Tag Archives: Travel

Celebrate BAD Times, C’mon! (and the New WOW)

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!

Oh yes!  Let’s raise our respective vibrations and expect more good stuff.

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.”

The workshop leads participants through a 7 step self-assessment. It’s enlightening! The Hall is located at 852 S. Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota. BYOC! (Bring Your Own Coffee)

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!)

Love,

Brenda

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A Close Encounter with Compassion (and the New WOW)

Isn’t it true that compassion is best appreciated when you need it most?

Like when you screw up.

I’m a cross your t’s and dot your i’s kind of person, so discovering that my best laid travel plans  were utterly flawed this week left me flummoxed.

I was already operating on a deficit of sleep. A late dinner with my dear friends Roseann and Mike to celebrate our last night in Montreal resulted in just four hours of sleep before I had to hop in a taxi for the airport.

Just one agent manned the desk at 5:30 AM, and I observed him patiently handling the travelers in line ahead of me.

When  finally my turn, I observed his name tag and said, “Good morning, Joe!  I hope you can help. I need my connecting flight to now be my final destination.”

In my mind, it was a simple matter.  Already booked from Montreal to Charlotte; no new flight was required. I just needed my bag to deplane, too (and not travel to Sarasota.)

Joe looked at me and said, “You realize we need to completely re-ticket your flight?”

No, I didn’t realize.

And it would be costly.

I looked up at tall, handsome, kind, smiling Joe with my bleary red eyes from a scant four hours of sleep and said,  “Oh my.”

And my intended destination wasn’t even Charlotte; it was Chicago.

You’re thinking exactly as I was; perhaps we could get me on a flight from Montreal to Chicago!  Problem solved!

Absolutely…for $700+ dollars.

Thoughts of renting a car and driving the 13 hours to Chicago flashed through my mind.  I imagined getting to Chicago on my originally booked flight – without my bag and the need to shop for the essentials to help me survive the next two days.

My crestfallen face and deer in the headlights paralysis tripped a compassion switch in Joe.

Click, click, click click click.  More clicking.  A brief consultation with his manager.

What was Joe up to?

A boarding pass, non-stop to Chicago from Montreal spit through the printer.

No, it wasn’t free, but it surely wasn’t $700 dollars.  It was less than $200 – and that was a pill I could swallow without too much bitterness.

In an era when poor airline service goes viral and it seems that most carriers need a crash course in customer service, my encounter with Joe affirmed the goodness of people who stick their necks out to help a stranger in need.  Joe would have been perfectly within the confines of the employee manual to require strict adherence to a complete re-booking.

Ah, but Instead, he followed his heart and had compassion on me.

Here’s to you, Joe!  You not only gave me a great story about compassion, but your actions put a smile on my face as I wait these five hours for my new flight to Chicago.

Let’s move onward to new adventures and the new Word of the Week (but first some closing thoughts on Compassion)!:

It’s not over.  Nope.

Yes, you may fall, but you can keep getting back up.

They call it failing forward; every bump in the road teaches you something to prepare you for the next step.

You are STRONG.  You are RESILIENT.

Just look at how many times in your life you seemed down for the count, only to bounce back and rise higher as a result.

Be encouraged, my friends.

Let resilience win this week!

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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