Someone hit me with a monkey wrench.

I’ve worked hard to earn my reputation as an, “extremely organized person.” I’ve “traffic” in my blood. Even when I was a child, I organized my toys, straightened the bookcase and frequently enlisted Grammy to help straighten up my room.

This morning, someone hit me with a monkey wrench.

I was scheduled to be in Atlanta, GA for the Second Wind Network seminar at 7 a.m.; breakfast with attendees at 7:30, opening session at 8 a.m.

At 4:30 a.m., as I was walking out the door to catch my flight, my three-year-old son awoke and wanted to change clothes. My eight-year-old, bleary-eyed, wanted a hug and kiss. The dog wanted to eat and the cat couldn’t believe my audacity, having moved her from the foot of the bed. My husband awoke, wandered into the hall, and asked what all the fuss was about — So much for slipping out of the house undetected.

I arrived at the airport at 5:04 a.m.; boarding closed at 5:05 a.m. I made the flight by, literally, one minute. I flew through security and ran down the corridor. Then I heard it.

“Will the young lady who left her jewelry at the security counter please return to claim it?”

At the end of the moving sidewalk (apparently, jumping over the side rail while in motion rouses suspicion), I did an about-face and ran back to security. A guard met me halfway with a bowl of jewelry, a smile and reassurance I’d make it on time. I never thought I’d write this, but thank goodness I was in boarding group eight.

Safely on the plane, I settled in and we landed 55 minutes later in Atlanta. My cab driver, apparently with no place in particular to be today, took me to the hotel. Believe it or not, I still made the seminar in time for Tony to introduce me.

The point of this story, you ask?

No matter how organized you think you may be in your home or workplace, there’ll always be monkey wrenches.

Even if you’ve devised the perfect project timeline, your copywriter will be out sick, the Client will change her mind (again), your principal will send you on a press check in the middle of the day. You can’t expect everything to go as planned, 100% of the time. You must be flexible and level-headed. Take a step back and assess the situation; make accommodations. If all else fails, duck.

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