I royally screwed up. You see, I travel for work and like to book things far in advance so I have a plan and know where I’m going. When I went to check in for my trip on Monday, I realized that I had booked my flight into the wrong airport – one that was three and a half hours away from my final destination. Changing my flight last minute would cost the company over $1,000 for my mistake, so on Tuesday I grimly boarded the plane to St. Louis, not looking forward to either the drive or the inconvenience. I blew it, so I was going to have to make the best of it.
Then, something wonderful happened.
Through the windshield of my rental car, I saw lavender skies over southern Illinois, and wildflowers scattered in green and gold along the side of the highway. I crossed the Mississippi, the Wabash and dozens of running creeks. With George Harrison for company, I swept past corn fields, cows, farms and barns. And with the sun setting in my rearview mirror, I took solace in my solitude.
Far too often, we live according to a plan. Everything is laid out, anticipated, prepared for… and safe. We may become rigid in our expectations. We expect perfection from ourselves, and we’re let down if we don’t come through. We’re too damn hard on ourselves. And we may expect perfection from others too – barely leaving them room to breathe, to screw up, to be human.
But there is grace in making a mistake. We find the unexpected. We find spontaneity. We find our humanity.
A mistake can be a celebration of the unknown, the moment that sets us off on a new course. A new happy ending.
I made a mistake. I took a detour from the route I’d planned, and found unexpected joy.
Cut yourself some slack. You’re only human too. It’s not a big deal. Everything is going to be okay. You’re still headed in the right direction. You’re just taking the backroads for a little while.
“Here comes the sun.
Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright.”