Caught in Between

I’m at 30,000+ feet, flying home from Salt Lake City and my annual trip to the Usana International Convention.

“Convention” is much like the fair was to me when I was a child. Lots to see, lots to learn, friends to hang with and lots of energy. From each presenter at the convention there was encouragement to take charge of your own life and your destiny.

However, this year I was torn about being at the convention. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to go to Salt Lake City with all its festivities, excitement and friendly reunions; I wanted very much to be there. I was torn because convention’s schedule overlapped the days when my children were home for a short time—I wanted to be with them, too.

So I carved a day off the front end of the convention, and one off the back end, squeezing my time and concentrating my efforts, racing to get in all that I wanted to do. Now, at the airport, on my way home, I’m caught in-between the convention and my children, and I’m feeling claustrophobic, a little panicked and as though I’ve lost any control I might have had.

My flight took off three hours late. Of course, as any traveler knows, there’s not an airline that’ll hold the connecting flight for that long, so—to mix my metaphors—I missed the boat completely.

I thought I might stay in Salt Lake City for the night and sleep in the bed I’d already paid for, but I realize that tomorrow those 12,000 people who were at the convention with me would be arriving at the airport with a reservation to fly out tomorrow and I had none—so, I missed that boat, too.

Here I am, soon (I hope) to land in Phoenix. Will there be a later flight to Austin tonight? I don’t know. So I’m losing out on both ends, trying to cram lots of life into little time. I missed the closing session celebrating the 25th anniversary of Usana and, I’m not home to see my family and say farewell.

I don’t know what will happen, only that I have no power in the situation. I can only breathe deeply, try to cultivate a sense of wonder rather than panic, drop the frustration of failed plans and smile at the others on this boat with me.

It’s a strange feeling to be caught in between. I’m confined to the secure area of the airport, because I have no boarding pass to re-enter. I’m held captive; I know not where I’ll sleep tonight. Where is my luggage? Will I ever see it again?

Sitting there, I remember when my mother had a stroke and was lying in the hospital bed unconscious. Not really in this world, and not in the next realm, either. I left the emergency room for a quick trip to the car, only to find myself caught in between, too. I exited one door and found myself in some sort of cubicle. As the door behind me closed and locked, I realized there was another door in front of me, also locked. I was stuck in between. In that moment, I experienced a kinship with my mother beyond our DNA, figuring the nature of her experience was similar, if more dramatic. Not here and not there, either.

Eventually, someone came to push the button that allowed me to exit the hospital. So, I know that my own airport in-between will be resolved at some point, too.

So much to wonder about. What will the evening bring? It's not what I designed, but then, some things really are out of my control. Sometimes I have little influence over what happens, but I do have power to respond with kind words for harried flight attendants, questions of curiosity to other stranded pilgrims and a smile for the many weary travelers.

Surrender is not my strong suit. Here’s my opportunity to practice. I'll go stand in lines, ask some questions and see what happens.

What will you surrender to today?




Posted in acceptance, anxiety, being stuck, change, coping with change, flexibility, inspiration, narcissism, self-help on 08/24/2017 11:05 am

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