I always pack my phone charger when I travel. I have a work phone and personal phone, and the latter is my second rehabbed (post insurance) phone which regularly won’t hold a charge.
I traveled a lot the past few weeks. I dutifully threw my wall charger in my handbag and reminded myself to pull my car charger out of the car since I’d be driving across Florida with an unpredictable phone. But in the chaos of getting my parking spot and pulling my bags and catching the bus, I forgot it.
Even though I had that silly phone off in flight, once I arrived at my speaking destination, my battery was low. I pulled out my charger, found a plug, and recharged the phone during the event. I reminded myself NOT to forget to pull the charger when I pulled the phone.
But I forgot to pull the charger when I pulled the phone.
No matter, once I was back in the car, I plugged my destination (four and a half hours away) into my other phone and hopped on the highway. I couldn’t believe only two hours in and both my phones blinked low charge levels. I hated to spend the money, but I pulled into a crowded truck stop and bought a car charger.
Once at my destination, I asked my friend if I could borrow her charger (because my stinkin’ phone would NOT hold a charge). We quickly discovered it would do me no good since she’s not an iPhone girl so I couldn’t use it. I stayed off both phones and made plans to stop at the drug store for a wall charger (more money, sigh). We found one for $20 at the store the next day, but when we got back to her house it wasn’t an “authorized” charger so it WOULD NOT CHARGE MY PHONE.
Are you kidding me?
There were a few more twists and turns, each one making me more frustrated than the last.
Have you ever faced a roadblock kind of day?
When you can’t win for losing?
I found myself getting closer to a meltdown with each charger roadblock. I’d run hard and worked long and traveled and slept less over the course of the week and the charger obstacles were the straw about to break this camel’s back.
I’ve found that’s when these little nuisances are most likely to hit too.
The milk spills at the table on everyone’s clothes when you’ve had the hardest day and are trying to get out for an important meeting.
Your car won’t turn over when you’re having to drive out of town for a business meeting.
And your phone dies because of charger mishaps when you’re run down and traveling across a new state.
This is the reason finding ways to care for yourself in the midst of stress and crisis becomes critically important. These are the times we are least likely to get the self-care we need, and yet the same times we need the care the most. No one follows a panicked captain in a storm. The panicked captain doesn’t get to the shore either.
So what do we do when we hit the small roadblocks which threaten to undo us?
- Contextualize the situation. It’s a phone charger (or a glass of milk or a flat tire). It is not a real problem. Not a life-threatening diagnosis or an eviction or war. Try to resolve the immediate situation but shake off the emotion rising up in your throat. Either take a deep breath or count to 10 or turn your favorite song on or phone a friend.
- Find a time to rest. Go to bed early that night even with the mounds of things to do. They won’t all get done if you stay up until midnight anyways and you’re more likely to be able to tackle them if you start first thing in the morning.
- Move. I needed to get out of my car and walk around. Go for a run if you’re so inclined. Do 10 jumping jacks. Walk down the block. Dance. Physically shake the rising meltdown out of your system.
What’s your charger story? How do you handle the small obstacles when you’re stressed out?