Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in the very last row of a plane that is smaller than small. The lavatory was literally an arm distance away from me and I was able to reach out from my seated position to shut the door to secure it after it had popped open… luckily no one was on the toilet when it happened. My seat and the bathroom were butted up to the rear wall of the plane so when someone was exiting the bathroom and another person was standing in line to get into the bathroom, there was some interesting maneuvering to get around each other.
So why is this important information? Because my story has to do with the fact that we sat on the plane for over two hours waiting to take off. Thunderstorms and lightening delayed our take-off when we were already boarded and as most of you know, airlines can be real sticklers about not allowing anyone to de-plane and hang around outside on the tarmac to pass the time (plus standing outside in the middle of a storm just doesn’t sound all that appealing…).
We had finally been released to take-off but first we had to get the plane moved back to the gate so we could fill up the fuel tank because we are being re-routed adding on an extra two hundred miles… hmm…what is that old saying? Oh yeah, something like Patience is a virtue…
Earlier today, my husband told me that I needed to relax because I had run behind in getting things together for my business trip and I was getting a wee bit frantic about getting to the airport to catch my flight. Funny how his comment really irritated m at the time because he just didn’t understand… but while sitting on the plane, his words came back to haunt me… in a good way… (yes, hauntings can sometimes be good – think Casper the Friendly Ghost… or if you are too young to remember that cute little spirit… Google him).
Okay, I digress… back to my travel situation…
I was amazed how all the passengers were pretty chill… no one made any sarcastic remarks (that I heard anyway) … no one lost their cool… no one had to be physically restrained and taken off of the plane due to being nasty or belligerent… everyone appeared pretty relaxed which frankly surprised me.
My AHA moment that afternoon was the realization that I could get all stressed out because I had an appointment scheduled for later Sunday evening or I could view the events through a positive filter. Thanks to my husband’s voice in my ear (telling me that I needed to relax) and to Jill, my new yoga instructor’s positive energy that was flowing to me (she was actually sending me breathing instruction over Facebook as I was writing this blog on the plane), I was able to view the delay as a stroke of good luck. I mean really… think about it:
- I was getting this blog post written and I had ideas already formulated for another blog post which would get me ahead of the blog posting game this week.
- No one had taken off at a dead run to get to the toilet and throw up due to getting air sick (because we hadn’t gotten into the air of course). That was a true blessing to me since I was sitting right next to the bathroom.
- No one stunk up the bathroom…
- I was practicing my breathing technique for yoga.
- I was safe and the airline took the time to do what they needed to do to make sure of our ongoing safety. Landing unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere… or in a large body of water… because we ran out of gas was definitely NOT a positive thought..
- I met an incredible young man who was my seat mate whose enthusiasm for his future as a Pediatric Dentist and his love of his family made for a heartfelt and memorable conversation for a few hours.
All in all, things went just fine. I was able to send a message on my cell phone to cancel my appointment for later that evening and I still got to my destination in plenty of time to get a good night’s sleep before my meeting the following morning (which was the whole reason for this trip to begin with). The three bags of airplane peanuts was a fine dinner since I had just made a commitment to start watching my carbs… so yessiree, all was good!
As we all have experienced, sometimes sucky things happen in life that we have no control over and we have a choice on how we want to handle the situation. We can take command of how we cope and create positivity or we can fall victim to being an unhappy victim with no feeling of control. I suggest shooting for a happier, less stressful view by:
- Utilizing positive self-talk by asking yourself what you can be grateful for about the situation (e.g. no stinky bathroom next to me)
- Listening to other’s feedback (e.g. my husband’s voice in my ear)
- Seeking out a little coaching (e.g. my yoga instructor Jill sending me breathing exercise instruction over Facebook)
What do you do to re-frame a possible negative situation to a more positive one?