Deep thoughts from gate 8
I’m in another airport with another delayed flight in another country and it is not my finest hour.
It is Spring Break and my entire family ate something bad last night. We all feel awful. I was sick when we arrived last week, and spent most of our escape from cold inside while my family was at the beach. So the extra hit to my immune system isn’t appreciated at all.
It has been a week of small but consistent things not working right: I was using the hotel Wi-Fi for a conference call and my apple account was hacked as I didn’t remember to use the protective software for these circumstances. A major work project had a huge hiccup, my car needed an expensive repair and the mechanic called me about when I was here, I lost my new sweater right after I bought it. Nothing to start a GoFundMe page over, but it wasn’t relaxing at all. Did I mention I am sick and not taking it well?
Our flight has been delayed twice already. Every 45 seconds or so a chime goes off and another announcement comes over loud speaker.
The chairs we sit in are all connected to one another and when someone moves, it jars my entire body. The woman in the purple shirt with the embroidered butterfly gets up constantly, I’m sure she is a very nice woman, but she needs to stop getting up all the time, or I am going to go insane. Here come the chimes.
I sent my husband to get lunch for the kids, he comes back with a bag full of “food”. He asks me to guess how much the bag of “food” cost. I can’t play The Price Is Right now. The highlight seems to be Pringles for my son. I am happy he isn’t sick and is interested in eating. The smell is super strong, and reminds me of middle school. There goes the chime.
When things don’t go to plan, it stinks doesn’t it? And it isn’t just the Pringles! I have noticed in myself an expectation of how things should be versus how they will. People should call me back, the vacation should be wonderful, the sushi shouldn’t be dicey… however when Allen Saunders famously said “life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans” he was onto something.
In the 2001, I was traveling through O’Hare we Christmas and my flight to California was delayed due to weather. I remember not being happy about it, but it was the weather, what can be done. There as a blond woman wearing a Notre Dame sweatshirt who did not take the news as stoically as I did. She went thermonuclear nuts on the gate agent. I wasn’t close enough to hear the agent, but I could hear Blond Angry Lady (BAL) from across the gate while the agent most likely attempted to reason with the unreasonable. It was UGLY and then she stormed off. When our flight was finally called, BAL came back and got on. What did that accomplish? It upset BAL and raised her blood pressure and created a scene. Unless she was Elsa from Frozen underneath that sweatshirt, she can’t impact the weather. So just going with the flow was the only option I saw.
Why don’t I always go with the flow, even in my own thoughts? I can tell you why you should, all about the problem of attachment, to let go of expectations… yet in my own thoughts, I am aware of the annoyance that I got sick before Spring Break, as if my body isn’t like everyone else’s who gets sick. I am not a human, who is susceptible to cooties. I should be immune to the needs of sleep, or hand sanitizer isn’t really necessary.
Here is the crazy thing that has changed in the last couple of years, I notice my thoughts and am now capable of redirecting them when they are doing laps in the self-pity pool. I notice they aren’t serving me and I can make them do a U turn. In Yoga, I would always tell my students, “where your gaze goes, your body follows” ie don’t stare at your feet in dancer as you will tip over. It is also true when life doesn’t go as planned,
The flight is still delayed, but I moved across the aisle from my son and the Pringles smell. The butterfly shirt woman got on her flight to Toronto and I had something to drink and feel much better in general. I have made a conscious decision to notice how often the chimes aren’t going off versus how often they are going off. Same reality, different lens.