challenges, travel

Bagless Still

Here we are, day 4 no bags for me and day 6 for a companion traveling on a separate return flight. Their bag is located but not delivered. Both of us have second legs of our trip for New Year’s which causes quite the issue.

Day three was stressful. I had to find time to buy the toiletries that I needed for my trip and those things add up in cost. Not to mention my lack of clothes.  I haven’t been to the gym as my workout clothes are in the bag. Wore boots home so now I need sneakers. Oh those are in the bag too. It’s cold out, bummer jacket is in the bag too. You don’t realize what you miss until you don’t have it. A hair brush. A hair dryer. A tooth brush. Favorite perfume. Medicine. The list goes on and on.

Not sure my expectation on getting my suitcase in the next two days since I only managed to speak to one human who had no real live data. This is funny since I could flip over to Delta’s site and track my bag in real time. I guess I will invest in Apple AirTags for my next trip or when I have a suitcase to use again. 

I’ve tried in the early morning. I’ve tried mid day. I’ve tried late night and even in the middle of the night to reach customer service. One gets the following:

  • Fast busy signal
  • An automated attendant that disconnects you as soon as it offers you English or Spanish options
  • A lovely hold music that dies out after a while, then random dead silence, then the music cycles back and this repeats for close to 3 hours and then boom you get disconnected. So reassuring.

If you opt for the web version (see above), you fill out an intake form. The form notes if urgent relating to travel in 7 days call. You obviously can’t talk to a human because of the magnitude of this airline disaster and because of the list above. So I guess you have to wait 10 days for the corporate response. Well I wonder if that timeline will change with the influx of inquiries?

In the mean time I am out more cash to replace my essentials, clothes and to cover the cost of my own flight home since Southwest failed in a big way on their round trip ticket. Reminder no hotel voucher. No bottled water. No blankets. No suitcases. Zero service. I used to think Jet Blue and Spirit were at the bottom of the airline food chain but I think Southwest might have won an award for this shit show.

I just got this text just now. It looks like a canned update still providing no direction.

I did however file a baggage claim online but I had to do it one bag at a time vs. all four bags included in my one reservation. Another mild inconvenience but shows their software is behind the times. No confirmation number given for each entry for me to track the progress of. Just a refresh your screen message to enter again. Wonder if this is yet another dummy tool to give the facet they are making progress?

Will I see my suitcases again?

Will I get reimbursed for my expenses?

Will I ever fly Southwest again?

The bag saga will continue until I have resolution. Stay tuned. P.S. I’m traveling to my next destination by car with my bare essentials in a trash bag. Literally my only option. That’s style for sure. This process is exhausting and mentally draining to say the least.

challenges, travel

Southwest Where Is My Bag

Denver to Atlanta. Another day no flight out to Atlanta. Just a bunch of cancellations. Funny how Delta got 8 out of 8 flights out from the same airport. I don’t think Southwest has a clue how to recover from this self-inflicted disaster.

Corporate is still closed on 12/26 despite cancelling so many flights. I would think leadership would cut their holiday time short knowing so many of its customers are suffering. That would be a big NO!

The photo above is just a reminder of all the idle planes sitting at Denver on Christmas Day. And that was just out my little viewing window. 

If you get to customer service they will tell you they are just a call center and need to wait for corporate to give directions as they are not authorized to help solve your problem of no clothes or personal hygiene items. I heard one fella say I’ve been living in a swim trunk for 5 days and I’d like to know when I can get my bag as we have record cold temps in the teens here. Guess what? No just wait.

My bags sit in Denver somewhere in the suitcase pile of I’d guess over 500,000 suitcases. That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But my bag isn’t lost according to them. It’s just not presently with me. Does that mean they are not responsible? Well Southwest has that discretion per their policy online. How convenient.

I can call back every day and hold 4 hours along with the hundreds of thousands in the same boat as me. Then after 5 days I can submit a claim to corporate. Well I’m annoyed I’m just going to write and publish this shit show to note whether Southwest takes care of their client in the end or if they screw them.

Stay tuned. Day one is done and no progress. None. None at all. Corporate is still closed and their web inquiry tells me they will get back to me in 10 days. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

2 bags missing in action. Last seen in Denver, Colorado. Let’s see what they look like when I get them back, if I get them back.

Fun fact: your valuables are only valued at $3,800 per Southwest at a maximum. Add up the cost of lulu lemon pants, ski gear, base layers, makeup and Christmas presents and boom you are probably over that limit. Remember Southwest wants you to pack your big winter coat vs taking up overhead space that means you probably packed two expensive coats. Winter wear is a lot more costly than summer bikinis and shorts.

author moments, awareness, challenges

It’s Been A Week

This week is one for the record books. 

So much to do in my own day-to-day life. The normal tasks. The one-off tasks. The fitness regimen. The community service. The people time. Travel. Life a-z. Then a boom hits. A real shocker nobody could ever plan for. Indirect connection. Direct connection. Neither matters when the boom is so hard the shock wave spirals for miles and miles. That’s what happen when a child dies that is interwoven in communities near and far due to school, church and sports connections.

My community is mourning the loss of a young girl. The day-to-day life seems insignificant yet life continues for our family. A guilt one should not want to feel. As a coach of young girls, I check in on social media. I text. I watch. I have to keep an eye out. I see so much hurt. I check in with other parents to see how grief is setting in on their home front. I see sadness on faces that normally boast bright smiles. I see prayer groups running non stop. Everyone is trying to get by with a little help from……

God

The community

Family

Friends

Loved ones

Many are holding on to cherished memories. Many are wondering why they didn’t get to say goodbye. Others are thinking why did I not do this or maybe why did I say that. When loss hits without warning so many raw emotions are stirred up. Time has become a thief. Time is no longer an option with that person. The loss of not doing is what is so hard.

Healing has begun for this community in some ways. No one will really ever understand the why behind this incident. None of us will really be exactly the same. Some kids will learn lessons and some will sit in the darkness for many reasons. Life is full of experiences and unfortunately death is one of them. Living through loss is where growth can happen even if it’s extremely hard in the moment. I’m learning how to be a better parent for example. I’m learning how to talk more deeply with other parents on how they are handling this type of grief and/or teaching moments.

I am however not passing judgment on the young girl. I am not passing judgment on the others involved. It’s not my place. It’s also not for me to decide who was in the wrong. My job is to be patient. To learn. To love. To be present. That’s it. Just a support role. A support for whomever needs it. When they need it. Today. Tomorrow. A year from now.

I will think of the color blue a little differently now. The baby blue hue that is a memory of her bright light on the world. A soft color to represent an angel in the distance. May her new journey be one that allows her to soar among the powdery blue skies. 

As one is set to be layed to rest. I pause. I reflect on my choices. My guidance to my kids. This could be me. This could be you. This tragedy can happen in your community. Teens are not invincible despite their beliefs. It’s great to feel invincible but we all know as adults how dangerous feeling invincible can be. For now I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to hug my teen. I get to continue the process of looking at colleges. I get to support my teen during this grief.

My heart goes out to the parents who don’t have that ability any longer. My strength goes out to the families whose children’s lives were spared that night. For they feel a different kind of grief and relief and guilt. My resilience is going out to the family of the one who ultimately has to face the legal system for this unfortunate situation. Another angle of this dilemma many may forget about but one that is equally challenging. Families will hurt for years to come. 

As I close my eyes to drift into a peaceful state I say a quiet prayer for all. Everyone needs something. May peace be granted to all in the ways that each needs for healing. I am also praying for healing of all involved in the other teen incidents that just happened to occur close by in the past few weeks as well.

The teen shot leaving school.

The teen stabbed with a box cutter in the school bathroom.

The football player gunned down at the mall.

Signing off as a lucky mom today. Heartbroken for the kids and families impacted by these tragedies. May this be a reminder that we as parents are not invincible. We can all be faced with that uncertainty one day. Stay humble. Be kind. Do what you can to help others. You may need the support one day.

fitness and nutrition, health

Road to 5-0 and beyond

The road to fifty isn’t always so nifty. When you approach the big 5-0, many shifts take place. Your body. Your mind. Sometimes your zip code. Maybe even your friend circle.

Maybe it’s mood swings that hit today. Maybe it’s body changes next week. Maybe it’s aches and pains ongoing. Maybe it’s stress in life. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe it hits all at once.

Maybe you become forgetful. Maybe you just seem over emotional on days. Maybe you are bloated. Maybe you move slower. Just maybe you are getting old. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to aging.

There really isn’t a guide book for a mid life crisis. There isn’t an age point either. There isn’t a how to manual for menopause or grumpy man syndrome. There isn’t a road map to feeling old. For me I just want to age gracefully and keep up with what I still want to do each day.

It seems many in their fifties are starting to see signs of aging. Maybe the fast food is catching up with one pal while melanoma is rearing its ugly head with another. This is the time to do the breast checks. The annual physicals. The colonoscopy. The dirty list nobody really wants to pay attention to.

The next ten years will be the shoulder surgeries. The knee replacements. The second laundry list nobody wants to contend with. Getting old. Make sure you are treating your body like the temple it is. You only have one. Pay attention to any warning signs that rear their ugly heads.

I take each day as it comes. I try to live life to the fullest. I try to seek out adventures. I like to stimulate my mind. I like to tire myself out with fitness at some point in the day so I can sleep well at night.

I try to tune out negative people in my life. I have no room to waste mental energy on negatives. It will never help me make it through my road to 50-60-70 and beyond. 

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Open to Growth

Last week I wrote about making a second attempt at 21.1 in the CrossFit Open. I was tired Monday morning but I told somebody special I would do the workout again with them. We both improved but many lessons were learned.

One lesson was I did better. I improved. I put in the work. I took my time where I needed to. It wasn’t about being the first to finish. It was about endurance for me. The climb on that wall. Over and over. It was a mental and physical challenge.

I needed to do this for me because in other compartments of life there are struggles. Those who take my mental energy without looking beyond themselves. It’s weird how my CrossFit workouts that hit that breaking point lead me to revelations outside in other aspects of life. When you dig deep, you are in a special kind of mindset.

Keeping with this story, my workout bud was struggling with a movement. She opted to halt her own progress by throwing in the towel a little early. She had enough. She wasn’t feeling like she put forth her best effort. She improved. She did amazing given her experience yet the improvement wasn’t enough for her in the moment. Sometimes we are harder on ourselves than we need to be. One can also easily display their frustrations outwardly on others around them which happened with this person. The dirty looks. The sour attitude. The pouty face. The isolation. It was all there. Front and center.

Taking this story to the outside world. Today it’s a door slam. Tomorrow it’s a hole in a wall. The next day it’s hurtful words. It’s always best to learn how to keep emotions in check. One can learn this at any age. The sooner you master your mindset and emotions the better.

Patience. Resilience. Balance. Strength. These words all come to mind when I want to shake someone and say yes you did great. Maybe not your personal best or what you were going for but it’s more than many. Nobody ever gets better if they don’t try. She tried which was a step toward growth. She didn’t see it herself. In moments like this other must help the person see their value when they can’t see it themselves.

We should never compare ourselves to others. We all have our own journey. Take pride in your progress and efforts. They will never be the same as the person to you.

It’s open season. Lots of raw emotions flair up day to day. Sometimes it’s my emotions other days it’s those around me. It’s part of the process. The community. We all support each other in successes and failures.