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The Value of Being Delayed

Image of dog tied to table outdoors. Raleigh Psychotherapy, counseling, waiting, delayed, Katherine Broadway

Arriving at the airport early usually creates a more relaxed trip, with more time to check in, go through security and find the gate. Sometimes, arriving early only prolongs the wait and increases the anxiety.

The fog was thick on the way to the airport but I though nothing of it. Every day had been foggy, with the sun only coming out around noon. Riding over the bridge, I even remarked about the beauty of the fog.

Little did I know, the fog was soon going to be my nemesis. Arriving at the airport, there was an inordinate amount of people in the lobby. Hmm....that was the first hint that all was not as expected.

The Unexpected

As it turned out, the fog was preventing planes from landing. In the next two hours, ten flights were canceled. What made it especially hard was the waiting. Each flight was canceled separately. The automated board would direct passengers to each gate. After waiting at the gate, the flight would be canceled.

Tempers were rising, anxiety was running rampant, all over the room you could hear sighs of frustration. The children were crying and screaming. I asked myself, “What good could come of this?” I didn't have an answer. I asked my travel companion, whose answer was, “To get where you need to go.”

But what about the ones who will stay another night?

Maybe, in an odd way, my companion is on the right track. How can you get where you are going if you are being delayed? Through patience and diligence.

Patience and diligence are two important ingredients in building resilience. They do not come naturally or easily. In the words of the poet John Keats, the world is full of “hardships and disquietude of some kind or another."

There is Always Something

Put another way, "There is always something." Life is full of surprises, some are wonderful and some bring trouble to your door. Most of these troubles are inconvenient, expensive, and irritating, but some are difficult to tragic.

Being human means we cannot control life and its events. What we can do is build a circle of friends who offer us help and will treat us with kindness. We can build our inner resources.

Each person in the airport had the opportunity to build resilience, simply by enduring the wait and anxiety without acting out their feelings. Those who had their flights canceled will be effected in different ways. Some will be delighted with another night in Florence. The airline provided food and a room for the night. Others will miss important events in their lives. Everyone’s patience and endurance was pushed to a point that they needed resilience.

It is Not Personal

On a personal level, what is there for you to take from this story?

Late flights, stock market declines or increases, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and growing old are not personal. Life happens and we are left to deal with what remains. Resilience is one internal quality that helps you have a satisfying life. Is your life not going as planned? Are you struggling with the delays in your life? I can help you make sense of the delays in your life. Call me at, (919) 881-2001.


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