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Thursday, 3 December 2009
at the station
When I was in my late teens, I prided myself on being able to pull an analogy out of anything. I think I even gave a 'life lesson' from a pear, once. It was a little bit on the silly side so I try and only make meaningful analogies these days! (Me silly? Surely not! - cue all my friends cracking up...) Travelling always sets me going though, especially train travel. I was travelling by train this weekend. I had my journey all pre-booked, seats reserved, everything. I got to the station, and they eventually announced my first train was cancelled! Which of course meant everything went out - I would never make the connections to the next two trains.
It worked out okay. Despite the delay in the beginning, the 'alternative' route was fine - and actually I got to see bits of countryside I usually don't, as I'm taking a different way. But of course, I started to ponder...
When it comes to catching or changing trains, when you have made a specific reservation for a certain seat and train and time - one of the worst things that can happen is that the train is cancelled. And when a train gets cancelled, all bookings are off.
My experience is that once I'm over the frustration and shock - and sheer weariness - I simply change tack. It needs to be handled differently. It becomes a matter of catching the best train you can in your circumstance. It's not the way you planned or the schedule you wanted. You have to let go of your expectations and take the journey one stage at a time.
There are positives to this - you're not worrying about being late for the next train on your schedule. It simply no longer applies. You take each step as it comes.
Now, here I go with the analogy...
When life doesn't fit with our plans, when one change puts the whole thing out of whack, when nothing makes the sense you wanted it to - you are left with trust. (Quick thinking, advice, and keeping calm are also good ingredients!)
Trust that, although the wait may be much longer than what you bargained for, there will, eventually be another train. A different train. It may take you by another route entirely, giving you a view of something you never knew you would see.
When I was that somewhat silly teenager I wrote a somewhat silly song, but I remember one line: 'The train I'll catch at the station is worth the waiting.' Sometimes we feel completely left behind. Sitting in the station when everyone else is boarding trains.
But there's a train coming.