I'm back home after three wonderful weeks in Miami. I ended up not blogging as much as I had anticipated. I spent the time working (writing) just as I always do, only in a new setting. The rest of time I mostly enjoyed hanging out with my kids and seeing Miami.
There are many beautiful places that I love. It really is a beautiful city. I was thinking that I would explore all the different neighborhoods and write about them. But instead I was interested in seeing beautiful spots. I hadn't fully appreciated these places when I had lived here, so it was nice to spend time at Caulley Square, Fairchild Gardens, Bill Baggs Beach on Key Biscayne, Matheson Hammock Park, and FIU campus and driving around tree laden streets in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Brickell. I stayed with friends far west, so I even saw the edge of the Everglades.
The whole time was very relaxing but there was a lot of tension for those last few hours getting to Fort Lauderdale Airport on time. Okay, so maybe I tried to pack too much into my last day. Or maybe it was just because I had to stop and get some fruit! Where I stopped is a very popular place (Palaceo de los Jugos) and you have to be pushy to get served quickly...I was pushy, but still it was something that set us back.
(Nice to have South Florida Fruit to share with the family: Mango, Mamay, and Avacado)
First, it is vital that you have read you departure time incorrectly. This is when Dyslexia comes in handy. I read a 6:41 departure as 6:14. Of course it can back fire on you and be the other way around. Then, if you are cutting it close, you WILL be late for your flight.
Being late for a flight, missing a flight, causes me great anxiety. I think most people do not miss flights, but I have been around people who experience it often. I've managed to miss a flight a few times. Once was because I read the date wrong!
Second, if you are running late, stick with your GPS. It sounds crazy sometimes but it can see what lies ahead. Except for the fact that a train is coming through just when you get to the train tracks! I think I know Miami, but I no longer know the rhythm of the traffic. Oh, and if there is an Express Lane....use it.
You can do your damnedest and all the lights, and other motorists, thwart your every move. So at this point one just must manage anxiety levels. For those times when it seems the universe is against you, and for those who pray here are my tips. (For those who don't pray...try it sometime...)
1. Be Humble: It is at this point where I have to confess my role in the situation. Yes, I had to stop and get fruit. Please, don't say, you will never do this again. Because you most probably will.... Just acknowledge missing the mark. If you are traveling with others, confess to them in a calm voice. Please don't whine and self-depreciate yourself. Just calmly take responsibility for what action may have led to the current state of affairs.
2. Ask for Peace: As rational as I can be, anxiety can raise its ugly little head and is rarely helpful. It is not always some thing so easily dismissed, however. Do whatever practice you know to quiet your soul: sing, recite, declare, breath, move your limbs. I highly recommend breathing, especially exhaling, and moving your body so that your organs and limbs are given space and don't cramp up. Often we slouch or tense up when anxious and this sends a message to the whole body to clamp down the battle hatches. Straighten your back, broaden your shoulders, stretch legs and arms, wiggle fingers and toes. All while asking peace to fill the space.
3. Think Positive: make a positive list of what all might be going right. Maybe there is an accident that you are being protected from, maybe there is someone you will meet that you wouldn't, maybe the people in cars around you are also having a bad day, maybe it all is just about having more time with the others around you. Once you've exhausted all the possibilities, just state out loud: "Or it could just work out fine!"
4. Make a Bold Request: In this circumstance I said to God "I'm not asking you to move a mountain, I'm just asking you to move this traffic." It's important to just leave it at that. Like you hand over a broken toy to someone who loves you and just watch them fix it.
So the GPS finally sent me down the back street to get to the airport. When I got out of the car and hugged my daughter goodbye, I was at the gate in 10 minutes. I'm not sure how. I walked into the airport and a woman came up to me and asked, "Anybody going to Chicago?" Taken aback I said I was, so she took me right up to the counter to check in my bag. Then I went through TSA and when the guy checking my ID asked if I had pre-checked, I replied in the affirmative. I'm not sure what Pre-check is. I thought it meant checking my bag. So he sent me into a direction where there was no line and I didn't have to take out my computer or take off my shoes.
I was laughing at this point that I had been so tense. When I got to the gate, I was pleased to find that the flight was delayed to 6:41 pm. But taking a closer look at my reservation, I realized nothing had changed.
Remember that vacations are suppose to be refreshing and relaxing....don't let a little traffic ruin it! If you end up being late, something gets worked out, somehow.
I had been anxious, managed my anxiety, and in the end everything was all right!
As they say at the Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be alright in the end so if it is not alright it is not the end.”
Miami is one of my most favorite places. Unlike the average tourist, for me the attraction is not the usual hype of beaches, fancy hotels and night clubs. I invite you to travel with me through my blog as I revisit the diverse neighborhoods that I grew to love during the twenty years I lived in Miami.