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I didn't know I'd made an irreversible mistake until about 30 minutes before we were supposed to board the plane. I looked down and noticed that I was wearing one black shoe and one brown one and immediately remembered that I didn't pack a spare pair of shoes in my suitcase.

Very early in the morning last Tuesday, I took a quick shower and got dressed in the dark so I wouldn't wake up Susan. The night before I'd set out the suit, shirt tie and shoes I would wear on the plane and to my first meeting that was scheduled for less than an hour from when I touched down in San Diego. Picking my wardrobe was a simple process of elimination. Because the meeting was in Southern California, I'd ruled out any of my 100% wool suits for the trip and had settled on taking a three button brown linen and wool blend jacket with a pair of worsted wool tan slacks. Initially, I was going to wear a brown silk jacket, but I'd heard the night before that two button jackets were out of style, and since I'd be on stage in front of around 1000 people, I didn't want to be out of style. After all, I wanted to make the best possible impression. In my suitcase I packed a green suit, because I knew the green would go with the brown shoes I'd be wearing and I could pack lighter and not pack a second pair of shoes if I chose green over black. I'd been rather careful, or so I thought.

I called the hotel from the airport and asked them to have a shuttle prepared to take me shopping for shoes immediately when I arrived at the airport. After the nice man on the other end of the phone stopped laughing, he agreed to help. I don't know about you, but the whole irony of the situation struck me as I waited to board the plane. Here I was careful enough to take a jacket with the right number of buttons, but was so careless that I failed to wear a matching pair of shoes.

Sometimes it is easy to be so concerned over little things that really don't matter that we neglect to exercise care over things that make a difference.
 

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