Tales from the Land of Law and Order

daily jury duty photographs

A week ago I served my last day of jury duty, the last day of 12.

This week as I was getting back to my “real” life, I was struck by a conversation with a friend who mentioned how hard it is to show up with someone who seemed to have it all together. She saw herself as someone who did not have it all together in that moment but more unsettling was that she saw me as someone who did.

The exchange really has been sitting with me. My first impulse was to laugh because my perception of myself, particularly after the 12 day adventure in the land of law and order was that I was far from having it all together. Me, the one who felt like she was constantly tripping over my own two feet?

If you really knew me, you would know that what brings me calm, peace and freedom most in my life is having a sense of order. Knowing that I can’t control much, I have managed to create this rich and full life that works because I take the time to choreograph the details I can control. Over the years it has served me well. I even am no longer bothered by the vocalized “control freak” inferences from others because they usually turn out to be projections about their own (in) ability to get things done. I don’t expect anyone else to operate the way that I do in the world. I don’t expect it to work for anyone else. It simply works beautifully for the Virgo in me.

So back to jury duty…

To be completely honest, I never thought that I would be picked. As each step in the selection process brought me closer to the jury box, I figured that being chosen one of 12 out of 170 randomly selected residents, the odds had to be in my favor. Until they weren’t and I was the last juror chosen. The judge described how he expected the trial to last for the rest of the month complete with three weeks of opening statements and closing arguments, witnesses and expert testimony. All of the balls that I carefully juggle began to falter… my full time job, my health coaching clients, the four week online class that had just started.  Tripping over my own feet, I began to worry which ball would drop first.

Then with a surprising quickness and clarity my mind shifted gears.

I recognized the familiar feeling of being unmoored and untethered. In my non-acceptance during the three days of jury selection I had abandoned myself.

I was living with the assumption/fantasy/ wishful thinking that I would be excused, that any minute, I would get to re-enter the choreography of my life. In that moment of clarity that came with being selected, I recognized that I was in my life and though I couldn’t choreograph the scales of justice,  what I could do was find my much needed ground and calm, I could come home to myself.

So, I pulled out my journal and wrote the following:

Jury Duty Comfort Station

Healthy picnic lunches eaten next to the lake

Set up on my laptop to check in at work remotely

Reschedule my clients

Take daily pictures and post them on Instagram

Morning green smoothies from the local juice bar

Dress like me

In the space of time that it took to write that list, I found myself at home again. I may not have felt like I had it all together but in that list I found me.