Rehearsal last night went really well, so I was too happy to get to sleep. I made coffee before I left the house (rare for me), because I knew I'd need the caffeine to focus. I clean and take vitamins and dress and drive to the Park & Ride without crisis. I board the bus, plan my work day, and disembark the bus at the right stop.
No car keys.
I panic, but only a little, and only briefly. The Serenity Prayer helps me appreciate that applying the 12 steps doesn't eliminate suffering, but reduces the duration of suffering, sometimes dramatically. Plus I've lost keys before, so by applying the Serenity Prayer previously in my life, I get the benefit today of the coping skill of having a house key and car key in my wallet. The me that lost my keys in the past took an inventory of what I could change, and put spare keys in my wallet so I'll always have keys despite my shortcomings.
The bus company called. They have my keys. A few years ago I wouldn't have thought to practice the Serenity Prayer, and I might never had called the bus company in the first place. Sometimes paying it forward means paying it forward to the future version of you. This experience also reminds me of the Step Five principle of how admitting my shortcomings makes it easier for people to help me, and how that principle helped me cope with driving across two states to a hotel after leaving my luggage at home.