Bringing humor to my mistake

This week I flew to NY for a friends wedding. I coordinated the rental house for myself and five friends, bought a dress, packed efficiently to avoid checking a bag and booked my flight. Or so I thought! I missed one important detail.

As I embarked on my journey to the NY wedding, it dawned on me on the way to the airport, that I never received the automated check-in for my flight 24 hours prior to departure. This was immediately followed by a surge of adrenaline and pit in my stomach. I searched my email and attempted to check in online, only to find the message: “You have no upcoming flights”. This was followed by a stronger surge of adrenaline.

To my surprise, I never actually booked the ticket. I fly at least six times a year and have my system down. I booked three tickets that day and obviously got sidetracked along the way. This so called efficient process was thrown off by a series of distractions.

We can’t always be in a state of balance or be mindful 24/7. However, we have a choice how we meet our moments of self-created chaos. We can choose to activate that inner critical voice and berate ourselves or we can find the humor in the situation and meet it with self-compassion. I chose the latter.

Remaining calm, I searched discounted web fares (there were none to be found), walked into the airport and bought a ticket at the counter. While I twinged paying twice the price of the original fare, I celebrated my goof over a bloody mary and called a friend to share this hilarious story. Later that day, I discovered that two people in my house-share miscommunicated and arrived at different airports, which made their car rental share a bit challenging. Like me, they didn’t waste anytime in blame or judgment. They found a way to see the humor in it and subsequently problem-solved their way to a solution. When you goof up, which pattern do you fall into?