What 2 Things Do Not Improve the Situation?

Last week, I had a speaking engagement in Montana. Because I live several hours from the airport—and because I am a nervous traveler— I chose the earliest flight out of NYC in order to arrive in Montana mid-day.

The best laid plans….

A medical emergency on my first flight meant I missed my second flight, resulting in an 8-½ hour delay in the Denver airport.

When I discovered I wouldn’t be getting to my destination until 11 p.m. I cannot tell a lie: I lost my Wow.

But at my house, the phrase, “What two things do not improve the situation?” ends with “Panic and self pity.”

(The last time I was feeling sorry for myself, I was told by my brother to Google the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley —and read it with the knowledge that Henley wrote it the day after his left leg was amputated… No, we are not a warm and fuzzy family.)  

With this in mind, then, I pulled myself together (with the help of my ever-patient, loving husband) and we found different ways to entertain ourselves as we waited.

First, I called my sister in Denver and (bless her heart—she’s the fuzziest one of the lot) she jumped in her car and came down and met us for lunch. That is she, pictured above.

Second, we made friends with absolutely everyone around us in the restaurant during dinner, which resulted– for the first time in my entire life– in our dinner bill being anonymously paid by one of our fellow diners.

Talk about Wow.

So while it is human, understandable – and sometimes even cathartic—to lose your cool for a bit when your plans go awry, if you can avoid indulging in panic and self pity you might be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.