I woke this morning to yet MORE blowing winds/dust. These past months with no rain and high winds (the worst since I’ve lived here, 14 years) have given me a glimpse of what the dustbowl might have started out as. The plane was delayed in Lubbock; it couldn’t land due to high winds. Luckily, the delay was only 15 minutes, so I was able to sprint through DFW and get my connecting flight.
Before I boarded in LBB, however, I was given the opportunity to upgrade to first class. I would have to pay a luggage fee in coach…and for $20 more, I could sit in first class and pay NO baggage fee. I decided to do it, and thus began my guilt.
I’ve only flown first class a handful of times, and every time I felt guilty: why should I get special treatment? True, I paid for it, but those people in coach probably deserved it more than I did.
So as I commented on student presentations the previous day (the *#@)@*@ Chronicle of the Horse Rolex Preview Issue didn’t come in time!), realizing we had only one more class, I couldn’t help but feel that I hadn’t done enough to help these students. That started the floodgates: I left my kids and spouse for FIVE DAYS! My dogs! My HORSES! Paddy in particular, who was healing an might have NEEDED me!
And then I glimpsed out the window and saw flooded rivers and fields (when I could see between the clouds!) in Arkansas and Kentucky….and I heard on Horses in the Morning radio that the Rolex Sunken Road was now a leisure pool, and that horses would need their floaties! And I felt guilty about wanting water….
Sipping the spoils of first class, this time a coffee with Bailey’s, and nibbling on the swag (heated salted nuts) as I stretched my legs out comfortably, I thought that even the Rolex riders probably didn’t have this experience on their way in.
And this Rolex promised to be the most exciting yet for me. Perhaps it’s Karma, or the fact that I really AM mad about eventing, the sport, but my enthusiasm led to some pretty amazing opportunities this time around: private coursewalks, Q&A sessions with BNR, and meeting up with some folks I’ve only read about. I feel like the character from the SNL Wayne’s World: “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”
And after all the running, our plane arrived early.
But as the plane began its descent and I thought about meeting my dear friend Cynthia at the baggage claim, I started to think about what it is I am supposed to learn in this life…..compassion? acceptance? I’m working on those. Suddenly I remembered the flight attendant’s admonition that I’ve become immune to after so many flights: “In case of emergency, place the oxygen mask on your own face first, then help small children and those around you”.
Maybe that’s what I’m supposed to be learning: to follow my bliss without guilt.
So here I am. Following my bliss. Putting my own mask on first.