The morning started out so well. The children woke up in cooperative moods. They agreed on breakfast without any negotiation needed. The ate happily and then played together like complete angels. I sat by myself, sipping a cup of coffee and reading some blogs. It was all so peaceful. Soon, it was time to go and I began to gather my things and call for the children. They got ready without complaint and were standing with lunchboxes in hand when I was ready to leave the house. We walked out of the house and to the car without rushing and, to celebrate our glorious morning, we all had an Altoid as we headed to school. We were halfway to school when everything changed. A random thought popped into my head - did I turn off the burner on the stove after making breakfast? I must have turned off the burner. What if I didn't though? No, I was certain - the burner was definitely off. We pulled into school and I got the kids inside. I noticed that I was feeling inexplicably agitated and impatient while saying goodbye to the children. I walked out of the school and realized that I was still worrying about the burner. I told myself that no one really ever leaves the burner on...they only worry that they left it on...except, for those people you see on the news who do leave the burner on and their houses burn to the ground. Once again, however, I convinced myself that I turned off the burner. I got into the car feeling much better. Traffic was terrible and the burner began to enter the fringes of my consciousness again. So, I began to call friends with keys to my house. None of them were home. I finally got to work and ran into a co-worker in the elevator. He asked about my morning and I laughed and told him how worried I had been about the possibility that I had left the burner on at home. Repeating the fear out loud was not a good idea. The cycle of burner doubt began again and I asked him for reassurance, "I would have smelled something burning in the half hour after the eggs were done, right?" He assured me that I would have definitely noticed the smell. He then changed the subject to his own crazy obsessions and I felt much better. Crazy loves company. I was again sure that I did not leave the burner on. I got to the office and sat down in my cube. A friend came over and asked about my morning. I told about the burner debacle and she asked, "What if you didn't turn it off?" I looked at her and said, "Well, then my house would burn down". Clearly, I had to drive home and check. My friend graciously agreed to go with me and we drove to my house...despite the fact that I was already a 1/2 hour late to work due to the traffic...despite the fact that I was the coverage worker for the day and needed to be available at all times for emergencies. I walked out and drove home. The burner was off and, thankfully, because I had left a wooden spoon in the pan for kindling.
Tomorrow, I'll just check before I leave home.