Nothing is perfect. Scant situations are within my control, others are beyond reach. Have you ever had a day that seemed to start off decent enough then by lunchtime become a monumental disaster? Welcome to this past Thursday in my life.
let’s start at the very beginning
It was the end of a 10 day excursion to England. Purchasing a bus ticket back to London Heathrow airport from Bath where I had sojourned on Wednesday, I was familiar with the necessary route to the bus station (long story for another post but let’s just say I had a good time getting lost quite often). Daybreak began without incident.
I opened my eyes at 6:45 and turned off the alarm before it rang at 7:00am. Is it me, or is this a regular occurrence for others to awaken several minutes before an alarm clock. Drifting to memories of my daughter Avery in middle school, we threatened to place her alarm clock on the opposite side of the bedroom to keep her from hitting snooze an additional time.
Stumbling into the bathroom, I began the morning rituals…
obstacle 1: the joy of being a woman?
Without becoming overly graphic (not usually a problem for me) I had an unwelcome event upon arising. Really?????? No wonder I had been such an emotional mess as of late. Fortunately, I carried an emergency back up stash of feminine hygiene products for such an occasion.
Aren’t I getting too old for this? With my luck, I will continue this piece of feminine wonder deep into my 50’s. At age 45, I am certainly looking forward to a day when I can travel without worries of starting my period.
Obstacle 2: rain…
Yeah, I realize I was in England where it rains incessantly. However, believing I brought desert charm, it remained dry throughout the majority of the trip. It was on this last day the heavens opened up.
Choosing to walk the distance to the bus station rather than hail a cab, I set out. Soon, I mastered the art of balancing a huge rolling suitcase, steaming large cappuccino and an umbrella. Woot! I arrived at the station without spilling one precious drop or becoming rain soaked during the process.
Obstacle 3: time keeps on slipping…
Booking the tickets, I probably should have considered peak rush hour traffic as a factor. Well, I didn’t. As a result of my oversight, the bus arrived about 30 minutes late to Heathrow. Upon reflection, I probably should have considered necessary time from the connecting bus station to terminal 4 as well.
Andy and Nicky would be proud I didn’t get lost once finding the proper tube to the terminal. Believe me, this was an extraordinary feat. Only…EEK…with the lost time, I only had one hour until the plane was departing. My stomach sank to my feet as I entered the checked baggage queue.
obstacle 4: the amazing shrink wrapped suitcase…
Someone noticed the suitcase was partially undone as I snaked my way through the long(ish) line. Laying the case on it’s side, I promptly broke the entire zipper attempting to refasten it. Oh, yes it did!! And yes I did too (came completely undone as well).
Waterworks ensued as the dam broke. Any semblance of calm forfeited as I picked through the suitcase. Did I mention it was also over the weight limit? Yup. In the end, I grabbed random items including one pink Converse shoe and a couple of sweaters shoving them unceremoniously into my backpack.
A polite ticket agent escorted me sobbing to a nearby stand where they enclosed the sad broken case with plastic wrap. Surely, they couldn’t wait to get me on the plane and out of sight. Disheveled yet closed, I checked my bag and headed through security screening.
obstacle 5: is hand creme a liquid?
By the time I passed through TSA (is that what it’s called in England?) checkpoint, my nose was running and crying was still in full force. Most likely, this is why I left a tube of hand creme in my purse, setting off the alarm so that my bin was placed in the long slow moving line of bags requiring further attention.
Precious minutes ticking and I continued sobbing through the hard realization I may likely miss the flight came. A non-plussed officer unsympathetically asked why I chose to show up with less than a two hour window. What was he thinking asking the slightly deranged tear stained mess of a woman a question like that? I mean, who was it really helping?
After forever, they sent me literally running for the gate. Why is the gate never close? By the time I arrived, I was hyper ventilating and crying. I was never so glad to get on a plane in my life.
respite at last
Sinking into the seat, a pleasant flight attendant asked how she could help. Fetching a cup of water, she patted my shoulder, reassuring me I was truly on the flight. She gently reminded me nothing was worth my lost composure. With a final gulping sob, I relaxed. 4.5 movies later, I was back in the USA.
the biggest obstacle: me
Was there a lesson to be learned? Perhaps, but I don’t know how much good it will do. This will not be the last time I lose my cool. It is a deep part of my persona, and like it or not, I must learn to accept it. Does this excuse poor behavior? No. It simply explains the root of it.
Acceptance of imperfection is an often revisited theme of mine. There are incidents which trigger deep fears and flaws. I strive for understanding and avoidance but sometimes they surface. This cannot and will not stop me from living and doing.
When is the last time your day unraveled to the point where you lost control of your wits? What was your reaction? Like me, did you fall into tears or face it head on in a more stoic manner? This was definitely a day I would like to forget as I see no further purpose in remembering. Either way. it’s all part of the journey.