Whether we are seasoned gypsies or well-calculated planners, the notion that everything will always go perfectly should be highlighted in the bright luminescent colors of a warning sign, mostly because we always try to tell ourselves it’s gonna happen “this time”. The good news is, when you’re suddenly in the throes of chaos, it doesn’t have to mean instant ruin and despair. “What now?” you ask yourself; well here’s a step by step suggestion for when the record scratches and you’re stuck:
Surrender the immediate need
At some point in the planning process, probably when you’re trying to figure out what you’ll wear, a storyline starts forming. When the ballet show you scored last minute tickets to gets cancelled, it may feel as if the entire story, your badassery, and all the hard work you put into getting vacation time all come crumbling down. Some may assimilate the feeling to angry sadness, but it may be helpful to suggest, it’s not the end of the world no matter how right you are. The sooner we can let that go, take a second to look at the clock, read the time, breath, and smile as big as you can muster.
Find the Joke
This is probably the most important factor to a shift in perspective, because the truth is that too many “perfectionist tantrums” will make recounting your trip a bland act of avoiding painful arguments, which makes for a great postcard, but not a real story. Having a sense of humor, even when you just spilled your coffee on your white sundress, or broke the wheel on the suitcase, or got overcharged by the cab driver, will strengthen the relationships with those you travel with, not to mention build trust and understanding.
Check in on the bucket list
This is a good time to survey the good intentions of the universe. Whether Murphy’s Law freed up some time on the schedule, or made it necessary to make some time for last minute shopping, take a moment to appreciate what you can about the re-route. It wasn’t your plan, but it’s happening anyways, and if lavender is your favorite scent and you suddenly have to go pick up your wallet from the french cab driver who is also lives on a lavender farm, don’t be shy about laughing and by all means take a selfie. Be creative! Listen to the inner voice that is 5 years old, because these moments are what it lives for.
More than we realize, our days are spent in a constant state of planning, managing and forecasting. We think it needs to happen, we need to do it, and we’re afraid of letting everyone down if we don’t. This is the perfect time to stop looking at the clock (if you’re still staring at it), smile again, and follow the scent of freshly baked bread and order the sandwich that makes you laugh it looks so good. If it’s sunny, take some vitamin D, if it’s raining, listen to the rain for a while. Remember we got all the way here somehow, imperfectly, yet whole.