The Adventure of Changed Plans

I woke up this morning to the tell tail ting of an incoming text.  Blurry eyed, I roll over for a peek at the bright screen with one half open eyeball.  One more staff member will not make it to our monthly company meeting today, down to five, maybe four.  An hour later both eyes are wide open as I chugged my morning beverage but the interrupting phone call left the staff meeting with three, maybe four attendees.  This "I'm sick and won't be into work call" not only leaves our staff meeting with very few staff but leaves me with an entire half day work plan swirling down the drain.
(Super Cub landing on frozen lake with glacier by Owl Bluff, Alaska)

I live in what we Alaskans call "the bush"  (check out the Aussies and Kiwis, they say the same thing).  What it means is I live in a very small village, not big enough to be called a town, of about 200 people that has no modern accoutrements: no store, no gas station, and, yes, heaven forbid, no movie theater (thank you Netflix for keeping me in touch with the rest of my countrymen), and most of all no, and I mean NO, roads to or from anywhere else!  You must fly in a small (think minivan) airplane.  My business, however, has a station, office if you will, in both my small village and the main hub of the State, the big city.  So, I often split my time between the two locations to effectively do all the General Management type jobs one might do.
 (Business trip to sell Alaska Red Salmon in Redding, CA.  Baby boy comes with me to work everyday, near or far.)

When I come to town, however, I like to make my time as efficient and minimal as possible.  If an employee calls in sick on a day I had planned to discuss numerous major financial issues with them, hopefully marking off several things on my to-do list and they will not be in, my life spins out of control (okay, it just feels like it does) and I'm plagued with questions like "Should I just go home as planned and have this important meeting later?", "Should I stay another day?", "What if they are sick tomorrow too?", "What responsibilities at home will I be missing?", "Is my baby boy okay with one more day or does he need to go home?", "Will the milk and eggs I bought yesterday in preparation to fly home today last another day or so (remember, no store where I live)?",  and "Should I just do the job myself, writing an email to get the missing employee up to speed?  This form of communication never seems as effective, though".  And on and on and on . . .
(My family and brother on Trans-siberian Railroad backpacking trip across Northern China and Russia.  The blond, cute baby boy was loved by all.) 

This morning, however, my thoughts stopped spiraling after only one turn around the crazy wheel when I started thinking about traveling, big epic long, adventure pumped traveling.  I love this kind of travel.  Well, I just love travel.  And traveling with my husband has given it a thrill that I can not seem to breath in enough of.  Lacing up your sturdy, comfy shoes that you know you could live in for months.  Strapping on your well packed backpack with almost nothing in it for any civilized westerner but just enough of the right stuff that confidence to face any situation raps around you as the straps wrap around your shoulders.  The graceful motion slinging your one small satchel/day pack/purse (the big airlines call this a personal item) across your shoulder (yes this makes you a bit lopsided, but who cares, adventure awaits) with the most essential items: passport, cash, credit card (or more, it's okay, back up is good), journal, and that comfort inducing long book you have been waiting for long hours uninterrupted to read.  You're ready for adventure, you're ready for whatever comes your way, with the full expectation that most of your days will be spent facing unknown, unplanned surprises.  Not only do you expect them but you are a little excited for them.  This is part of the fun of travel, part of what makes it an adventure.

Why, then, am I expectant and excited for unplanned, unknowns when traveling but dreadful and frustrated by unplanned, unknowns when in my "normal" life?

When that one more texted or phone call changes my day, or even my entire week, or my plans for my time in town I go to grumpy, stressed, panicky places.  What if I didn't?  What if I, much like when traveling, expected the unexpected to happen (I mean, lets be real, have you lived a day on this planet when the unexpected hasn't happened!  Why do we not expect it?)?  What if, when it happened and an entire hour, or two, or four, or eight, or more was suddenly open, available to whatever new thing (or old de-prioritized thing) came up?  What if instead of spiraling down the crazy wheel I saw ADVENTURE in this change and could ask the Giver of all time, plans, and schedules what I was actually suppose to do today as I clearly was not suppose to do what I had planned.  And then waited with excitement to see what I get to do instead.  What if . . .?

Then my cup of hot morning goodness, my now blank note pad for to-dos, my people around me, and most importantly my Giver of all time are my confidence blanket wrapped around me and thrill of adventure in this one day is the
bounce in my step and I start to look for and really feel the adventure and goodness in everyday.
                 (Camping, and sailing, on Lake Clark, Alaska)

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