Every year I pick a theme instead of making resolutions. 2009’s theme was: “Ask for what I want.”
This summer, I was on my way back from France, flying Air Canada, flight AC845. I had originally booked Lufthansa, but they did a switcheroo, as they often do, since they have some deal in place, I gather.
Lunch time arrived and I was told that the gluten free meal I had ordered (it’s a long flight ... nine hours) was not on board, I must admit I was feeling a tad annoyed, and hungry. The gluten free madeleines from France I had in my carry-on bag were only going to satisfy me for a very short while. They only have so many meals on the flight, and they did not have mine. Ordering in can be a tad tricky at 44,000 feet up in the air.
When the flight attendant told me that they could give me some rice, my budding frustration did not abate. I imagined one sad, white, little scoop of rice in the middle of a slightly larger plastic plate. So when she asked what I wanted, I thought “What do I really want?” So I decided to tell her exactly that; if I could have whatever I wanted, here’s what I would like: I would like fish, with vegetables, and not covered in creamy, floury sauce of course. That’s it.
What happened next thing just blew my mind away. A plate arrived, a REAL plate, with REAL cutlery, with beautiful food, Carpaccio, smoked fish, slowly roasted julienned vegetables ... A plate of cheeses as well and a wonderful fresh fruit salad—I SO dislike canned fruit salad ... it’s just SO wrong! It was wonderful and so tasty and I was more than satisfied, when the flight attendant arrived with another plate with fish in butter sauce, small potatoes and roasted artichoke hearts! I could not finish all the food. There was wine too …
The other passengers around me could not help but stretch their neck to find out where the wonderful smells were coming from. I was thoroughly enjoying my food. And those who know me, know I love food ... Plus I had just spend four weeks in France being spoiled on foie gras, magret de Canard, and lovely little rose wines from small wineries, in places like Cucuron.
I was extremely grateful and told the flight attendants as much. I gather they had gone into the “First Class Food Cupboard.” So I thanked them for a most gracious recovery and a wonderful meal.
For the lesson part ...
Sometimes negative things happen, and it is often our first instinct to feel victimized, “why do these things always happen to me” kind of reaction. I started to do that on Flight AC 845. But then I voiced my wish, and kept an open mind, trusted that everything would be alright, and that I would be well taken care of. After all, I still had some madeleines and there was wine to be had. How bad could the situation really be ...
But then life surprised me. People surprised me. Even one initially rather cranky flight attendant surprised me. And I do love surprises! Most especially good ones of course.
So I believe that it is in life as it was on this flight. I lost my job two days before leaving for France, and it will be more than alright. My car gave up the ghost while I was gone, and it will also be more than alright. I just had a little heartbreak and what will come next will be just wonderful as well. I just need to keep remembering to voice my wishes, keep an open mind and heart, and life and people are bound to beautifully surprise me again, with much more than I could even ask for.
So looking forward to it all!