Travel always seems to bring up valuable lessons that make me pause and think about my capacity for living yoga off the mat.
Yesterday after twenty two hours of travel that started in India at 2am, I arrived at JFK.
Our flight was delayed an hour, so my original connection window of 2.5 hours was cut down to 1.5 hours.
I figured I would be fine but just in case I moved my luggage and myself closer to the front, so I can be one of the first people off.
Once we parked at the gate it took a bit longer than usual to open the front door but I kept calm as I deepened my breath. As I headed into the terminal I got a slip called 'quick connect' which allows folks that have a 3hr or less transit window at JFK quicker access to immigration and domestic security.
I thought all was going according to plan. I got through immigration in no time and then began to wait for my luggage. I kept praying that mine would be one of the first one to come out.
My flight from JFK to San Diego was departing at 4:35pm, at this point it was 3:35. I was in good shape, or at least I thought.
My friends who I was travelling with joined me at the conveyer belt at around 3:45, still nothing.
At around 3:49 luggage began to come out, but it was slow. I started doing some chants and noticed my body sieze up a bit, but tried to stay relaxed.
As the time kept ticking, my body exhausted, I could see the desire to spin stories of how horrible it would be to miss my next flight, I started pacing around as standing still was driving me insane.
Frustration began to peak when everyone in my group collected their luggage--as we all checked in our bags the same time back in India.
How cruel but true. Sometimes its just not a lucky day I thought.
As I waited and waited I was aware of my mind in conversation, looking for options.
If I miss my flight to San Diego and there isn't a later one I could fly to LA and have sister pick me up, but then I would have to take the train with all my luggage to San Diego.
I might have to stay with friends in town and take a flight in the morning.
At around 4:08 I finally got my roller and was briskly headed out, I prayed the customs folks would let me walk through and they did.
I kept breathing as best I could and started to run with a large roller, backpack, and baby harmonium bag in my opposite hand.|
Sweaty now I made it to the JetBlue counter at around 4:21, short of breath I asked what my chances where?
In a calm voice the sweet man told me my flight had been delayed until 5:20.
Delayed. How interesting, I thought, I was so tunnel visioned and thinking about my strategies for missing my flight that I didn't even fathom to think that my flight might be delayed, and that was my lesson.
Possibility lurks in the background of every moment and yet it is so easy to close off our options when we focus on what isn't working, I gave up too early instead of staying in the moment and trusting that even if I missed my flight I would have figured it out.
I am a resourceful human being and yet I am extremely thankful this story ends with my head on my pillow and a long well deserved night sleep.