The Zen of Acceptance

This week I took Kidlet to the airport for her annual visit with her paternal grandparents. Right from the start the day was just off. We left the house 30 minutes later than I wanted. We got to the terminal only to discover I had left her boarding pass that Mom so wonderfully printed off for us back at the house. The line to check her bags actually went rather quickly, and we were even able to print off a new boarding pass with the same spot Mom had secured the day before. The agent assisting us told us the flight was on time, but in the 90 seconds it took us to walk to security, I noticed on the reader board her flight was delayed 20 minutes. Sweet! A little breathing room to get through security without having to race to the gate. TSA was quick that morning, so we were able to grab a sandwich and a drink for Boo before her flight was going to leave. That’s when they announced that her flight was going to be delayed for six hours. Thoughts kept racing through my brain.

My parking garage fee was going to be huge. Money is tight right now, but I couldn’t just abandon Kidlet at the airport to figure this out on her own. She’s flown the past couple of years on her own, but she’s never had to deal with this kind of delay or know to ask one of the gate agents what to do. So I sent a text to her grandmother and settled in for a long day of waiting with Boo until she was able to take off. Fortunately, I had a completely clear day. Nowhere to go and no one to see. Just projects at home that could wait. Around noon we got hungry so we checked in with the gate agent, got Boo on a standby list, and was told to come back in two hours to see if she could get on the earlier flight. We had a very nice lunch together and walked the concourse afterwards. We chatted about various things and really had some great bonding time together.

When we returned to the gate we found out her flight had been canceled altogether, but she would be able to get on another that was going to leave two hours later with the small possibility she’d still get on the earlier one. No dice there, but she was a trooper. I could tell she was exhausted from her early wake-up time and rush out the door. She hooked up into the airport wifi and watched Myth Busters while we waited. I chatted with one of the agents about the clusterfuck that happened. Between mechanical difficulties and weather weirdness, a couple of flights had been canceled. She mentioned how a few adults turned into toddlers. Yeah, that could have been me 10-15 years ago, but I had since learned not to take out my frustration on someone who had absolutely no control over the circumstances (something that I still struggle with on occasion). I watched these ladies shuffle travelers around to different flights so people could make their connections and take the verbal abuse with grace and several deep breaths. I told her while I could’ve been one of those tantrum-throwing toddlers in adult bodies, I decided to look at the positives of my day.

Boo and I had great bonding time. I’m finally able to enjoy her more as she transitions from a child into a lovely young woman. I’m certain there will be many more days of frustration and worry in the next four years, but there will be far more days when she will surprise me with her insightfulness and make me proud with her compassion and grace under fire. I’m grateful my day was clear of appointments or work, so I could be there to guide her through a difficult time. Though money is tight, at least we have enough now to cover the unexpected expense, plus the added bonus of the airline giving us a voucher for future travel. The agent noted that I had a great attitude about the day and suggested I write to customer service to see if I might get some of those additional costs compensated. I thanked her for the suggestion, and as I walked away something else occurred to me. This kind of attitude applies to many areas of my life, especially right now.

There are many things going on right now that are out of my control. I find myself in a place in my life that I never expected to be even just a few short months ago. With depression hitting our household pretty hard these past several months, our various relationships have been affected more than any of us wanted. Being poly means our other partners are also feeling the effects. We’ve all had to take a step back so we can figure out how to untangle the messes and be able to move forward again. Husband Darling and I need to focus on ourselves and Kidlet for the time being.

There are things happening that I do not understand and things that I don’t like (sometimes one and the same), but all I can do is to Accept what Is without always understanding or liking the circumstances. I struggle daily with simply accepting what is, but I’m doing the best I can with the information I have and change what is within my power to do so. Project Purge continues to move forward. My professional ducks are lining up, and I’m now waiting on others before my next step. We are preparing for Kidlet’s transition into high school via Web Academy. Husband Darling is applying for different employment almost daily. Getting many of my health issues managed has brought to light other issues that I’ll need to explore with my doctor. Husband Darling suggested I try meditation. I am re-learning to enjoy my life again and taking one day at a time.

Several months ago I ran across this lovely quote from an interview with Anthony Hopkins. It resonated deeply with me, and I felt a moment of clarity click into place. So many choices I’ve made in my life were leading me down this Zen path. “Acceptance” has become my daily mantra. Some days it’s two steps forward and the next is three steps back. What matters is that I am still standing and looking for which direction I need to go next.


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