Leaving London yesterday to head back home was a series of extended wait times combined with multiple opportunities to exercise my patience. It started off with a long one hour drive from my London Hotel to Heathrow. The choices I had were to just relax on the ride or start to get worked up.
After a quick check-in, I then had to wait in the security line which was several blocks long. My patience again received an excellent workout. Next, after getting a much needed double tall non-fat latte, I was able to wait for about 90 minutes until my plane was ready to board. More dipping into the patience bucket. I was hoping it didn’t run out.
After boarding the plane, another 45 minutes was spent waiting for the plane to take off. And then the longest wait of all; almost 8 hours to the Washington Dulles airport. I was able to keep myself busy on the plane; music, movies, reading, writing, walking around, eating and then I repeated all of those steps two more times.
We arrived in Dulles right after a major winter storm had ripped through causing massive air traffic delays and cancellations up and down the east coast. Can you guess? Yep, I had to wait in line (not too long) to find out that my flight to Rhode Island was cancelled. I look around and see several hundred people standing in line to get flights for Monday also. I walk up to the counter and the agent says she can get me on stand-by at 8:16 a.m. on Monday morning. I breathe and quickly accept.
I called for hotel reservations and had to wait for another 30 or 40 minutes for the shuttle. Bonus: I did get to stand in the snow for little while. After checking in at the Marriott, I waited for room service. After eating a light meal, I was ready for bed. Now for the funny part, the least amount of waiting was the 5 hours I got to sleep before getting up early so that I could be at the airport for 5:30 a.m. The agent insisted I get in that early even though my flight was at 8:16 a.m. You know what I’m going to say next. My flight was delayed over an hour. I spent that time eating two breakfasts and designing the entire framework for a new website I’ve been wanting to create.
The point to this long story is that I could have had an absolutely miserable time just like I saw so many people having during that long endless trip over two days. But, I’m a firm believer that wherever you are is where you are supposed to be. So, I very rarely get upset for delays, missed connections and late appointments. I used the time to do something else; explore a new retail shop, chat with a fellow traveler, read a new book, write or work on a photography project for example.
Now, after all this, I arrived at exactly the same time in Rhode Island as my business partner Nat, his wife and daughter. They had been flying from California since Saturday and had experienced 36 hours of delays. What a pleasant surprise at the end of a very long journey to see a very good friend and his family!
Make the most of the time you have. It’s your choice to have fun with what life throws at you. Remember, your attitude is the only thing you really have control over.