How do you feel when your plans change?

1 Nov

How do you feel when your plans change?

Yesterday, I had a monthly networking meeting that is important to me to attend. I was running late for it, as my son decided to come with me at the last minute, so I had to wait for him to get dressed. So, I was set up to feel some frustration.

Finally, heading over the bridge into the city at around 8:20 a.m., Siri told us that the traffic would be bad because there was going to be a parade for the SF Giants. They had just won the World Series and, of course, the city’s fans would be honoring them, but that little factoid hadn’t crossed my mind. Siri also said Market Street would be blocked off by 9:00 a.m. I secretly prided myself for accidentally getting in under the wire!

It was also threatening to rain. And Critical Mass, the bike-riding group, was going to be riding down Market Street later that day, after the parade. None of these were things I had factored into my travel plan. I, generally, do check the game schedules. But, with the season over, didn’t think about the post-win events and how they might impact my plan.

At the time we were driving over the bridge, amazingly, the traffic wasn’t too bad and we remarked about how we were probably getting in before it became the predicted nightmare. By now, we’d turned on the radio and heard about how the BART would be packed, practical suggestions about parking, and we noticed traffic helicopters appearing in the sky. Giants fans would likely come out, despite the rain. And, sure enough, once this concept filtered into our reticular activating systems, we noticed that we were driving alongside several cars with the little Giants flags attached to them, waving as we all breezed over the bridge.

The exit went smoothly, too. So, I was congratulating myself on my incredible luck, having found that perfect eye-of-the-needle in getting into the city on what was, formerly unbeknownst to me, doomed to be a very challenging traffic day. I dropped my husband off at his job and proceeded to head towards Market Street, only to be met with barricades. My first thought was, “Hey! It’s not nine a.m. yet!” and I felt myself getting a little agro. I quickly calculated that by the time I found a place to cross Market, I’d miss my intended gathering altogether. So, I dumped the plan entirely.

I texted the leader of the gathering to apologize for not making it, texted my next appointment (also in the city) to reschedule. And headed back to Oakland. And the rain came down hard.

Because it was now a rainy day (hadn’t started out looking like it from my side of the Bay), I decided to make chicken soup, so had to stop at the store for the ingredients, and I moved into thinking about getting ready for the Trick-or-Treaters that would be showing up at the end of the afternoon. …wondered about how many we might have, as the rain would likely deter some.

I don’t know why exactly, but dumping the plan felt deliciously victorious. There was still much to accomplish, but the pace of my day was significantly altered for the better and I really enjoyed whatever else I had to do which included several errands (including picking up Halloween candy which, of course, I’d left to the last minute), some writing for work, organizing an upcoming media campaign….

A friend was going to come by to pick up a book. Instead, I was able to invite her to stay for some soup.

I felt badly about missing the gathering. At the same time, there was so much enjoyment in doing the rest of what I had planned at a less hectic pace.

One opportunity was lost. Another was gained. Oddly, those barricades opened up time.





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