Out of The Clear Blue Sky

Recently my smart phone just up and conked out. Out of the clear blue it would not turn on nor charge. I was in a state of disbelief. This couldn’t be happening to my HTC EVO 4G LTC. My whole life is on that phone. Contacts, calendar, tasks, reminders, photos, text, email … you name it. The panic I put myself through to get it going again caused me to delay two days before taking it to the Sprint Store to see what was wrong.

When I finally got there, I held my phone out to the sales associate as if I was handing a pediatrician my sick infant. The look on the associate’s face mirrored my inner turmoil. He did a thorough assessment as I paced back and forth in front of the counter waiting on the diagnosis. It was a matter of life or death. Would they be able to help my sick baby?

The Diagnosis

The news was heart wrenching.  My phone was a goner. It would have to be replaced.  I asked if they would be able to retrieve all of the information stored in my phone. The answer was a frightening, “We don’t know.” Making matters even worse, the associate let me know the replacement would not be available for a week.

I looked at him dumbfounded.

“You mean to tell me I will not have access to my contacts and schedule for a whole week?!” I asked him. He gave me his sincere regret but that didn’t help. I felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone.

Now What?

I sat in my car in a fog. I felt like a child who was dropped off at the wrong bus stop and had to navigate my own way home. Totally lost. I was clueless as to what my appointments were for the week or even the day. I did not have my contacts backed up anywhere and I had just returned from a conference in which I was anticipating numerous follow up calls from several serious business connections. Panic was setting in. What in the world was I going to do?

When You’re Drowning

A drowning man quickly loses his point of reference. In the panicked moment, he doesn’t know if he is going up or down. If that man panics, he not only endangers his life but he also puts his rescuer in great danger as well.

Are you familiar with that feeling?  I am.

During my 2nd thru 4th grade years, my family lived in Los Angeles, California. Every week we went to the beach. One day I went past the boundary between the sand and shore my Mother set for me. The tide came in and swept me right into the ocean. Out of sheer panic I did everything wrong. I opened my mouth and screamed, which in turn filled my lungs with sea water. I kicked and swung wildly, which only plunged me deeper and faster into the water. As my oldest brother jumped in to save me, I began pulling and kicking him.

In order to rescue me, he had to do the unthinkable. He had to knock me unconscious so he could save my life.

Surrendering To Survive

While not nearly as dangerous as drowning, the situation with my phone and the way I was reacting to the news from the sales associate felt the same. The difference was that unlike my younger self, I knew I could keep fighting facts or I could surrender my phone to this capable young man and trust things would work out exactly as they needed to.

I just needed to find a new way to cope with this unexpected event.

Learning to Maintain

When the rug is snatched from beneath your feet, when your compass has been broken on both ends, when your point of reference simply vanishes, you figure out a way to carry on.  Whether you are drowning or your phone is in need of emergency repair, the only way to survive is to learn to maintain.

It could be a near-death experience or the loss of a mechanical device. Regardless of what it is, you have a choice to make. You can depend on the internal compass that guides you or you can continue to cling to panic and fear. That choice may not come with a calendar that lays out a plan throughout 2014 like my smart phone did, but it is very sufficient to get you through the day.


*This post first appeared on Jennings Wire where Justina is a contributing blogger.