When I arrived home, it was the end of a long week and the start of a busy weekend. I had not slept a full eight hours the previous two nights. Multitasking had taken its toll all week long. I had a big project/experiment scheduled for the weekend, and I really wanted a nap before dinner. The last thing in the world I needed to see was a big, fuzzy, unidentifiable bug in my tote bag.
Known as Bag Man by neighborhood children, I use tote bags rather than a backpack. When I enter my apartment, I always set my bag down on the table by the door and put the door key back in my pocket before doing anything else. This time, however, I found a huge, fuzzy bug looking up at me from inside the bag I'd just set on the table. It must have been about the diameter of a nickel.
Startled, I moved away from the bag quickly. As I did so, the bug scurried underneath some papers in the bag. When I regained my composure and eased back up to the bag, I could see the bug tentatively coming out from under its cover. Gasping in reaction to the size of this creature, I might have uttered a swear word or two. In any case, we both retreated again.
My mind raced as I considered various strategies from throwing the whole bag through the door and into the yard to placing it on the floor and stomping the bag and all its contents flat. Remembering that my camera and sunglasses were inside, I decided to remove them before doing anything else.
When I reached into the bag to rescue my sunglasses, a sense of foolishness came over me as warmth flushed my face. You see, the big, fuzzy bug with which I was at war was actually the reflection of my eyeball on the lens of my sunglasses. In the darkness of my bag inside an unlit apartment, what I thought I was seeing was not present at all. The joke was on me.
Has an object or situation that appeared with certainty ever turned out to be an apparition?
Did you feel foolish, furious, or flummoxed afterward?
Were you able to laugh at yourself and the situation before moving on?
What will you do differently the next time new information suddenly startles you?