Over the summer, during an incredibly stressful two weeks of my life-- negotiating the sale of one studio and the buy out of the other, Nancy and I went to San Francisco for a retreat away from the madness that was life here in Seattle. The timing of the getaway not only helped us escape from the hideousness of SeaFair, but it was a welcome break from the flood of details and decisions that have were occupying my mind vis-a-vis The SweatBox.
When I arrived at the hotel at 9pm after a short but very turbulent flight, I informed Nancy by text that I just needed a bath and bourbon. I was really on the edge, needing to chill in a big way. Our hotel was old and beautiful and perfectly located for our two days wandering around San Francisco and spending time with my sister and nephew. By the end of our two days, we were indeed restored, relaxed, renewed.
On Sunday, after a leisurely morning in our beautiful hotel, we decided to leave our bags with the bellhop and go to the Asian Art Museum. We both had our laptops and work stuff-- Nancy some files from a case she was working on and me, a folder and a notebook with my imminent work materials. We left about noon and planned to get back by four so we could make our 6:00pm flight back to Seattle. The exhibit was amazing. We ate a yummy lunch. All was well-- our relaxation mission was accomplished and we were ready to get back home.
When I gave our bag ticket to the bellhop to retrieve our luggage, he went to the luggage room and returned with one small bag-- Nancy's case files. We said, "There should be two carry-ons-- one black and one grey-- and they each have one laptop inside." As I am known to do, I immediately panicked. The hotel manager went to the basement to review video surveillance to see if someone had walked off with our bags. Other men in bellhop suits were summoned to try to solve the case. Long story short, the case went unsolved and we raced to the airport with just our small purses and Nancy's bag of files.
On the plane, wearing my San Fransisco tourist sweatshirt from the airport newsstand, we tallied our lost items-- from face cream to jewelry, favorite boots to laptops. As we jotted down our items and their value, I realized that my little red notebook was among the lost items. My red notebook holds three years worth of thoughts, ideas, passwords, and contacts. Of all the items, even my laptop, this was my greatest loss by far because it was irreplaceable.
They did find our bags late the next day (they'd been delivered to someone else's room!) but I had already spun my yarn about what life would be like without my little red notebook and come out on the other side. I'd already raged, grieved, angsted and resigned myself over the loss. I would carry on without my favorite boots and my little red notebook. Letting go of all of it was more possible than I'd ever imagined.
I was very very glad to get all of my things, especially my notebook, back from San Francisco, and I am not glad for that events that stole much of my much needed peace on that weekend, but I am grateful for the exercise in letting go that came from the experience. It's been more than two months since the red notebook disaster took place and I haven't opened it once.