I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand almost two weeks ago. The original plan was to leave two days later and fly down to Antarctica to begin working as a fire dispatcher down on the ice. But, if there is one thing that I learned throughout my time of traveling around the States and the world, it’s that plans are only made to be broken.
Many years ago I learned that lesson in Africa. And now I am reminded of it. And I smile.
I’m scheduled to be on the first flight down to the ice. Which was supposed to be last Monday, 1 October. But then weather down on the ice made a turn for the worse. First it was 24 hour delays, then a 48 hour delay, and eventually we were told that our flight was delayed until further notice.
And this is how it is for the foreseeable future.
There is nothing I can do to change it. Nothing I could do to cause the weather to clear and the runway and road out to the airfield to be prepared for our arrival. It is all out of my control.
It is what it is.
This is the motto that I have taken up on this journey: It is what it is.
Yes, I could get upset. Or mad. Or yell at the world because of the weather. Because of the delays. But what would that accomplish? Nothing much. Would it make me feel better? Probably not.
I could get worked up when things don’t go as planned, or I could accept the change for what it is. It is what it is.
I’ve found myself repeating those words, almost like a mantra, these past couple days as I’ve held conversations with others waiting to get on the ice. And I’ve been enjoying every moment here in New Zealand.
I just don’t understand how people can complain when you are surrounded by so much beauty, between the snow capped mountains and the blue waters of the ocean. When you are able to have adventures each way you look. When you can enjoy the amazing food that each restaurant and patio can offer.
It is what it is.
Life is full of things that we have no control over. Distractions and inconveniences. We have a choice in how we respond to it. We can embrace them and use these things to discover the beauty around us. Or we can choose to lash out.
Perhaps one day, we can even find joy within that which we have no control over. And we will smile and laugh and accept that it is what it is.
And our journey will continue on.