Instead of writing this post, I am supposed to be on a flight to California (it’s landing right about now) so I could attend a Mastermind Retreat in Napa. With people I love and admire.
I had taken a shower last night and my clothes were all laid out. I was up at 3:15 a.m. even before my alarm went off. My bags were packed. I was checked into my Southwest flights. All I had to do was get dressed, grab some coffee (which was all set), a protein bar I purchased for the occasion and an apple, and I was good to go.
I arrived at my favorite little airport, T.F. Green in Providence, RI, at 4:45 a.m., more than an hour and a half ahead of my 6:20 a.m. flight. Green is known as being one of those airports you breeze right through.
I got a great parking spot and left my coat in the car even though it was 15 degrees because I didn’t want to lug it sunny, warm California.
As I entered the terminal, I saw a very VERY long line of passengers waiting at the SWA ticket counter. It was almost to the door. And the TSA line was almost as long. I have never, ever seen PVD that mobbed, especially at that time of the morning. Not even close.
I had a fleeting moment of panic, then took a deep breath, and decided to calm down and stay positive. All around me, people were freaking out, and I kept telling myself it would all work out.
Well it didn’t.
I got to the gate at 6:19 a.m. and was told it was too late. The SWA agent told me she could book me on a flight much later in the day and I decided to go for it, but then I just couldn’t stand the idea of getting to California at 9 p.m. (midnight Eastern time) and then having to rent a car, drive an hour, check in, and so on, get up early tomorrow, then have to turn around and come home on a flight that wouldn’t get in until after midnight on Monday.
I called my husband, who answered the phone with a “Have a great trip baby…are you on the plane?” With a wavering voice, I told him what happened. And that I just wanted to come home. He half-heartedly tried to convince me to go anyway, but I just didn’t have it in me.
(Oh, and I should have heeded the little voice in my head that said don’t bother checking your bag, because my suitcase is now on its way to California without me and won’t be back until tomorrow.)
So, I cancelled everything, drove back home, called my husband again and cried.
And now I regret my decision not to go, even if it meant getting there late.
Talk about feeling all the feelings.
Excitement (for the company I would be keeping and what I’d be learning…and the warm weather).
Gratitude (that I am able to take such a trip).
Pride (because I wasn’t feeling anxious about flying).
Panic (when I sensed everyone else’s).
Contentment (rather than freaking out).
Powerless (as I realized it was unlikely I’d make it).
Hope (as more and more people said “of course they’ll hold the plane…look how many of us are stuck in this line”)
Resigned (as I ran down the concourse to the gate…and it was the last gate, and saw the closed door)
Hope again (when I was told the ticket agent could get me on another flight).
Hopeless (when I was told how long it will actually take).
Anger (because they didn’t wait for me).
Guilt (because even though I was nearly 1 hour and 45 minutes early, I wasn’t the two hours early recommended on the airport’s website, which I didn’t read until after I got home, so it was technically my fault because if I had been there 15 minutes earlier I probably would have made it).
Relief (because I don’t have to fly all day and be away from home and then fly all day on Monday and get home well after midnight and then get up early on Tuesday).
Guilt again (for the relief).
Sadness and regret (because I really wanted to go to Napa, damn it, and maybe I should I have sucked it up and gone late!!)
Appreciation (for the head of TSA at PVD who just called in response to the email I sent [explaining my disappointment and frustration without being nasty], and who was apologetic and acknowledged that the airport was, indeed, a lot more crowded [with sports teams] than they are used to and that 1 hour and 45 minutes should have been plenty of time. She was warm, friendly, and understanding. I’ll be interested to see what SWA has to say in response to the similar email I sent to them).
This is SO not the end of the world, I know. I will get over it. In fact, I am pretty much over it.
Have you ever experienced so many varied feelings in such a short amount of time?