Living in the flip-flop moment
If you have ever gotten dressed in an outfit that you plan to wear on a cross-country, red-eye flight and stay in through lunch the next day, you may have encountered this issue, as well as this life lesson.
Over-planning = too much clothing, too little foot coverage, or the reverse.
Once again, when preparing for my flight from San Francisco to Tampa, I chose to put on flip-flops, along with long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater and a scarf to get to the airport and cross several time zones.
The second I stepped out of the door with my suitcase in tow on the way to catch the BART to the airport, I was freezing in the foot region. I have only worn flip-flops one time in San Francisco, so why would I think this choice would be okay? Well, it’s just a short walk to the BART, I told myself. I won’t need any closed-toe shoes in Florida, so why bother bringing them?
In addition to the chilly walk and ride, one of the coldest wind tunnels one may experience in SF is the waiting area where you leave the BART and board a tram/shuttle to get to the airport terminals. It’s noteworthy. The air is so cold right there in that spot.
The discomfort en route was only part of it, my feet were also cold in the airport. I brought socks for the plane, but that just didn’t keep my feet warm on the move during the rest of the trip. Over and over, I said to myself, “I am so cold, why did I wear these flip-flops?”
I made this same mistake when visiting Florida the last time. Planning ahead for the warmth and sunshine awaiting me by wearing my flip-flops when it is cold is just not the best choice. And, now I’ve done it twice.
While this flip-flop “flop” is just a silly mistake and only a small portion of the story during both Dave and my trips to Florida, it actually symbolizes something much larger.
I tend to be a planner, so much so that I spend a lot of the time planning for what’s next and getting things ready for the next activity on the list. I am eager to have everything in the world laid out in perfect terms, sometimes to my own detriment.
I thought I had put on the flip-flops to save a shoe change when I reached the 80-degree Tampa morning air. But what I had really done was make myself suffer for nearly 10 hours, leading up to the planned-for moment and end-destination.
Every single day I plan, prepare and plan, prepare. But, lately I’ve found that I am missing out on the wonders of the present … neglecting the journey while only thinking of the destination.
Over the past few days visiting my friends and family in Florida, I’ve been answering the question, “how is life is in San Francisco”? And, when I talk about all of the great things that Dave and I have done in just a few months, I am reminded of how far we have come and of how much fun we are having together. No, we don’t have it all figured out just yet, and yes, we have a lot left to learn about living in the City.
We picked up our well-established lives and moved across the country without knowing hardly anyone. So far, we have set-up a little 700-square foot urban home, started making some good friends, visited 75 restaurants to date (yes, we keep an official list), hiked to the top of mountains, biked the Golden Gate Bridge, attempted to snowboard, sampled plenty of good wine and learned a lot about ourselves in the process.
Our explorations and everyday lives include little moments and experiences that we will look back on with a smile when we are much older. The flip-flop incident is something small, but it is also significant, because it reminds me to stop planning so far in advance, and start worrying more about the now. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have today.
Plenty of stories during our trip to Florida thus far are worth telling (and yes, they will be told). But what’s most important today, is the revelation that worrying about the future won’t get you there any faster …
Dress for the job you want, but appreciate the one you already have by learning everything you can while you’re in it.
Be thankful for the things that are going well, and don’t dwell on the things that could be better.
And, heck, no matter what you are wearing, live for the moment.