I am in the sky, on an aeroplane, on my way for a week’s holiday in Zante. My friend Claire is staying there for a month and asked me to join her for a week. The decision was easy!
We flew from Liverpool. It is an early flight. So I drove down from Scotland the night before to stay in a hotel airport. What could go wrong?
I arrived at the hotel at about 7pm. I parked and went into my case to get the paperwork. Then it hit me. My passport was in my rucksack. …at home… in Scotland. Oh dear. I shrugged, got back into the car and resigned myself to some more driving.
I rang my husband and he found my passport and kindly agreed to drive and meet me half way. I arrived back at the hotel car park at 9.30pm.
I parked, went into my case to get the paperwork. When I looked at it, I realised I had made the booking for April and not May. Oh dear. I shrugged and went in to the hotel reception. I explained what had happened to the sympathetic receptionist. I had to pay the full rate for another room.
Years ago this would have ruined my holiday. I would have given myself a hard time, beaten myself up and spent several days in a bad mood.
Also, I’m not ageing myself prematurely by ruminating that these are senior moments. I have always made mistakes like this. Today I just accepted.
The extra driving wasn’t fun. Having to pay for another room wasn’t fun. But I don’t need to pile on the misery. I can let go. I rang my daughter to have a laugh about it. She muses that she does things like that all the time.
The main idea in my mind is that things come in threes. So I find myself anticipating another hitch. I let that go.
I use the tale to cheer my friend up when she arrives at the airport. She is tired after her early start. We laugh about what the third hitch will be.
I catch myself nodding off periodically on the plane. I know there is snoring (but no drooling – yet!). I recognise I am becoming self conscious – what will people think! I recognise more self-created suffering in my self-consciousness. I let go. I will allow myself to nod and snore! The last thing the people sitting around me are thinking of is me. It is I that thinks of me!
This ability to let go comes from my years of mindfulness practice. I can see what is happening in my mind. I can recognise the potential for self-creating some holiday misery. Because of this I see that there is a choice. Thankfully, today it takes no effort to choose to let this all go.
After all, I am going on holiday. The sun, sand and turquoise seas of a Greek island await. A week of doing nothing. A week of being.
I used to be really bad at holidays. Controlling and upset by unmet expectations and assumptions. Struggling with having nothing to do.
I am better at them now. Open, curious and fundamentally OK with doing nothing.
I can enjoy my holiday!
I can use my mishaps to make others laugh – in this blog too. To make others realise that they are not the only ones that forget things or mess up sometimes. I can make the most of my mishaps as part of a normal life.
I hope you have a wonderful week in which you can accept and smile at your mishaps.