1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

That’s the definition.  I enjoy the concept of mindfulness and attempt to practice to reduce stress.  I don’t always succeed.

This is that story.

In the weeks leading up to my long overdue and highly anticipated vacation, I had been furiously prepping my clinic for the fact that I would be gone for two weeks.  Now, this isn’t because I don’t think my staff can handle me being agone, they will likely do very well and I will be quite proud of them.  A good manager doesn’t need a physical presence for the business to run, she just need to have set effective protocols.

The largest hurdle in this time frame is the overall timing of my vacation.  It is in the middle of a transition from one electronic medical record (EMR) database to another (what your doc or nurse types all your data into and bills you from) and the timeline is rushed due to the timeline of grant funding for the change.  Point is, I was living in my head, planning 5 steps ahead and not paying effective attention.

I went into work to really start getting client data transferred from one EMR to another on Saturday.  Yes, Saturday. I had my typical pile of things to bring into the office and got my box and cart and wheeled all my stuff inside.

It was about 25 feet from my car to the front door.

This is where the drama starts.

I didn’t hear my phone drop.  I didn’t even know it was gone for another four hours.

I first realized that I couldn’t find my phone around 11 am and didn’t worry too much on it.  It is somewhere. I went to pick up pizza for myself and a co-worker and realized that it wasn’t in the car as it didn’t sync to the car. That was good.  It eliminated 50% of the places to look.

I returned to the office and ate lunch, still not worried about my phone, knowing it was somewhere in the office. After lunch, I tried to call it.  Nothing.  Crap!  Did I not turn the ringer back on after my meeting yesterday?

I looked all over my desk.  Nothing.  Crap!  Did I accidentally file it with a client chart again?

I looked in the filing cabinet.  Nothing.  Ugh.  I’m over it, I have stuff to do.

I went back to working data entry until my back and fingers couldn’t handle typing any longer and took a spin around the office again, re-checking everywhere I could have been and finding nothing.  Seriously annoyed.  What the hell was I going to do for the trip home?  I don’t have podcasts on my work phone…I would have to listen to the radio, AKA, the worst.

So I made the grueling (I really dislike the radio) trip home and shared my story with my honey.  He immediately freaked, well for him.  The tech-savvy A.D. pulled up my phone’s location on Google Maps and found it in a trailer park, along a route that I certainly hadn’t traveled.  CRAP.

This is when I started freaking as well, though this is more serious than his freak by far.  I do everything on my phone.  Banking, personal businesses, shopping, etc.  My financials are all over that phone.  We are going on vacation in less than a week.  Bad timing.

Now this is where I am super grateful for the fact that my honey is ridiculously good at the interwebs.  First, he found that my phone was stolen after I had dropped it and finds where it last pinged location.  Next, he accesses all data for searches and app usage on the phone to allow me to verify what I had done and what someone else may have done.  Then, he makes it so the phone will wipe itself the next time someone tries to access it and shows a message to return the phone to the police as it  is tracked.  Thank you A.D.  Thank you Samsung Galaxy S5.  That is hot.

Now for the kudos to someone other than A.D.  I called the village police where I lost the phone and they coordinated with the county sheriffs and really looked for my stolen phone in the last known location and followed leads I gave about the phone number dialed by the perpetrators of this crime.  On Labor Day weekend!  That is awesome.

So, the conclusion to the drama, which completely  A-bombed my honey’s entire afternoon and evening, is that I now have all of my passwords generated by and stored in LastPass.  I have one super long password to remember and all of my new passwords are damn near bullet-proof.  I have finger-print locks on my phone.

I don’t plan to lose my phone again.  It was a terrible reminder that I can’t function at the level I was for as long as I was without disaster.

I hadn’t been doing much art.  This blog suffered as I wasn’t able to sit and write.  I didn’t garden, didn’t work out and didn’t eat right.  I let work take over and, while I love my job because of the good it does, it doesn’t pay me enough to take over my life.

Giving up my life to make someone else’s better doesn’t work.  When it’s all going sideways, I have to put on the oxygen mask first.  I have to be present.


Marie Wheeler