I’ve always loved the magic of air travel. You begin your day in one location and are transported in a (relative) blink of an eye to a place that would take you hours if you drove or days if you were to walk. And imagine if we lived a hundred years ago and to cross an ocean to visit a beautiful place or far away relatives? A cross-Atlantic trip was at latest two weeks!
Of course, as a planner, travel feeds my love time tables and schedules.
When we travel these days, though we’ve become spoiled to instant nature of our society and often plan our schedules to the minute, so any hiccup can lead to missed connections or needing to change a treasured moment you were looking forward to.
A thunderstorm rolls through. A plane has a mechanical problem. You miss a connection. Rarely have I ever had a flight delay and been delighted at the opportunity to sit at the airport, search for a plug for my phone, reschedule meetings or buy a crazy expensive order of fries and a five dollar bottle of water.
But let’s be honest. Though inconvenient, flight delays are basically out of our control. We have to trust that the folks that work for the airlines have the same goal we do: to get to our destination as timely as possible, yet most importantly, assure that we arrive there safely.
I’d love to tell you that every time I’ve had a flight delay, I’ve responded with grace and approached it in a Zen-like way, but that would be a lie. Still, once I get a handle on a revised plan, I find a spot to plug in and work a little or a comfy spot to read.
I remind myself that the delay is simply my current reality and to argue with reality is futile. Not only is it futile to argue, focusing all that energy towards something I can’t change, but it only leads to feeling more frustrated and stressed. Sure, I may complain for a brief moment, but there’s no sense on dwelling on it. You know?
Most folks, though, freak out over delays. They complain. They get angry. They argue with reality. They rage at the gate agents and demand that the ticket agents fix their situation. Now. And trust me, I know exactly how they feel, but all the complaining and threatening and gnashing of teeth gets no one anywhere and raises your blood pressure.
There are a lot of things in our lives that we simply can’t control.
We can’t control the weather. We can’t control how other people feel or react to things. We can’t control if others like us or approve of us. We can’t argue with the reality of any current situation, now, can we?
To really explore and experience life, we’re going to encounter airport like delays. Sure, we could stay home and become hermits so that we wouldn’t have to deal with the frustration, but that opens up a whole ‘nother batch of issues.
We have a choice. We can vent a little and then move on about a situation out of our control. Or, we can dwell on it and wallow in it. There’s only so much that you can control in life, so manage the things that you can affect directly. Decide what you can let go.
Look, darling. We do our best to create a plan and then we go from there. We can roll with the inevitable changes while sticking to the essence or we can get upset.
Frankly, I don’t want to spend my time living in the muck of trying to argue with reality. There’s too much of life to be experience. And though I don’t like things like airport delays and rearranging my schedule, I just do my best to roll with it. I’d much rather find a way to live with a peace of mind (and spirit) rather than raging against forces I can’t change.
What about you? What realities are you arguing with? Where can you soften and release the need for control? Nothing in life is certain, darling, so how can you lessen your desire for it?
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