Recently, I took a trip to British Columbia over the Christmas Holidays. With a new adventure on the horizon, I was ready to take on the day. Mid morning I strolled into the airport, breezed through security and found a spacious and comfortable seat at my gate. While waiting, I noticed my senses were overloaded with the airport buzz. Watching travellers board and exit the plane, hearing the suitcases zip zipping, smelling the Tim Hortons beside me, holding and sipping my black coffee… it was bliss. Or so I thought.
Flight 163 Saskatoon-Calgary: DELAYED
As an avid traveller (or so I like to think), these are some of the worst words to stumble across in the airport. What’s more, is hearing the airport employee come on the intercom and deliver this sort of message, “ Your plane has not yet left Calgary due to a snow storm. They are currently sitting on the tarmac in Calgary waiting for takeoff. We will let you know when we receive any further information”. The click of the intercom rings through the silent terminal. I glanced around the room. Face are grim, children are crying, lights are flickering, and the storm rolls in… well, not exactly. The fact is, people aren’t happy with the news, but there is nothing to be done about it. Although we line up to speak to the employees, double check on our connecting flights, and ask questions we know are unanswerable at this point… we try to control the situation.
This scenario above (I ended up missing my connecting flight… but that’s a story for another day) taught me an interesting lesson. I really had to reflect on what had just transpired. I found myself faced with two choices; 1. Get angry about the situation & sulk 2. embrace the extra airport time. Now in all honesty, I chose option number 1 for a few minutes.. but once I realized that was going to ruin my day, I transitioned to choice number 2.
What struck me was this; so often do we try to control everything in our lives. We want to plan everything. Know the outcome of our choices, our decisions, our relationships, our futures. We wan’t to take control of simple everyday tasks because we think we know the best way. We often refuse help, or deny others the chance to get involved, simply because of our fixed visions.
Sitting at the gate, amidst my fellow passengers, it was evident that there was no way around this. We were stuck in the Saskatoon airport with no departure time in sight. Not only were we at the complete mercy of the Calgary storm, but we had to wait until the pilot was given clearance to take off, the flight time, the landing, the cleaning and the boarding of our passengers.
This moment was an incredible reality check for me. To remember that there are so many aspects of our lives that we can’t predict. A lot of our life is about letting go, making sacrifices and being open to different paths! Things could change in an instant and we truly need to be thankful for the moments we are given. They are a gift. In this frame of mind, things don’t have to be so upsetting either. Life is a beautiful adventure. As I have heard it said many times before, we need to ” let go & let God” (insert Disney Frozen song here…). It’s about learning how to surrender to the lack of control, the chaos, the adjustments and the surprises. I honestly think life can be a whole lot more joyful, stress free and authentic when we can actually do this!
So here’s to a crazy airport disaster (if I had a glass of wine I’d raise my glass) turned into a beautiful moment of gratitude and appreciation for the moments I have been given.