**We regret to inform you that your plans have been cancelled**

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Have you ever gotten an email like this from an airline, or travel company or any other service provider?

I recently took a trip back home to visit my family. My wife and I travelled from our home in Seattle, WA to my home town of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

The trip was to start at 4am wake up here in Seattle to a final landing in Thunder Bay the next day at 10am. So we were prepared for a long day. But then it happened…

*ACTION REQUIRED: Flight Cancelled due to bad weather*, was the title of the email I received from the airline.  My heart sunk into my stomach. “Ok, what does this mean?” was my first thought.

So I opened my phone up and read through the email in detail. Apparently our connecting flight in Toronto that was going to take us to Thunder Bay was cancelled, 14 hours in advance. And then our flight that was to take us to Toronto was delayed by 3 hours.

Ok, well that wasn’t awesome. But the bigger issue that ended up happening is that the airline ended up rebooking us on our flight to Toronto as well as the connecting flight for 2 days later. That’s when I went into full on problem solving mode.

We don’t want to hang around the airport for 2 full days, that sounds terrible. My wife being observant and quick thinking noticed that there was a gate agent for the airline we were on. So we ran over and got in line to speak to one of them.

We explained to the agent what had happened and whether or not she could help us get back on the flight to Toronto that we already had been confirmed on and we would figure out how to get to Thunder Bay once we got to Toronto.

“They’ve given your seats to someone else” was her response. I started to get a little irritated inside but managed to hold it together and calmly asked “Is there anything you can do to get us back on that flight?”.

“You can go on standby, and hopefully someone else will cancel their plans.” Ugh. Needless to say the next several hours were a little stressful because we had to hang around the airport not sure if we were going to get on the flight to Toronto.

Anyway, to shorten the story up a little bit, we got on the flight to Toronto and were able to connect to Thunder Bay with a bit longer of a layover than we wanted but still made it about 12 hours later than we originally planned.

What I learned from this situation was a few things. First, with the work I have been doing internally on accepting situations as they are and not adding any positive or negative emotion to them right away allowed me to have a rational conversation and not lose control.

Second, I recognized that this cancelled set of plans I had was not only affecting me, but hundreds and possibly thousands of other people. If I had approached this with anger or frustration the airline employees probably wouldn’t have been as likely to want to help me.

Finally, sometimes things just happen and we should look for the positive side of the situation as much as we can. It helps us accept the situation for what it is and prevents us from adding more to it than it really is.

As I am writing this, I am thinking about the plans I had for this weekend that were cancelled due to weather again. This time I was supposed to go out climbing in the mountains with my love. But, instead we will be in town, and so I am given another opportunity to practice acceptance. 

I could get frustrated or mad but that really wouldn’t change the situation at all. It would likely make it worse and create a condition that would make it hard to be around me. That isn’t going to help anyone, so acceptance feels like a better option.

What situation or condition do you need to accept for what it is today?

#authenticself #acceptance #mindfulness #changeofplans #worklifeharmony

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