I am a determined woman. When I am told that something can’t be done, I find a way. One of the things that I am known for is being resourceful. It’s a good quality to have, believe me. And this trip to England was about to teach me how resourceful I really am.
If you have been following my story thus far, you’ll see that I had not one but two days of airport hell. I was supposed to leave for the TABI Tarot Conference on Thursday. Instead, I sat at the Milwaukee airport for two long days due to weather emergencies.
Day three. Third times the charm, right? Saturday morning, I got up early and checked the weather. Milwaukee looked great but my connection to Amsterdam was flying out of New York and yup…you guessed it – New York was under a weather alert. That crummy storm system decided to head over there and I had a bad feeling that this was going to be another day of travel woes.
My new German friend (I took in a young man yesterday who was stranded at the airport) and I headed out early with a determination to change our flights to connect in a different city. I had researched the routes and saw that there were flights leaving from Detroit – so I thought we better rebook it to be safe. But the help desk man at the airport said no to our requests. They claimed the flights were full (a friend researched this later and discovered that they lied to us – there WERE seats on all the other options – obviously they didn’t want to change things for us for whatever reason).
So we headed to the gate and waited. I was keeping an eye on the New York weather and it was not looking promising. But lo and behold – they were boarding us! Could it be? Would we finally get to our destinations?
Um…..not quite. The plane started pulling out only to stop and sit idle. Then the dreaded announcement came – we had to wait until New York gave us the go ahead. We sat for almost TWO HOURS before they pulled back to the gate and deplaned us. I am not kidding.
I felt like crying but kept my chin up and joined the long line waiting to rebook or get information. But then I heard my name called. I was skipped to the head of the line – the nice lady who had to rebook me two times already saw me and was well aware of my plight. She knew that my trip to England and my presentation were now going to be ruined. Without any hesitation, she canceled my trip and filed the information so that TABI could get a refund (at least they didn’t pay for my no-show!). And I get sent home.
My poor German friend was now at the mercy of whatever happened – I can only hope he got back to Hamburg safely.
I’ll admit to you right here that I was devastated. I had been so looking forward to this trip. I started thinking about how I wasn’t going to be able to meet Louise or the other wonderful TABI people. I wasn’t going to be able to teach Louise’s sons proper American slang or give them their Hershey bars. I was not getting my steak and kidney pie nor my fish and chips. I wasn’t going to be able to deliver my presentation correctly. I was stuck here. And having to rely on technology to make this work. I am not a woman who cries very often but I broke down at home and had a good cry. (I am even tearing up now as I write this because I am so disappointed.)
But I am also a pro. Pros know that no matter what happens – even those Mother Nature incidents – the show must go on. It was time to dry those tears and get this presentation on for TABI. I was not going to let them down!
Louise and I tested out our Skype connection (and commiserated a bit about my sorry situation) and then got it all ready for the next day. She told me to call in at 8:30AM my time – and we signed off. We were going to be good for the day, right?
Wrongo again. Accidentally, she gave me the incorrect time. I should have been ready to go at 7:30AM. Uh oh….
(Stay with me here…..it gets even better.)
So after a dinner of bangers and mash (I was so determined to eat something British that I made this myself), I hit the sack early. As they say in England, I was knackered.
I had my alarm set for 6:30AM with intention to set up properly, shower and look as pretty as possible instead of the bedraggled war torn person I resembled after the airport drama. I was even going to draw an English flag and set out my fancy tea pot to set a mood.
And my alarm DID NOT go off. Bloody hell! I woke up at 8:06AM. No time to shower, no time to eat. I had to slam some makeup on my face and turn over the cat duties to my husband. I threw on the closest shirt I could find (but kept my pajama bottoms on – ha – no one would see those!) and fired up my equipment. I was at the computer at around 8:15AM when I turned on Skype and saw Louise’s face….and she told me about the time zone issue which meant I did not have any time to chit chat or prepare. I had to take off and running.
I had no time to grab my favorite glasses so the TABI people got me as the tore up traveller that I didn’t want to be. I looked like a hot mess but vanity had to go out the window – I had a presentation to deliver, now 45 minutes late and at the mercy of technology. (PS when I say hot mess, I’m not kidding – I couldn’t use the air conditioning because I am hard of hearing and it affected my ability to hear anyone so I had to do this presentation and SWEAT through the whole thing. There is nothing I hate more than sweating – it was like adding one more insult to injury and another blow to the ego!)
And somehow despite all my setbacks, I did deliver. I don’t know how I did it but I managed to pull it together. Perhaps it was just seeing Louise’s stoic and friendly face that calmed and centered me. Or maybe it was luck. Who knows what but I got down to the business of talking tarot business, one of my favorite subjects.
One of the highlights for me was being able to see a few faces – Richard Abbot and Mic Frankel, who both presented at the conference, asked some questions so I got to see them! Yay for technology! (Believe me guys, I REALLY wanted to hear your presentations in person – I know you both had amazing things to teach.)
Midway through the presentation, Skype cut off. Obviously the fates wanted me to have a bit more drama. Louise and I managed to get back on and keep on going. We don’t let weather or technology glitches (nor time zone confusion) stop us. We kept going like troopers. We were determined that the fine TABI audience was going to be able to hear everything I had to teach.
After two hours, we signed off. I was spent, elated, and I had a sore throat. But I was relieved. No matter what, we made do. We did what we needed to do and found a way to keep some humor despite all this craziness. Keeping a positive mindset was a Herculean task but when faced with obstacles, you need to do it. You cannot lay down and admit defeat.
So what were my takeaways from all this malarkey?
- Mother Nature trumps my plans. I am not omnipotent.
- Technology is king. In the modern world, we need it more and more. Were it not for Skype and computers, this would have been a terrible bust.
- Helping out a stranger is good karma. Don’t overlook someone who seems distressed. Reach out.
- Double check your alarm and your time zones.
- TABI people are patient. (THANK YOU for those who beared with my drama. I’m extremely grateful and humbled at your kindness and patience.)
- Louise Underhill is the absolute Queen Of Grace and Professionalism. We need to crown her with that title because no matter what went down, she kept a cool head and ran this conference like a pro. I admire her greatly for her flexibility, attitude, kindness and extreme professionalism.
And there ya go. That is my travel horror story and how I coped.
My initial goal was to blog all about the TABI conference and post lots of lovely pictures of all my new friends (and all the good food I was going to eat) but as you see, that didn’t happen even though my efforts were extreme.
So what’s a good tarot reader to do? I may be heading to England next year to attend the conference. I am determined to get that steak and kidney pie and to fist bump Louise in person. Watch me.
“Ever the faith endures, England, my England.” ~ W.E. Henley
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady