I should have anticipated that, upon picking the word Celebrate that the next two weeks would provide opportunities to grumble, complain, moan and groan.
It’s always that way with the WOW; it challenges me (and some of you, too) to embrace a positive in the midst of the speedbumps of life.
Enter edition 5.0 of Adventures in Airports.
Each quarter, I fly to Philly and participate in work meetings. Whenever possible, I try to fly out of Sarasota, because the local airport is literally five minutes from my home. There are never direct flights (yet, I’m praying that will change) to PHL from SRQ, but the hour drive time to and from Tampa usually makes up the difference.
So SRQ it was, and a mid-afternoon flight stopping in Atlanta. Let me begin by telling you everything that went wrong.
Once settled at the gate, the thunderbolts came, and with them, the first of 3 delays.
At the first announced delay, some fellow passengers began grumbling. One woman started to freak out a bit. A seasoned traveler, I thought to myself, “Chill lady. You’ll get there…eventually.”
You know that scripture, “Judge not, lest you be judged?” By the third announced delay I WAS that hyperventilating woman, and it was clear that no Sarasota flight would get me to Philly by the next morning.
A quick search revealed a Tampa flight leaving in two hours. Scurrying to retrieve my bag (carry-on size, but holding a huge hairspray, therefore checked), I hailed a cab and said, “Get me to Tampa ASAP.”
There would be just enough time to arrive, check in, get through security and make the flight.
Except after 20 minutes of smooth sailing, traffic halted to a standstill.
As the minutes ticked off, I began Googling OTHER flights. My only other options were revealed to be connections to Newark rather than Philly, and an earliest arrival time of around 11 AM. Two and a half hours AFTER the start of the meeting.
Yes, it occurred to me during this tense standstill that CELEBRATE was the just-revealed Word of the Weeks. Which I found utterly annoying.
Then my phone battery died. I had no USB charger, only one that would fit an electrical outlet. And my taxi driver’s phone was a Samsung, not an Apple.
Did I mention that the thunderstorms followed me during the entire route?
When, just a little over a half an hour before the flight was to board, I arrived at the American Airlines terminal, the check-in screen informed me that it was too late to check my bag.
Goodbye $15 can of hair spray.
Trudging through security, I beelined it for the gate. As I found myself starting to relax and even celebrate making the flight, the monitors announced that those of us attempting to get to Philly would be delayed. First an hour. Then almost two.
I’d get to my destination around 1 AM.
Did I mention that to fill the void and the sheer boredom of waiting in airports for a total of 5 hours I ingested every unhealthy, carb and sugar laden option available to me?
By the time I arrived, I was exhausted, bloated, grumpy and…grateful.
Because here is everything that went RIGHT:
I never pack a carry-on sized bag. NEVER. I love having several shoe and clothing options, my makeup case is almost the size of a carry-on itself, and I HATE hoisting a carry-on and flailing to shove it in the overhead.
But for some odd reason, I DID pack my smaller luggage. Had I not, when I finally checked in at Tampa, I could have gotten on the flight – but with no luggage. Which would have been my particular idea of hell on earth.
Did I mention when I booked that last minute flight from Tampa that first-class one way was actually CHEAPER than the main cabin?
When I went to board, the flight attendant looked at my maximum sized carry-on and quite large computer case and said, “Ma’am, you can’t board with both of those items…”
You should have seen the look on my face.
Until she said, “Unless you are in first-class.”
A cause to celebrate. I nodded, numbly, thanking my lucky stars that by some sheer twist of fate, I was indeed in first class.
Which enabled me to plug in my phone.
So I could find out that my wonderful brother/friend, Steve, would personally pick me up from the airport in the wee hours of the morning.
And take me to his home where the most comforting person on earth, Renee, would have my pillows fluffed and soft music playing when I arrived.
So many things went wrong, yes. But so many things went RIGHT.
It’s all how you look at a thing. (Which was ultimately the correct conclusion I came to, after kvetching and moaning and grumbling.)
The scriptures say that complaining overwhelms your spirit. I would add that celebrating buoys your spirit.
Our days are full of plot twists. We can’t control what happens to us, but we sure can choose how we RESPOND to what happens to us. So why not celebrate?
And sometimes, that’s what makes all the difference.
It seems like the universe is continuing with this theme of positivity. I blapped out a word during my closing thoughts on CELEBRATION…and wouldn’t you know, it was a precursor to the new WOW. Here we go!
By the way, for my SW Florida area friends, I am conducting my first open-to-the-public workshop on August 11th at 11 AM at Davis Hall (Sarasota Center of Light). It’s all about how to raise your vibration when you’re “Running on Empty.”
We’ll laugh ALOT and learn, too…and the point is to spend time on YOU so you can course correct and get that happy tank full again. Click on the above photo or here to link to the event and buy a ticket. (Best $25 you’ll ever spend.) Please share with a friend (and I hope to see you there!)
Some people are transformers by their very nature. My brother-in-law, Tony, whose “birfday” is today is just that kinda guy.
They say that inspired peoples’ energy changes the atmosphere. From the time this wide-eyed 12-year old girl met this hurricane of a man, Tony has made an impact on every room he enters.
Full disclosure: He was my sister’s boyfriend, but I had a HUGE crush on him.
These were the days of Saturday Night Fever, and man could this Italian heartthrob DANCE. He didn’t have practiced, official moves. But he tore it up with his own Northeast Philly disco swagger.
I loved when HE offered to pick me up after the middle-school dance. He’d strut up to the cafeteria, cigarette in hand, John Travolta-like hair – and collect ME. Yep, I was the luckiest girl at Cleary Junior High.
Oh, and he can SING, too. No, he never really knows the words, but they’re always on key. He does a MEAN Elvis and, had the course of his life gone a different way, I have no doubt he would be some kind of an entertainer.
Tony DiBacco is surely a star in my universe.
With my father’s death just a couple of years before Tony entered the picture, we three Costello girls were kind of somber. Mom had to try and simply maintain the inner and outer workings of running a household, while valiantly serving as mom AND dad to her 15-year-old, Shirlee, and 10-year-old me.
There was no Christmas tree for us the year after Daddy died.
Then Tony swept Shirlee off of her feet and we then experienced SUPER-SIZED Christmases. So many presents! So much fun opening them! He would shake every box elaborately and try to guess what was inside.
Tony, to this day, brings electricity to any party. He constantly cracks one-liners, is unfailingly generous, as handsome as ever…and today, when thinking about our Word of the Week, Transformation, it felt right to devote the column to him.
Tony, I love you. Thanks for being a wonderful brother and husband to my sissy. Thanks for always being full of life and fun. You are a treasure!
I pondered how to transform my own life in 2018, and hope you will understand and support a big decision I reveal in this week’s video:
Looking forward to wearing my forgiving clothes with you over the next two weeks!
And feel free to wish Tony a Happy Birfday (he never pronounces the “th”) in the comments!
No one said that seeking to live a big life would be easy.
As I reflected on our Word of the Week, EXPANSIVENESS, so many of the memes that supported this theme spoke to the part of my heart that dreams of a limitless life.
A life where yes is the first response, not no.
A life where dreams are nurtured instead of dashed by negativity and where love can freely radiate from me, fueled by hope and effervescent belief.
This is who I am at my core. If I try to be anything else, it constrains me like an ill-fitting jacket.
As life slips into the years where every moment counts because only God knows how many I have left, I have chosen to surround myself with people whose energy gives life instead of taking my own.
How can you live a BIG, expansive life with weights around your ankles?
Oh, you can try…and almost die trying.
This is not to say that choosing to live big is easy but that choosing to be someone that you are not is much harder.
At some point you have to look at those shackles and decide to settle for their tether or to bravely cut ties and allow yourself to fly.
I used to think that such talk was selfish. Now I realize that taking care of me is long overdue and living my life to suit other peoples’ expectations is just another performance.
I don’t want to perform at living. I want to LIVE.
Which brings me to this week’s post, and the answer to the question “What’s going on with Brenda?”
Let me add this disclaimer: My choices are my own; they are not a reflection or judgement against anyone else. I refuse to stoke bitterness and judgement; I wish only love and happiness for everyone. Please know that my life decisions should not be viewed as a rejection or devaluing of another. Rather, they reflect me finally accepting and valuing MYSELF.
My grumbles of discontent were stopped in their tracks this week as I encountered a very contented man who simultaneously maintains a champion’s internal fire to win.
My discontent was simply a product of VERY long days spent on my feet and a week away from my husband and puppy dog. Don’t get me wrong – my week at a work-related trade show was a thrilling success, but my body is used to being comfortably ensconced at my desk for hours on end.
I LOVED the ability to connect with our clients and make new connections (but even the ugliest shoes built for comfort were no match for a hard convention floor.)
Then I met Markeith Price.
Mind you, I had talked to him previously; he is one of the athletes who uses our product. His story is even more compelling because he participates in the Paralympics as a visually impaired track and field athlete, who just happens to own four US records and will be headed to Rio to represent our country in August.
Somehow a few e-mails and phone conversations didn’t convey fully who I was about to encounter.
When I received the call that he had arrived at the registration desk, I trudged the LONG length of the convention floor and up two flights to meet him.
I could tell who he was right away, wearing a US Team track suit and the presence of a champion. After I shook his hand and welcomed him, he said, “Lead the way…” and at that point he whipped out his cane to ensure the walk would be stumble free.
Because he carried himself with such confidence and had such physical beauty, it was almost a disconnect to see him walking with a cane. Or when seated at the autograph table, for him to put his cell phone one inch from his face so he could tweet and invite people to come and see him at Booth #2087.
I had the chance to interview him later in the day, and he is one grateful guy. (Yes, gratitude is the bridge back to contentment, isn’t it?) Instead of grumbling about the condition that progressively stole his eyesight, he found his passion, his calling, his joy and has never looked back from pursuing his dreams.
I asked him, “How do you do it?”
Simply put, “I hear the gun and I GO.”
Boy does he go. He flies! It’s a ballet of speed and grace; a thing of beauty to watch.
He has made peace with the physical challenge he must live with but never has let it stop him from running toward his dreams.
I see a gold medal in Rio in his future. He sees it too, though not with his eyes.
And I? Found the spring in my step again, thanks to Markeith.
Here are my parting thoughts on CONTENTMENT and the unveiling of another word that embodies Markeith…
May we find our second wind this week and draw from the well of resources that are unseen (just like those extra miles available even when your tank is on E.)
Take the time to refresh your body so that it can catch up to the infinite wellspring contained in your spirit.
Last week’s WOW was PRESENCE, and this time around I was focusing on the fact that I’m never alone. This realization is often accompanied by the presence of goosebumps.
Whether you call that Presence God, or the Universe, the Holy Spirit or Energy…you’ve felt it.
When you’ve been encountered by pure acceptance and love, ka-ching – that’s it!
When the sunset takes your breath away or a baby’s little hand curls around your finger…
…these are all goosebump worthy in my estimation.
This past week, did you see that clip from Undercover Boss? Where the woman (she’s so awesome) tells her new co-worker not to feel down…and to keep moving forward (then reveals that she leaves work to go to the homeless shelter where she and her three children have been living.)
I can’t do it justice, you just have to watch it. And get your tissues ready.
Sometimes in tears or the expression of true emotion, I experience the Presence. Like when Kelly Clarkson sang this week on American Idol.
When I speak or write about the Presence of God, I see a sharp drop in “likes” on Facebook. My thought is that it brings back memories or thoughts of religion that didn’t work for you and you don’t believe in anymore. I get it!
It’s also revealing that when I post a video of the Gulf of Mexico at sunset or a bunny eating a carrot with its nose wiggling, the likes go through the roof.
And it delights me. Because these, too, are a celebration of life and love and light and all that is Good.
Anything I experience that is Good, I attribute to my understanding of God. I find such comfort in feeling that connection.
So while I will always cherish the goosebumps, it’s time for a new Word of the Week (with a few parting thoughts on the word Presence…)
For those of you at a crossroads, at a huge decision juncture, preparing to embark on a business venture or a love affair…or even if it is as small as “should I take that umbrella with me?” – may we all have heightened discernment this week.
And if you can’t yield it; if it’s full of angst and bad energy – flush it.