking about my son and thanking me for inviting her children to his party. As I approached the desk, the woman complimented my bag and wanted to know where I got it. And on the way out of the store, another woman complimented, "Your dress is very pretty."

A string of negative events ran right into a string of unexpected kind words from strangers.

I didn't bother preparing the lemonade mix last night. The night ended late for me. I couldn't help but wonder what the next day would hold.

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