I’m not very good at catchy titles for my blogs. I type the first thing that comes to mind. Today I’m writing about the stress I experienced yesterday on my way to the She Speaks Studio.
It all started out great. Left at the time I wanted. Had packed the night before, even went to a church function to hear a missionary from India. I was relaxed. Went around the traffic, got to the interstate in about 30 minutes. I was good.
Planned to see a high school friend on the way to my conference. I got to Atlanta in what seemed like record time. No speeding tickets, I’m good. Then I get to I-85 in the heart of the city. My navigation systems suggest an alternate route, I’m in and off I go. Allow me to say, if you have not made a pitstop before you get on Piedmont, make one! It was the bumpiest route with more lights than a Christmas Tree. Seriously? This was your alternate route?
I finally return to I-85, traffic seems to have disappeared, sorta. I’m still ahead of my schedule. I send a text to my friend that I am in Atlanta and should see her after her class ends. I stop for lunch. There’s a restaurant I loved going to that is a chain. We had one in Montgomery, it closed. When most of the locations closed, it saddened me greatly. I found one yesterday that was open. Menu changed greatly, as had the atmosphere. Instead of being this wonderful cozy restaurant, it was more like a cafeteria. Warm tones did not disguise the lack of booths or comfortable chairs. There was nothing inviting about it. Disappointment set in.
My phone has decided that I do not need current messages daily. Laugh all you want but it is true. While in Vermont, I got messages delivered twice. Once on the day it happened, then 3 days later, as if it was a new message. So, while eating lunch, I checked my messages. I noticed a message from 2 days before that I needed before I left. It was from the conference about the keynotes. I didn’t try to access it until dinner, probably a good thing.
Off I go. Charlotte is in my mind about 2 hours away. Not so much. I finally get to Greenville, I am looking for a sign that says something about Columbia, where my friend lives. At the next pitstop, I notice that I am not going through Columbia. No, instead I am going through Spartanburg. My disappointment is great. But not as great as the stress that awaits me as I am driving through Spartanburg.
Years ago, I drove through this area and it had construction. Apparently, I-85 through the area is on the 20-year construction plan. And the Northbound side needed 3 less lanes. In places, it was down to one lane. When it was two lanes, the left lane bandits prohibited rapid movement impossible. Just once I would have loved to see one of the 400 trucks in front of me, tap the bandit into the next lane. But it really would not have helped. Frustration set in.
I finally get to Gastonia, NC. I’m thinking to myself, “Great! 30 more minutes.” I was not gifted with a good sense of time. One hour later, I finally get to my hotel. I am spent. Eight hours on the road, with stops. Time for dinner. I opt for the hotel restaurant. I am attacked my fruit flies. They came out with the bread and the fruit butter. It was unidentifiable fruit butter. Looked like cranberry, had no taste. Now for that email.
Clicking link and watching the spiral turn, finally comes up. Phone is at 10%, not good if I am going to download information. I click on the agenda. Originally the conference, I thought, was to end mid-day on the second day. I’m looking at the information realizing that I check out in the middle of my sessions. I finish my dinner and go to the front desk to inquire about extending my stay. No availability. Panic sets in.
In my room, I start looking for a room in one other hotels I can see out my window. Not a single room. Extending my search, not a single room that I would stay in within 30 minutes. I finally found one. So after being in the conference all day tomorrow, I get to drive to Gastonia, an hour away. Yippie! So I get to drive home Thursday instead of Wednesday. My plans of cooking on Thursday just went flying out the window. Combine panic, disappointment and exhaustion and you get an overload of stress. So much stress that at 8 o’clock I took a sleeping pill, that did not work.
My new life verse came to mind as I was trying to calm myself. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Humbling admitting defeat, I read all of 1 Thessalonians 5. Calm set in.
This afternoon I get to sit in a room with other ladies to listen to experts teach me how to write better. How to really develop a concept, organize it and maybe get it published. I have two “books” I am currently developing. My hope is that God gives me what He wants me to have, that I see His gift and it goes where He wants it to go. I want to take the me and pride out of the equation and give everything to Him.
Serenity is not overrated, but often difficult to find