Daily Archives: November 17, 2010

When the air conditioning unit of your airplane malfunctions…

Travelers: Is your glass half full or half empty?

 I may become a Permanent Traveler.

I may leave home and travel forever.

Do you want to know why? 

It’s because when I am traveling I often get in the “Zone”.  You know what the Zone is, don’t you?  The Zone is that place where everything seems more connected, energized, perfect.  You feel joyous and creative and flexible.  You feel like anything could happen–and nothing could disturb your peace of mind. 

Things aren't always what they seem.

It started on the runway down at Fort Myers Beach yesterday.

We taxied for take-off.  We stopped.  Long pause. 

Captain:  Ladies and Gentlemen, we apologize for the delay.  There is something wrong with our air conditioning unit.  We’re talking to maintenance now and going to try to fix it.

All around me people start grumbling.  They’re getting nervous.  But me?  I am in the Traveling Zone.  That place where nothing can go wrong.  My inner Traveler is convinced that the plane could go down–go down, mind you!–and it would be exactly what the Universe intended.

(Although, I do remember several years ago during a trip from South to North when lightning struck all around the plane.  Turbulence shook the plane.  Do you think the blissed-out Inner Traveler sat there prepared to depart the planet?  Oh no!  I shook.  I prayed.  I hoped we wouldn’t die.  The plane had to land in Indianapolis for the night and we survived.  It was a temporary departure from my usual traveling calm.)

Back to yesterday.  We linger on the runway outside of Fort Myers for an hour.  Of course this makes many of us unable to meet our connecting flights.

I am, however, unflappable.  It is all Meant to Be.  Perhaps if we met our original flights we would all die in a lightning storm.  Perhaps I would have hit a deer while driving home in the dark.  Who knows?  The Divine Travel Planner is in charge.  We must just go with the flow.

I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t surrender to the Divine Travel Planner.  Why fight against “What Is”?  Why grumble?  Why fuss?  Why not wait to see–with grand excitement–what the Divine Travel Planner (DTP) has in store for the passengers who missed their connecting flight?

Guess what the DTP had in mind for those of us traveling to Marquette?  A night in the Four Points Sheraton in Detroit!!  Can you imagine?  How cool is that?  (Interjection:  I have succumbed to nervousness when missing flights when it was necessary to get home.  When it was important.  Then it gets challenging to remain completely accepting.)

I don’t understand the frowns on the faces of some of the other travelers.  They didn’t have to be home (at least it didn’t appear they had to be home).  They railed.  They grumped.  They frowned some more.

I cheerfully discovered the restaurant at the hotel and met the nicest waitress who is writing a book after discovering blogging.  Yes, you read that sentence right!  We chatted excitedly.  I drank a glass of wine, ate chicken fajitas and wandered upstairs with a cup of decaf coffee (with sugar!  High excitement!)  Read and commented on blogs for almost an hour before drifting off to sleep by 8:30 p.m.  Big night in Detroit!

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein

On to the airport this morning.  People were grumbling about airport search procedures.  People were grumbling about the early hour.  About travel inconveniences. 

People, people, people!  Turn it around.  The Divine Travel Planner has it in order.  No matter how crazy it looks–it is a gift.  An opportunity.  A present to unwrap!  There’s a reason why they call this moment “The Present”.  It’s meant to be unwrapped and enjoyed, you know.

I got on the last leg of the trip–from Detroit to Marquette–murmuring to myself, “Oh wouldn’t it be nice to have two seats to myself? Not to have a partner?”

And–sure enough–the DTP complied.  What a cool gift!  Two seats to stretch out in.  (But here’s the trick, folks.  If the DTP doesn’t comply and gives you a seat partner you think cheerfully, “Oh how wonderful!  Here is someone I am supposed to meet…”)

I don’t think of this as being a positive thinker, by the way.  When I TRY to think positively, I often end up getting caught up in dual thinking, trying to avoid the negative.  This is, rather, a tendency to recognize the gift of what is offered in the moment and embracing it.  If the DTP gave me some sad thoughts, I might just decide to cry for a while.  Grateful–of course–that there are moments in life to embrace sadness.

Blur

But now I’m done traveling.  Back home.  It’s not always so easy to remember that there is a Divine Travel Planner implementing everything just perfectly.  For example:

I just sailed over to one of the dozens and dozens of blogs I visited last night and this morning.  Looked for my comments on their blogs–which took a long time to write.

HALF OF THE COMMENTS ARE MISSING!  Where did my comments go?

I could feel annoyance rising.  Panic rising.  Darn it!  How could so many of my comments have been eaten? 

“Don’t worry!  Be Happy,” the Jamaican voice sings in my head.  I frown at the inner singer, but start to remember the DTP philosophy.  OK, relax.  Breathe deep.  How can I view this in a way that flows with life rather than resists it?

I KNOW!  The DTP simply wanted another example of how to turn things around.  The DTP wanted this story to be part of this blog.  That must be it.  Must be.

And suddenly Gerry (from Torch Lake Views) writes an email.  She just found two of my comments in her spam filter.  YES!  The spam filter probably caught them because they came from the Sheraton.  Must be.

So all you regular commenters–you know who you are–check your Spam.  That’s where I’ll be hiding out.  You know, seeing what it’s like to hang out with the Spam.  Smile when you retrieve me, please.  It wasn’t my fault.  It was the Divine Travel Planner…