Home for a few days after our family holidays, and as I sit here, I reflect on the golden opportunity I got during our holidays, to practice being gentle to myself.
You see, around the halfway point of our 16-day long travels to the Pacific North West – Seattle and Vancouver – with a bonus stopover in Iceland, my daughter suddenly said:
Mom, I don’t understand how we can leave Vancouver on the 27th and get a full day in Iceland if we are to come home on the 28th?
I stopped in my tracks, while we were walking in Discovery Park, just having finished eating our take away dinner.
No, no, it checks out, I swear.
We leave on the 27th and arrive the 27th and then take off again the 28th.
Gave her the facts as I knew them.
She looked at me with her wise eyes, and I realised the facts didn’t exactly support my case.
Doubt crept into my mind.
Well. Actually, you might be right, but let’s wait until I can check for sure before we start to worry about it.
Deep down I realized I had gone wrong somewhere.
Started berating myself.
Could I actually have made such a huge mistake? How could I have been so dumb?
A few hours later we were finally home in our one-night AirBnB just north of downtown Seattle, ready for the coming train journey to Vancouver, and I got my IPad out. Checked the tickets. And oh yeah…. How right she was and how dumb I was!
The planned 31 hours on Iceland suddenly dwindled to approximately seven. Not quite according to my brilliant plan, let me tell you.
I went online, desperate to rectify my error. Checking Icelandair’s website to see if a ticket change was possible… got some weird responses. Send them a desperate email and found their Facebook page, so I sent the same desperate cry for help in a message. Soon enough I got a reply (on Facebook, the email wasn’t answered for days). Sure they could reschedule… for an extra cost of half the original roundtrip tickets, and that was simply not a way forward.
So there was nothing more to do than thank Alma for pointing my error out to me, and let the family know that our slightly longer than a full day-Icelandic adventure was no more. With the exception of a visit to the Blue Lagoon which we could still squeeze in, Icelandair promised, but they strongly recommended I pre-booked it. I immediately did, which was lucky as most of the slots that day were already filled up. Hubby cancelled our one-night accommodation in Reykjavik, which thanks to booking.com was refunded in full.
At that point, I let go. Let go of my berating, the name-calling and annoyance. I forgave myself for not being sharper when booking the plane tickets, instead getting the time zones all confused. Nothing more to be done. No way to undo my error. And no reason what-so-ever to keep on beating myself up. That would not make life better for anyone, something I’ve learned the hard way. Being gentle to me, for me, means just that: being gentle to myself in my internal dialogue, especially when I’ve made a mistake.
And guess what? Our visit to the Blue Lagoon was wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever been cleaner and the whole setting was absolutely spectacular.