The Siberian American: Cold Benches & Positive Perspectives

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cold Benches & Positive Perspectives

I had a fun travel post ready for today, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it. Yesterday was a hard day. A rip-my-hair-out type of day. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything huge or major.  It’s just that all of these crazy situations popped up this week that made me feel like I’m about to lose it.  A few minutes before I left work, a fly flew into my ear, and I burst out laughing because it was such a great indication of how my day went.

Here’s the thing: I am good at making multiple small problems ruin something really great. Recently, a friend told me that she had asked someone who had just returned from St. Petersburg, Russia how she enjoyed her trip. This person replied that she hated it because she had to sit on a cold bench one time. She let that one tiny moment ruin her entire experience.

I had a cold bench moment today: my JetBlue flight to Boston was cancelled, along with four other flights that day. There was only one option left. Instead of getting there at 11 a.m., the new flight would get us there at 11 p.m. It was going to be our only day in Boston, I was meeting a friend there, and to top it all off, I had to pay even more than usual for a hotel that day because there is a 10,000 person convention in Boston that weekend, and I wouldn’t get to enjoy the city.

When I heard this, I was ready to throw in the towel.  I started looking into how much of the trip we could refund. We had already had to pay a change fee to get the flight we wanted in the first place, and then they completely changed it for us. I thought that with this cold bench, I couldn’t enjoy my trip.

Long story short is that we were able to change airlines, but we had to pay even more money to do it. It wasn’t close to an ideal outcome, but it was the only option we had. Our trip is special for so many reasons: we are celebrating our fifth anniversary (way late) and want to enjoy a week together before Chris flies all over the country for interviews. I could let this cold bench ruin our entire time together right now…or I could just find a warmer bench to sit on and enjoy our vacation. 


  1. That's a really great way to look at it - that one little "thing" shouldn't ruin a really great thing!! Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  2. What a great perspective. Glad you were able to enjoy your short time there. Many more anniversaries to come, right?

  3. I love the way you decided to look the situation with positivity instead of only seeing the negative. Hope you enjoy it. My husband and I are taking a cruise in November for our 5th anniversary. They have changed the flights on us a couple of times already but I am trying not to stress out about it too much. We still have some time to go before then and they could and probably will keep changing. I will worry about it more if I need to closer to take off. :)

  4. I love that perspective. It's such a great way to look at things.

    I was in a sort of similar situation once. I flew from Utah to NYC for a weekend. Only our flight was delayed so much that the airline had to put us up in a hotel in Dallas and we only got about 15 hours in NYC. But we made the most of it and it was one of the best days I've ever had.

  5. This really is the greatest way to think about things - love the 'cold bench' analogy!

  6. I really like the cold bench analogy. I'll have to keep it in mind when things aren't going my way. It's just too easy to focus on the little things and miss the big picture.


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