Lost Luggage

You will forgive me if you are a traveler and have have experienced this story a hundred times; but I am not, and so I share it from the perspective of a newbie, strained in the dilemma of being a “first timer” and all the fresh perspectives it brings.

I recently traveled from my home province to beautiful Nova Scotia for a short stay in wonderful “Wolfville Valley” as I participated in a conference at Acadia University. Although we are pretty experienced travelers, and I have no fear of flying, this was my first solo trip. The event took on a kind of snowball trajectory and I was not super prepared for it. The hubby booked the tickets for me without my consultations, we were unsure about the small details, and the return trip was still not nailed down until the day before I was to leave. This does not bode well for a slightly neurotic rule follower who likes to plan and have all her ducks in a row before undertaking any new task. These facts notwithstanding, I was looking forward to the conference and some alone time with my thoughts.

I strategically packed only carry on luggage to avoid extra costs, and despite his assurances that everything was fine, I made the hubby print out my boarding pass ahead of time. Old school. My emotions were high (see last weeks mid life crisis post) as I said my goodbyes and plodded on through the security lines. I watched as many scanned their electronic boarding passes via their smartphones with all the confidence of world class, techno savvy travelers. Perhaps I will survive my return flight without a solid piece of paper in hand.

The walk to our departure gate was seemingly endless and I struggled to juggle carry on suitcase, bag and old fashion paper work and itineraries, without losing anything on the moving sidewalks (anyone else have a fear of getting something sucked into the end of those things?!) After a marathon trek to the final boarding gate, I plunked down beside two young moms travelling alone with small children and blessed them both, silently, for taking on that challenge!

The staff eventually called that our flight was quite full and that if anyone would like to check your carry on luggage, they would be happy to pop it on the plane at no extra cost. I knew this might happen, and readily took advantage of the call. The moms also packed off their stroller and small child suitcases. I was sure to ask where exactly should we place them? “Just at the door of the plane — next to the stroller.” Okay. Done.

The short flight was uneventful and the slightly smaller airport made baggage collection easy to find. Colourful boxes and bags poured out and around the carousel, until the only ones left were those of us who had checked our bags at the gate! The young mom got her stroller…but no carry on sized luggage had arrived! Great. No big deal though… make a claim, lots of flights in from the big city today… should have your stuff by this evening… they will deliver to front desk, call when it arrives… okay, okay… I can do this. Happens all the time, I have a number to call, a printed receipt even…

The day goes by. No luggage. The evening goes by. No luggage. I call the toll free number. Not yet. I begin to slightly panic. I will have to sit through lectures with no deodorant! I will not have brushed my teeth. I will have to sleep naked! Oh, The horror!

Anxiety: Being consumed by the uncertainties of the Future. But God says: Let Tomorrow worry about itself!

Eventually my small suitcase arrived in a very reasonable time frame, all things considered. And despite my panic and fear of overwhelming body odor, no one seemed to bat an eye, or flinch a nostril. Life goes on. I survived.

As I sat on the flight home (with my carry on safely stowed above my head in the compartment above!) I marveled and mused about the whole idea of anxiety. Those who fear flying, those who struggle with phobias, those who are crippled by the very definition of the word anxiety: being consumed by the uncertainties of the future. I get it. I often feel it. I easily get overwhelmed with the unknowns, the what ifs, the lack of control.

Realistically, this is the big make up of our anxiety isn’t it? That lack of control. If we can’t fix it and be in charge, then who will? As a Jesus follower, I am squarely confronted with the fact that He is in control. God almighty is the only one who knows the future. Every other world view puts our destinies in our own hands. The end of Matthew 6 reminds us that the future will contain trouble, but it’s not my job to worry about it. Tomorrow will worry about itself. The lilies sleep naked all the time — and are all the more beautiful for it. I’m learning -slowly- to not fret at my lack of control. To try and move on and learn and grow. I even scanned my phone generated boarding pass on the way home! Small steps, my friends, small steps.

How to Network (Even if it Scares You!)

One thing I have discovered since starting mittonmusings, is that blogging is really all about connections and networking. And I am painfully bad at it! As a self proclaimed wallflower and hopeless introvert, actually talking to people is brutally tough! I smile and nod politely, in great hopes that you might talk to me initially… but heaven forbid I make the first move! Very few of “my people” would even know that I blog… except for random posts on social media.

So, I scanned a few resources to see what the experts say about networking. Why do we put ourselves out there, out of our comfort zones, to connect and make ourselves known? Sometimes it is to improve our positions… perhaps a new job or a better rank within a current job. Our eldest has just started to tackle this daunting task… and we are trying to encourage her that employers don’t come knocking at your door — you must go to them and prove that you are worthy of their hiring. Yes, I agree, it is not easy!

Other times it is to make connections. If you have a passion for art or music, you tend to gravitate towards like-minded people who share your passion. Perhaps, it is to learn more about something you are interested in. The hubby and I attended “Seedy Sunday” at Evergreen Brickworks this past weekend… the intent was to learn more about gardening (another adventure I am hoping to tackle this spring), but I ended up chatting with a fibre artist about alpaca wool. Should I mention that the hubby wandered off and got coffee at this point? But put him in a room with small talkers who love world events… and it’s me who searches out the family cat.

I’m learning. I joined two online blogging groups — and have made some connections. I have had to be vulnerable and ask for help when needed… and, by golly, it works sometimes! Part of the reasoning for this post was to convince myself that I should attend a real, live, blogging networking event. It will be good to go — but I am petrified. It’s one thing to post on Instagram — it’s another to actually be there in the flesh and tell people what you blog about. Especially, in my case.

#Jesusbloggers, or people who have faith based blogs, have created a very narrow niche for themselves. It’s controversial. It’s limiting. Many businesses and affiliates don’t want you mentioning the whole God thing. No one wants you to guest post about “religion” — stick to just the craft or product, okay? (which — actually — I am cool about — just not something I choose to do here). I’ve also found it frustrating that many faith based bloggers are a little too flowery for me. All southern belle, hugs and kumbaya. Others have a significant story to tell — a miraculous event, or traumatic experience that illustrates their faith so beautifully. People read those stories.

I’m just a regular ol’ mom who happens to love Jesus. I started the blog to learn some technology, and it has blossomed into a unique way to share my faith. Networking, like sharing the gospel, is simply telling your story. My faith happens to be a part of my story… and so I am learning to tell a story that is so much bigger than my own. It’s God’s.

The experts say there are some key tips to follow when you network:

Smile. Okay. I can do that. I am putting on my southern belle smile. Here’s your ice cold lemonade. Come sit on the porch awhile, whilst I tell ya’ll about what I been musing about lately….

Prepare. I promise to continue to post weekly. I’m committed to sharing how my faith and my everyday life continue to coincide. I’m far from perfect, and I don’t have all the answers, but if you follow along on this adventure, I will seek to shed some light on this dark world as I give you glimpses of how God continues to work in our lives… perhaps not in big , miraculous events… but in the everyday. I hope to have another online course fully prepared for launch this summer!

Challenge yourself. Alright. I am boldly going to put myself out there… I will attend the live network (and pray hard I find another Jesusblogger hidden among the wallflowers!). I’m going to follow up on some leads for guest posts and re-connect with a few others. I continue to learn more about the technical side of this blogging thing…look for my upgrades!

So, my friends, here’s where you can help! If you have just joined me, and liked this post… would you consider following along in the adventure? Click here and you’ll get a weekly email. Already a follower? Want to share a post? Click on the title of your favourite post on the blog page… that gives you the “link”…then you can copy and paste the link to an email, your favourite social media account, or your own blog! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of being the next internet sensation, but I have learned that “clicks”, “followers”, “shares” and “forwarding” is the way that the internet says your story is worth sharing. I’m hoping mine is.

Haha!! We, my new friend, have just networked!

Happy Blog-A-Versary!

Hurray! mittonmusings.com has been online for a full year now! We launched in February 2018 and are celebrating our first birthday! How exciting! Thank you, dear readers, for being a huge part of the adventure! After all, what’s a blog without followers?!

Come join me on this adventure! (Photo: Pexels)

What a year it has been… we have learned so much about the big, bad world of blogging and all that the great internet highway has to offer. We have navigated the social media world and connected with the techno wizards. It has been a fun (and yes, sometimes frustrating) experience as we learned editing, media building and even launched an email course!

We’ve met some friends. We have shared some posts as guest bloggers to others and others have shared with us. We’ve narrowed our niche and shared our faith journeys. And just as any other one year old, we have learned and grown!

This past week was Random Acts of Kindness day, and what better way to celebrate your anniversary than sharing with others… so we are happy to announce that mittonmusings.com will be launching another exciting e-course!! But before that… we will be opening up for a second round of 30 days of Blessings!!

If you missed this e-course the first time through, then be sure to sign up this time!! Or maybe you enjoyed it so much the first time, you are ready to do it again!! It’s the perfect way to feel blessed and bless others! 30 days of daily email prompts to help you do just that! And it is our absolutely free gift to you! Simply sign up at the 30 days of blessings page and await your first email! (We launch Monday… so sign up today!)

Thank you again for being a part of our blog-a-versary!! Enjoy our gift to you!!