Mark and I just got back from a short getaway to Key West, Florida. It was restful and needed. We rented a scooter and drove around the entire island, laid on the beach, ate tons of fish, and drank a fair share of mojitos.
On departure day, we woke up, had a wonderful breakfast with oceans views, chilled in a hammock on the beach for a last dose of sun, then packed up and headed to the (very small) airport. After breezing through security (something you don’t get to say very often when talking about airports), we discovered our plane had been delayed due to mechanical troubles. No one wants to hop on a faulty plane; however, when considering the fact that we live in a very small town in the middle of the country and there are not many options for flight departures and arrivals, I concluded that our trek home was going to be bumpy.
Sure enough, we were re-routed. Our first connection was in Ft. Lauderdale, heading to D.C. We ran as fast as we could from our arriving gate to our departing gate and made it just as they were boarding Group 4 (our group). Perfect timing. Upon arrival to D.C., we learned our 7:40 P.M. departure was now 9:50 P.M. We both realized, this was going to be a very late night. But, on a positive note, there was a nice little taqueria (Mark’s favorite food is tacos) and we now had time to eat. We were seated and looked at each other and laughed.
I thought about our evening on the last plane ride home (as Mark slept soundly next to me…I’m not a plane sleeper). It made me think of a Ted Talk I watched given by Matt Killingsworth who is a researcher for TrackYourHappiness.org He talks about being present in the moment versus what he calls “mind wandering.” Ultimately, he concludes through research, that people are happier when they are focused and in the moment rather than thinking of other things. Even when things are not going well, those who are present in the moment reported a higher degree of happiness.
By now, I am sure this concept is old news to many of us. But the reason I thought about it was because that is what Mark and I did that evening. We ate tacos, we drank wine, we laughed, we over-SnapChatted our friends; Mark even did a funny run to the car when we finally arrived at the airport at 12:30 A.M. with an hour and a half drive home ahead of us.
I want to keep this memory at the forefront of my mind so that the next time I am faced with an opportunity to be present or let my mind wander, I remember how good it felt to be present, even under less than desirable circumstances.
Adventures don’t always go as planned. There can be obstacles and setbacks and that’s when the human spirit can really work its magic. And let’s face it, most of the time you walk away with a great story.