Finding Your Center When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Finding Your CenterIt happens to all of us. We get disappointed when the gears of life stop clicking when they otherwise rarely fail us. I write to you this cold Tuesday evening from Gate K3 at O’Hare. Delayed for four hours.

The past handful of days went by pretty quick, with a lot of progress made on the Airbnb Experiment. And as an added bonus, I got to spend time with my folks. But after four days of laying laminate and other assorted projects, I’m more than ready to be home with Mrs. Cubert and our kids.

I used to get pretty cheesed about missed flights and delays. But nowadays, I think a combination of mindfulness and maturity remind me how laughable such a first world problem truly is.

I’d like to give the world a Coke…

Make no mistake, airport terminals stink a mix of jet fuel exhaust and food court slop. People are in a rush, frustrated, impolite, kind of like commuters. And that’s just me. Imagine how bad everyone else’s behavior is!

What’s a blogger who misses his family to do? Well, texting of course! I send Mrs. Cubert updates with clever emoticons 😅😂🤣😡. She returns with 😘😍😴.

What else can I do to kill time? How about a drink at the first terminal bar without a 30 minute queue? Wazthat? $12.25 for a friggin’ rum and coke? Shit.

Airport Confessions

And so I thumb type to you from my iPhone 6, clearly not in 5AM writing champion mode. Cut me some slack for that drink though, please? I did manage to hold off on purchasing a flimsy paperback on Watergate for $17.00 before tax (out of guilt for buying that Dubai-priced soda.)

All this comes on the heels of hitting 95% of the planned tasks for the Airbnb. Although we did manage to spend a bit more than planned too. Read all about that on Friday. We’ll see how my failure to account for a nail gun, quarter round, and thresholds affect the $10K fix ‘er up budget.

With all the nonsense and tragedy unfolding all around us, I can’t be frustrated or upset about sitting and waiting. I’ll get to take the kids to school tomorrow morning. Sure I’ll be groggy, but I’ll be glad to have a morning with them to start my day.

People watching at an airport like O’Hare is a fine way to pass the time. I’m not quite sure what to make of the old, bearded fellow sporting a confederate flag on his vest. Must be a biker on his way to a history convention. I’m also noticing lots of business folks clad in their corporate armor.

I don’t miss that nonsense. Needing a shower, sporting a five day beard, and wearing work clothes still matted with sawdust, I happily don’t qualify for THAT club today.

Travel Tendencies

I’m curious how my peers in the personal finance blogging community feel about this, in the wake of FinCon 2017. It might seem obvious, but travel has a sneaky way of getting you to open up that wallet a bit more. A big part of that is quite literally being trapped in the gates after going through security, finding yourself surrounded by overpriced shopping. It’s a wonder frugal people don’t just give up on air travel all together, in order to avoid temptation and furthermore to avoid polluting the earth.

By the way, I splurged on a New York Times for my flight out on Friday. It reads like butter. What can I say? On the way out, I dropped another $3.01 on a supposed decaf at Starbucks*. That was soon after my rum and coke indulgence a few gates back. Yessiree, that business credit card got more than a few swipes these past few days. And a lot of those swipes were for prices far exceeding a cup of coffee and a newspaper.

Finding your Center
Bracing for the white stuff…

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

My center now found, I’ll bid you adieu as I now plan to do something even more fun than writing- reading a book! “A Year in Provence.” I highly recommend this one. And appropriate for this post.

It’s a great example of not letting the little stuff bug you. Enjoy the humor of it. Even when you eventually land in paradise, life happens. And we should embrace that.

Epilogue

That’ll serve me right. Throw up a few pseudo-philosophical sentences about finding one’s center, only to blurt out a few F-ingheimers after arrival at MSP. Turns out the airport has managed to camouflage the location of the ride-share pick-up area. I got a good ten minutes of extra hiking in, just to get over the skyway, down the escalators, and finally to my patient Lyft driver. What a pain in the ass.

*Note to self: Even though Starbucks claims it’s a decaf, don’t believe them. I spent the better part of last night hoping to fall asleep, and never quite getting there. It’s going to be a long Wednesday. Better find my center. 

Comments 8

  1. The whole airport experience usually gets me on edge too buddy. I try to avoid eating there but seems like it always happens. Even just some snacks turns into $20 pretty easily. How much snow do you have there? We got a couple inches but supposed to be 50 by early next week. Should take care of that! Have a good day man.

    1. That’s just it. And the restaurants are getting better! There’s even a food truck alley (albeit with fake trucks) in the MSP terminal.
      No snow here – but cold as H. That feature pic occurred on Friday in Charlevoix – a near perfect snow globe couple of inches before it melted away later that evening.

  2. I’m happy to report I didn’t spend any money at the airports for my FinCon travels. I learned my lesson a couple years ago and now always take extra snacks and reading materials so I won’t need to open the wallet. Of course if I had an extreme delay I’d be in trouble. I’d be looking for the drinks over the coffee though.

    1. Nice work, Amy! I’m guessing you weren’t delayed four hours like me though! Ha!

      Funny thing is, I didn’t buy any reading materials or any food. Just a silly drink and a supposed decaf coffee. That drink was nice, but the tab was ridiculous.

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