Y’know what I’ve noticed? People have a hard time finding the good in something when it happens to them. We have no problem finding something for someone else to be grateful for, but it’s tougher when something happens to us. This afternoon, just as I was leaving for lunch, I got a parking ticket. It’s a $32 parking ticket and I still had half a day of parking left to pay for when I returned from lunch. I yelled to the guy that I was coming, but he quickly finished writing out the note, and ran. He actually ran away as I was walking towards him. Poor guy. He must’ve thought he was in some danger. It took me quite some time to shake off the “he just ran away from me” thing. I took it very personally. I was 12 minutes late getting back to my car. I figured I’d chance it and it didn’t work out in my favour. Then I texted my friend and told her i was having a hard time finding a brightside. It’s possible I texted the wrong friend because she wanted to burn his house down for me…which is an awesome characteristic to have in a friend should you ever need someone to do that. So she couldn’t find a bright side either.
But have you ever noticed? If you’re worried about something…say you’re worried about money, or a debt you have to pay. You can spend so much time worrying about that, and forget that there are so many things to be grateful for.
Two weeks ago, I was flying to Portland to attend the World Domination Summit for the 4th time. It’s generally an easy bet that when you fly out on the first flight of the day, you’re going to get to where you’re going pretty drama free. Portland is 1 hour and 15 minutes by plane away from where I am. It took me 12 hours to get there that day. Lots of circumstances happened. The first flight of the day had mechanical issues so they couldn’t fly. They were re-booking people, but forgot to re-book me. By the time they did get to me, after I checked in with them, all the flights were sold out. They had to find me a completely different airline. They lost my bag. I had to pay for my bag twice since I was now on a new airline…I got a food voucher thanks to the kindness of the person working behind the counter, and then the security people in Seattle took my food away from me. Because..of course. It all had to happen so I could have one of the most impacting weekends of my life. While I would have completely enjoyed my breakfast date with friends when I arrived in Portland as planned, and the burrito bowl I was planning on having at Chipotle and the time I was going to spend shopping…I’m not sure that I would have appreciated it as much once I got there.
So much gets taken for granted when things just go the way we plan for them to go. It’s when they don’t go according to plan that we really get to be extraordinary humans. In the face of all of those things, I got to know the woman who was helping me, she had my back. She was going to make sure I was getting to where I wanted to go. She even hugged me when they found my bag and wished me well on my journey. And then a little while later, because I was still laughing and joking with the person checking me on my other flight with a completely different airline…she waived my baggage fee because there was no way in “hell” she was going to let me pay for it again. Bright side. Bright side. Bright side. I got to be awesome with those people when so many aren’t, especially at airports, and they had a chance to contribute to me which is what all humans want an opportunity to do.
The next time something goes array, or doesn’t go according to plan, or you lock your keys in your car, or the power goes out, or you miss your flight, or you don’t get the job you really wanted, or you run out of gas, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, or your phone dies while you’re waiting at the dentist’s office, or you’re at the dentist’s office…or any other number of things happen…look for a brightside. I bet you’ll be able to find one if you look for it.
Turn it into a game. Find one. Come tell me about it. I love brightside stories. Especially when the odds are stacked against you.