I did something really, really stupid; I’m still so upset with myself I could scream. Here’s what happened:
Chris and I took the kids to New York for a quick trip after Christmas; this was everyone’s present so there weren’t any gifts under the tree. We had a great time–we saw “Chicago” on Broadway and watched the New York City Ballet perform “The Nutcracker” with Tiler Peck dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy. We went to The Met twice because we all loved it so. We also hit Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and ate tons of yummy food. We packed a lot into three days, to be sure!
The terrible thing happened on Saturday as we were taking the train from Penn Station to Newark to catch our flight home. The train was crazy crowded with holiday travelers and I pushed my carry on bag way under the seat in front of me to make room for my suitcase. Then Chris said he’d keep my suitcase with him and I never pulled my bag out and put it between my feet like I usually do.
You guys, I got off the train at the airport and left my carry on bag behind.
Of course, my carry on was full of all the things that were too valuable to put in my checked bag as we flew home– my jewelry (including a few favorite pieces that belonged to my late mother), prescriptions, and makeup/toiletries, and my LAPTOP. Even typing it makes me want to throw up.
By the time I figured out that the reason I felt so unencumbered was not just because Chris was pulling my suitcase for me, we had already taken the Air Train to the airport and at least 20-30 minutes had gone by. We got in touch with the Port Authority Police at the airport and the NJ Transit lost and found people but nothing had been turned in. I’m still not sure if I should have sent everyone else home and stayed up there to try to track down the train and conductor, but we opted to continue home and trust that someone would do the right thing and turn it in. I’ll be honest and tell you that I spent most of the time before boarding in the restroom, alternating between crying and being sick.
I’m a really organized and efficient person and I just don’t lose track of my things, especially things like that. I’m the mom, so that means I also know where everyone else’s things are at all times. But when I mess up, I apparently mess up BIG. In that bag were my Tiffany necklace and bracelets. My mom’s pearl bracelet and gold hoop earrings. Expensive makeup in my Tory Burch cosmetic bag. Not to mention three years of work product on my not backed up laptop. I know, I know–I thought it was backing up but it wasn’t. My fault again for not checking. We back this blog up every 24 hours and that’s what I thought my hard drive was doing. Hold tight while I go get sick again.
The people at NJ Transit tell me when I call every day that because my bag was lost over the holiday that it might take a few days to make it to the Lost and Found department to be logged into the system. I think they’re just trying to be nice but I am praying for that to be true. I also have the Find my Mac option enabled through my iCloud, so if the laptop connects to the internet, it will lock down in addition to my usual password protection and display a message with my phone number and a reward offered. I am trusting in that because there was a ton of personal data on there, of course.
I’ve spent the past few days changing passwords and talking to Apple, our identity theft insurance company, our regular insurance company, and all the transit authorities around NY/NJ since it could possibly get turned in back at Penn Station instead of NJ. (By the way, it was the pretty Longchamp weekender bag I bought over the summer-sigh.) I didn’t feel very Happy New Yearish on Monday and I am having the hardest time getting things done on my son’s Dell laptop, but I am finally getting my rear back in gear as of today.
Here’s what I do everytime I pull up the Find My iPhone App and see that my poor MacBook Pro is still lost and offline: I pray for the person who finds my bag to do the right thing and turn it in, but I pray that I will shift my perspective and remember that in the end, these are only things. Precious as my mom’s jewelry is, I still have some of her other pieces. I have friends who are going through unimaginable struggles right now and this does not begin to compare to what they’re facing. I will likely continue to kick myself for leaving it in the first place but I’ll try to give myself some grace, just as I would do if a friend told me they had left a bag full of thousands of dollars of stuff on a train (OK, still working on that grace part!).
Thanks for letting me vent a bit; I don’t know about you, but I feel much better. Also, I do plan to be back in a few days with something lighter. I’ve started to pull Christmas down although the tree stays up until Epiphany, so right now the entire house is a Christmas explosion. If you’re like me then in a few more days it will be time to thing about getting organized for the new year. I’ll probably be laptop shopping, too (face palm).
The comments on Amy’s last post were lovely–thank you guys! I read them all tonight and they were just the encouragement that I needed. You all said you like that we “keep it real,” and I definitely did that today. I’m thankful for all of you.
UPDATE: I have been reunited with my bag! Read the happy ending post HERE.
Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by~