Staying Positive: even when life cancels your flight

How do you handle it when life throws you a curve ball? Can you stay positive even when things are not going according to plan? Remember the movie, The Dark Night? In that movie the Joker is talking about how everyone “losses their mind” when things do not go according to plan, even if the plan is bad. Well let me tell you my story about how my day did not go according to plan and how I managed to (mostly) keep myself positive.
Today is Thursday and was supposed to be the end of my workweek. I was taking a day off tomorrow to go to Florida and spend time in the sun with my husband. I was in Chicago this week for work. The week had been productive and gone according to plan. I headed to the airport looking forward to my direct flight to Florida. When I arrived at the airport there were long lines at every gate. The board was filling up with canceled flights. The airport windows were covered with pea soup fog. I am not a person to be easily discouraged. I worked on manifesting the fog to clear. No such luck. I watched as flight after flight was canceled. Ugh! Finally the airport made an announcement that every flight prior to 7pm was being canceled. The lines at every counter were 100-200 people long. I calmly got on the phone with the airline. Once I was talking to the airline’s very nice customer service person, I learned the soonest I could get out of Chicago was Friday night. Missing 1/3 of my time in Florida. To complicate matters, my husband was flying from our airport in MInnesota to meet me in Florida. He was going to arrive and I would not be there.
While I waited for customer service to answer, I went on my rental car app  and found a oneway rental to, a somewhat near by, airport. I asked the airline if I could fly from that airport instead. I still could not get out tonight but I could get a 7am flight. I would land around noon. At least this would give me a little more of my vacation day back. I booked the flight and the rental car. Called my boss while I walked out of the airport. Everyone else was still waiting  in long lines. As I was was driving, I called my husband and told him what was up. So far still keeping my mood fairly positive. I heard others at the airport saying their flight had been canceled for the second time. Travel problems are no fun, that is for sure. I also called and checked in with my mom. Despite being in my forties, telling mom where I am, is still a nonnegotiable in her book.
While driving the four hours to the “somewhat near by” airport I called the hotel chain I typically use. I had a moment I am not very proud of… when I yelled some cuss words at the automated system that couldn’t seem to understand what I wanted. Once I was talking to a real person, all was right with my world again. They found me a hotel room for the night. My very saintly friend, Donna, said she would fetch Marty from the airport. I seriously do not know what I would do in this world without the support of dear friends.
So how did I stay positive through all of this?
1. I accepted that I have no control of it.
2. I thought outside of the box. While others waited in line I made a call and found a different solution.
3. Experience – traveling every week for work does give me a certain amount of experience dealing with things like this.
4. Looked for the silver lining. If I would have stood in one of those lines I would have been lucky to get out of town by the end of the weekend and since I have to be in Chicago for work on Monday, there would’ve been no point in leaving.
5. Gratitude. I am very grateful that I could get a oneway rental, a hotel and a flight to get me to Florida by noon. It certainly could have been different.
Life does not always serve us up the experience we hope to have. It often does not work out as planned, despite our best efforts. What can we do? We can keep on keeping on. Keep our thoughts positive, find things to be grateful for, and have some fun along the way.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May all your travel be smooth and your blessing be many.

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