Some days are filled with one challenge after another. Today was one of those days. What made it so challenging? Here are a few of the highlights. I woke up late with a four mile run ahead of me. I’m training for another half-marathon and if I don’t get the requisite miles in I’m going to be sorry. Today’s run seemed like the longest four miles ever. I suffered a sore back, aching shins, and the constant thought that this should be easier. Knowing that the big race is fast approaching, the voice in my head was really whining. I got through it and followed it with a short walk with Mia, the poodle. She was happy.Today is also a travel day. I packed my bag and dressed for the trip eastward. Knowing it would be much colder in Washington, DC than in Phoenix and learning from my flip flop mistake of last week (Salt Lake City and sandals don’t mix in the winter), I decided to wear closed toe, “sensible” shoes.
Having few options in my closet, I pull out my trusty brown clogs and put on my warm socks. Rushing through the airport to catch my flight I couldn’t figure out why these shoes felt so “funny.” They were making my back hurt even more and they just seemed “wrong.” As soon as I got to the gate I realized the problem. My trusty clogs, which I thought were made of wood, were actually made of foam which had begun to disintegrate. The bottoms of my shoes were falling off right there in the terminal. The only alternative I could consider was to put on my black patent leather pumps which were in my suitcase. Of course, this was not a viable option as the pumps did not go with my outfit. I tried taping the bottoms with tape I stole from the gate agent, but I continued to “shed” my soles throughout the long trip. I felt like crying.Phoenix to Washington, DC is a four and a half hour flight and first class upgrades weren’t available. Believe me, I tried.
So, I packed my laptop and trade journals and headed to the next best seat: 10D, on the aisle in the exit row. When I arrived at my assigned seat I met my seatmate. Joe is a 450+ pound traveler who usually flies first class because of his size. Today he’s been re-routed and the airline didn’t have his usual seat available. On this full flight they had just one seat to offer him-the one next to me. As I settled in to my seat with Joe nuzzled up close, I realized that I was “one cheek to the aisle.” Without armrests, tray tables, or ability to see through my seatmate to the window, I was in this for the long haul. Again, I felt like crying.
It’s on days like these when I hear my mother’s sage advice. When I was in high school and all teenage-like and hormonal, I’d occasionally come home from school and cry about something someone said to me or something that didn’t go my way. Mom would console me for a short time and then she’d say, “Now, stop your crying. A week from now you won’t remember what you were crying about.” And, you know what? She was right. I don’t remember any of the causes of those tearful times. I won’t remember this day either.It’s days like this that remind me: we choose how we react, in every situation. We choose to be upset. We choose to be negative. We choose to be “easy to get along with” (as the flight attendants described me today!). And, my Mom was right. You usually don’t remember the details for too long.I ended up having a great flight. I hung out with the great flight attendants in the galley. I got this article written, and I now have a good excuse to get a new pair of shoes. I even got a voucher from US Airways “for my trouble.” I’ve chosen to be unhappy as a response to situations in the past and it’s not a good thing. Today, I chose to just laugh about it. What a better choice.