Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To Whine or Not To Whine Redux

I originally blogged this on Facebook the day before my trip was scheduled to begin. With one eye on the telly and another on God, I had hope the flight would be allowed through, but it was not. And all for the best as I don't wish to be among the first guinea pigs to experiment with flights to Europe. Let those who have an exacting need to get to and from there first crack. I'll wait, thanks!

So, I chose a positive-thinking attitude regarding the whole "dream trip to Ireland" thing. This is all quite interesting and, like everything else in my life, has set me contemplating.

First of all, I could choose to be pissed, hugely disappointed, cry, stomp, yell...argue with airlines, and whine.

What a pain in the ass that would be. And what would it accomplish?

Or I could choose a different mindset:

1. The flight was cancelled, and I took the full refund because they wanted another $553 to book the trip in September. So, instead of getting their $553, they got nothing. And I'll stash that cash in the bank and lurk about to find a better deal. My trip isn't cancelled...just postponed. I admit, once I hung the phone up after taking the refund, I did cry. But I think it was other things going on that got to me and the cancellation simply broke that shaking wall keeping the tears at bay. Now I have the opportunity to save more money for the trip, and perhaps even tack on a few extra days to see more of Ireland, or, even better, visit friends in Scotland.

3. I am a firm believer in "Everything Happens for a Reason." Therefore, for whatever reason – and I may never, ever know what the reason is – I was not supposed to go on this trip right now. I have been thinking about my experiences at home with a new perspective since they wouldn't have happened/be happening if I had gone to Ireland as planned. The conversations I've had, the moments I have cried about, laughed about, the hugs I received from my daughters that I hadn't planned on seeing for 11 days...the books I found in my favorite bookstore...all of these were fresh and new. And what about the experiences to come? It's all very existential to think about them in this way..LOL.

4. A huge part of this trip was the excitement and anticipation! How cool is it that I get to continue that experience for a little while longer?

5. So, I miss the Dropkick Murphys in Ireland. Who knows who'll be playing there when I go later.... The Pogues?? Flogging Molly?? Gogol Bordello?? Volbeat? :) That's just another surprise in this whole grab-bag situation.

5. To throw a temper tantrum would be like believing this entire Iceland volcano eruption was a totally personal affront: "What about the money I scrounged to take this trip?" "This is my DREAM TRIP I've waited 25 years for!" "It's not fair!!!!" "Doesn't that effing country know who I AM?" Really? Wow, the ego is a crazy thing. What about all the people here or over there who are stuck away from home? Maybe they're running low on cash...they miss their family...they have jobs they need to get back to. What about the people in EU who are going to be impacted by this economically if not physically? What about the crops and livestock affected by the ash fallout? What about the people who depend on the travel industry? Wow. One airline passenger's dream versus hundreds of thousands of OTHER people's dreams, hopes and livelihoods. Makes my "problem" a blessing. Makes it easier to temper the disappointment too.

Like I said, things always happen for a reason. And sometimes we have to wait for what we want. If it's supposed to be, it will be. Sometimes events/situations just get in the way of what we plan...(my plans ALWAYS make God laugh) and we are (ME..I am...) forced to practice a virtue called "patience." Which I'm just not too good at! :) Apparently I'm supposed to be practicing it though, because I keep getting people, places and things in my life that I need to be patient with. Oh, and let's just throw compassion, gratitude, acceptance and faith in that mix.

To all my friends who have encouraged me and rooted for this dream becoming a reality, thanks!! I really enjoy sharing hopes and dreams with you all, if it wasn't for these friendships, the journey would not be an adventure! (I'm not just talking about the trip you know!)

By the way, the very fact that I'm blogging about the philosophies of accepting the cancellation of an international vacation...cripes. Let's just say, I am exceptionally blessed in my life. I have NOTHING to complain about. To do so would be amazingly ungracious.

Besides, it's not the trip that has been the main purpose of this process which began in January. The very fact that I stopped talking about going and actually took action to make a lifelong dream come true...THAT is the real gift in this. Does that make sense? The trip is the icing on the cake. It's the personal changes that occurred through this process that are the biggest deal to me.

Life is all about the adventure. Sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones that happen right in our souls.

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