Have you ever lost a valet ticket? Well, I did recently when I attended a conference at a fancy hotel downtown. When I walked up to the valet booth in the lobby to pay and retrieve my car I realized, after much frantic searching, that I had lost my valet ticket. To say I was distressed is an understatement. How was I going to get my car? All of a sudden I missed my car. I loved my car. It was my favorite car EVER!
The clerk saw my panic. Instead of chastising me, she waved her hand toward the large wall of over 100 keys behind her, and nonchalantly said, “Which one is yours?” My first thought was, “How can she trust me like that?” And then for a brief moment I thought, “Go for the Lamborghini”!
When I regained my senses, I looked closely at the wall and realized that I couldn’t actually see the keys because each one was covered up by the large valet ticket attached to the key chain. I looked helplessly at the clerk and told her that I couldn’t tell which key was mine because they were all covered up. She responded (a bit exasperated), “So what does it look like?”
What should have been and easy question to answer, became suddenly difficult. What does it look like? I am blank. I hesitantly responded, “It is one of those key bobs or fobs . . . whatever they are called. It is black.” That was it! I could remember nothing else! Not the shape, or orientation of the buttons, or the color of the buttons—nothing! I have seen that key almost every day since 2013! How could I not have noticed its details?
So this experience made me think about what other important things I might have been too busy or distracted to really take note of. Are there people or events that I am not taking the time to recognize and honor? I fear that my life is so busy that I am always looking to the future, not taking the time to pay attention to things that are just below my radar, not in my “urgent” bucket. Like the night janitorial staff, a clerk at my favorite grocery store, or a simple act of kindness when someone hands me something I dropped or opens a door. From here on I pledge to stop, notice, and acknowledge! (AND I am etching my name on my key bob/fob!!!)