I slept through my alarm and wasn’t going to make it. Running around my apartment at 5:30 AM, throwing last minute things into my bag with the Delta Diamond Desk on speaker phone, I looked like the Tasmanian Devil.
The “ins and outs” of how I overslept are still not clear to me but they were irrelevant. For the first time in a decade, I was about to miss my flight. But not just any flight. This flight was the first of 5 legs all the way to Indonesia with multiple airlines and hotels. Not to mention the cascading 25 day schedule of travel, teaching and trekking that were all interdependent. When I blow it, I blow it big.
However, racing around, negotiating with the help desk and the shock of waking up, wasn’t enough stress for me. I began shaming myself.
This was stupid. Why do I pack the schedule so tight. Adrenaline junky. You’re a fool.
No lie, I even had this flash of the Greek story of Icarus who dared to fly to close to the sun and paid for his arrogance. (We’ll discuss my casting myself as a Greek myth later.) The verbal internal “beat-down” continued unabated until necessity stopped it. I had to make decisions.
I may have pushed. The logistics were aggressive and I am often a fool, but in that moment there was no other fool to decide what to do next.
This is the stupidity of the shaming voice. Condemnation rains down on our choices as if we had the perfect solution in hand but were too imbecilic to pick it. It’s garbage.
We do the best with what we have. We have muddled motivations. There are things we’re blind to and even character flaws that put resources beyond our grasp. But one thing can’t be ignored. There is no one else!
No one else can choose for you. There’s no co-pilot to suddenly take the stick. You are flawed, broken and you are all you have- and that’s enough.
I begged Delta for mercy. I paid a penalty for a changing flight. Called a friend for a favor and I smiled and woo’d my way to biz class seats all the way to Singapore.
Past the chaos of departure, on my way to Seattle, I began worrying about all the things that may not have made it into my bags: medicine, clothes, trekking gear for the road to Everest. I still don’t know if it’s all there, but I’ve decided it’s going to be ok.
Like a great story that unfolds chapter by chapter, this fool will face it as it comes. Things will go wrong. The worst can happen but so can the best. That’s what creates an adventure and that’s the best we can do. Make the best choice, one choice at a time. Sometimes you’ll get chaos, others just what you need…like an airport hotel has the most relaxing tub in the world. Adventure.
An unexpected gift for my tired legs!
Please forgive the typos and grammar. Typed by thumbs from Terminal 3 in Changi airport.