No Sleep, Chipotle, and Learning Something New Everyday
Written early morning June 10, Posted late night June 11
There have been so many inconveniences over the past few days. For a couple night stretch there I’d been getting 3-5 hours of sleep. (And yet, I sit here on a plane typing this at 1:30am, 8:30am Tel Aviv time. My schedule’s going to be so out of whack. I might take a nap at the Mount of Olives. Can you get kicked out of Israel? And for something like that? I probably could. (This is a blog about adventures, right?)
I almost left my library book on the train, save for the last minute heroics of a kind stranger. I was hungry at 1 in the morning yesterday, so mom cooked hamburgers right then and there. (Home is where the midnight snacks are). I accidentally acted like a Chicago pedestrian at a Fort Wayne crosswalk, and got a stern lecture from my mother whom I had left at the sidewalk. Sitting in the airport, I realized I had packed an extra pair of clothes in my carry on as suggested…except for underwear. (Never be too quick to praise yourself. You’ve probably forgotten your situation’s equivalent of underwear). On the first flight—a blessedly brief hour and a half—there was of course a baby sitting in the row diagonal from us. Mind you, this was a tiny plane. I got on and could barely breathe for claustrophobia. I like babies, but man. Those pipes. Can you imagine a baby singing opera? That would break glass. That would break souls.
It’s 1:39am, sorry.
After making it to Philadelphia, we had a seven hour layover. Inconvenience? Yeah, but Ashlyn and I killed some time by doing everything in our power to get Chipotle. A few hours in, a security guard started mini-shouting at us to move to the next gate because ours was being shut down for cleaning and security. (For the record, if you happen to work in an airport, don’t ever say that. I mean, are they checking for bombs or dusting the windowsills? Come on now.) The biggest inconvenience of all is occurring right now, and it’s hoooouuuurs away from being over. I got tired of trying to sleep though (pun intended), pulled out my laptop, and am now documenting my whining.
But you know what? These “inconveniences”—from Lisa sharing the burden of her heart (See Part I), to my butt falling asleep every time I travel—all come along with serendipities as well. I need these inconveniences to know what it’s like to be free from them. Some are good—like Lisa’s—some are annoying—like my butt—and others don’t matter in the slightest. I welcome them all, though, if for no other reason than I can make jokes about them in a blog. I jest; I don’t want to seem ungrateful. I understand I’m blessed. I’m headed to the Holy Land, for Pete’s sake. If I consider these not as inconveniences but as experiences, my entire perspective changes.
Trains and planes, crying babies and back pain, rude passengers and lack of sleep only put you in bad moods if you allow them to, so don’t give them that power. Just as important is to not let those become excuses for bad moods. I read something one time (what a way to start a sentence) that I will never forget:
If you don’t want to be someone, then you pity them.
There was a man on the airport shuttle who felt compelled to swear, mock the driver, and whine about how long it was taking. It was only mildly annoying. It got to the point where my blood started to boil a little bit and I wanted to confront him. When we’re annoyed by someone or even begin to hate them, pity is often the last thing on our minds.
When this happens, ask yourself these questions:
Would I ever want to be him/her?
Would I ever want to walk in his/her shoes, act as he/she does, or talk as he/she does?
Would I ever want to live his/her life?
If the answers are a repeated “No!” then you may find yourself responding to the situation with more patience and compassion than you would otherwise. Neat little trick, aint it?
Sleep calls to me, though, and now that the fullness of my wisdom has been imparted to you, I must answer it.