In a catalog I saw a bracelet that said, “When you stumble, make it part of the dance.” That speaks to me…indeed, it reminds me that some of the most interesting moments in my life have been recovering from stumbles. Once upon a time I saw stumbles as things to block out of my mind, but anymore I see them as evidence of being the perfectly imperfect human I am. Truly, most of my stumbles these days really do become part of my dance…I liberally share them with friends, family and here on my blog. I think that through these stumbles I deepen my understanding of myself and others…I think they make me, dare I say, a more well-rounded person.
Now having said all the above I imagine I should share a stumble as an illustration. I have many…some large and some small…some fairly significant and others relatively inconsequential. Today I will share a relatively inconsequential one that would have horrified me when I was younger, but now that I understand the wisdom of incorporating all things into my life’s dance I can’t help but laugh a bit.
This happened Friday – after a day filled with airports. I got out of Harrisburg fine and arrived in Cincinnati without incident. Unfortunately, my Cincinnati flight bound for Minneapolis sat on the tarmac for three hours for a myriad of reasons. First, it was that the plane was overweight (at that point they tried to convince some folks to take a later flight and then took the checked bags of those folks off the plane); second, the plane needed to be rerouted due to weather so we had to wait for approval of the new flight plan; and finally, we needed to wait for maintenance because a critical part of the plane was in disrepair and we could not fly until it was fixed (yeah, that was an armrest of a seat where no one was sitting and that took about an hour and a half in-and-of-itself).
It was an interesting three hours to be sure. I did learn a new acronym on the plane so the entire wait was not a loss. All this time I thought Delta was merely the name of the airline, but the young man sitting next to me told me that it was an acronym for Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport. Despite the terribly long wait, I must give props to the flight attendant and flight crew – they were great given the circumstances and they kept everyone informed and in good humor. The passengers on the plane came to bond in a humorous commiseration of sorts and I must say, all-in-all, it was quite an interesting experience – one I can say I valued. Of course, I had a three hour layover in Minneapolis built into my itinerary so I wasn’t sweating the delay too much until it ate away my buffer.
If you know the Minneapolis airport well, you will understand my plight when I say I deplaned at C18 at 7:10 and had to be at G3 for my 7:35 flight. The new regulations state that passengers must be on board at least 15 minutes prior to departure. I had to employ my power walking skills and thankfully arrived at 7:20 (which was truly nothing short of a miracle). Thankfully, the Fargo plane had not started boarding yet and that allowed me a few minutes to go to the ladies room before I got on the plane.
Here is where the stumble occurred. I barreled into the ladies room still in power walk mode and something odd hit as I turned the corner into the restroom - a bunch of men staring at me curiously. Perhaps I was too tired at that point or too focused on getting to the restroom before boarding, but for some reason seeing all those men look curiously at me did not compute…it took at least a full minute for me to comprehend the situation as I stood there and the hamster in my mind made a very slow rotation on the wheel. Then it hit me – OH…THIS IS THE MEN’S RESTROOM. I smiled to myself, turned on my heel and went in the other direction. By the time I made it in the women’s restroom (all of ten steps away) I was laughing like a fruit loop to myself.
I surmise I should have been appropriately horrified by the fact that I entered and then had a horribly long pause in the men’s restroom while my tired brain tried to size up the situation (and no – that was not a pun), but these type of things don’t set me back anymore. Even all those men looking at me and me looking at them for what in retrospect seems like it was much longer than a minute didn’t send me blushing into a corner uttering apologies as I retreated. The whole darn thing just made me laugh – I just made it part of my dance.
Let’s face it, if not for the stumbling my dance wouldn’t be half as interesting…and so I continue on until the next stumble in this dance that is my life…and I hope that in the process – no matter what – I keep dancing.
Day six hundred and seven of the new forty – obla di obla da