Delayed

My BFF’S challenged me to write a post on this blog that was not based upon a situation which started out good. Could I take a not so happy experience and turn it around. So here it goes:

Part of the magic of living 2 days in one, is the second chance of it. I have not always seen it that way. Maybe I won’t in the future. But yesterday, (eventually) I did.

I don’t enjoy getting up at 3am, no matter which time zone I am in. When considering what time I went to bed, it was no surprise I felt tired. A little cognitively challenged. For a routine travel day, that is an acceptable state of mind. When there are no problems.

But this first part of my Saturday did not go so well. Suffice to say that due to a delay in Oslo and what felt like a 2 kilometer sprint through Frankfurt on the advise of the Lufthansa staff, I was in rough shape for only 10am. Even though I knew it was a long shot to make the flight connection, when the experts on the ground tell you to run, there seems a sense of hope.

It was not meant to be.

Who knows why the staff always seem to forget to announce the Canadian connection details in European cities. Maybe the word, “Vancouver” is too difficult to pronounce. It is extremely disappointing to be the only passengers to have such problems. Of course I know that is not 100% truth. I know. Just feels like it.

I should mention at this point that 2 Norwegians were a few steps ahead of us on the sprint and the re-booking. We would have a lovely chat later in the lounge. And they would be seated right beside us on the final flight of the day.

The re-booking which Lufthansa had already done, (but neglected to mention before the 2km run), was no slam dunk. The new flight(s) were oversold. At least the first leg. The seemingly helpful ladies in the Air Canada lounge kept telling us to stay in the lounge, even after the boarding had started. We would be called. This was a foreign concept and I could see us missing this flight as well, just sitting around. Finally at the gate, we were scolded in German for not turning up on time to claim seats.

Even though I was super grateful to be on the plane, I was fuming about how badly the day had been so far. As I was trying to settle into my middle seat I was seriously wondering how I could last the flight and the rest of the day in such a bad mood.

Then I turned on a movie. “Hector and the Search for Happiness.” I kind of suspected it would cheer me up and I had received a recommendation the night before. The movie did just the trick. Without giving anything away, the main character goes on a research trip and writes about what makes people happy. Starting in China. As you can imagine, he learns about people who have very little and extreme happiness and people who have so very much and no happiness. I really liked it, not just because it was the perfect thing to happen to me at that moment, but these topics are right up my alley on a regular day.

So my second Saturday started as I watched a movie and remembered to be grateful. The ice in my heart melted away as I watched the depiction of all the people in the world with far more real problems. How could I sit and fume? My anger tipped completely over. I even felt a little remorse for being so terse to the people who were just trying to help. (But not to the Lufthansa staff who would not let us board the flight to Vancouver which was standing at the gate with the doors still open, no not them).

Sometimes I feel pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I can’t really complain about a situation and get a sense of retribution. Which is a pretty egotistical way to think, anyhow. Plus, that wouldn’t make me feel better. What brings me comfort is to stop for a moment and be kind. Offer a helping hand to a fellow passenger. Give a smile. I control how I perceive life. As I practice being grateful, mindfulness, remaining calm as much as I can, it is far easier to pop out the other side in a pleasant mood.

As a footnote, the travel connections didn’t get much better. Landed safely in Calgary, but had to get our checked luggage, clear customs and security, for the third time that day. Of course that cannot be done in 40 minutes. Luckily we made it on the next flight only an hour later. By the time that flight was delayed to let a passenger off and the winds were so high, the whole thing took about twice as long as normal, we couldn’t muster up the energy to comment. By the time I got home, it was a 25 hour journey door to door.

Waved bye to the Norwegians who were off for an adventure downtown Vancouver and then a flight Sunday up to Terrace B.C. for heli skiing. I was praying to ULLR, the God of snow, for them.

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