I am supposed to be in Bristol, England, right now.
It is my 15th circus-school reunion - Circomedia plans a big shindig every 5 years, and this one was to include alumni from all 25 years of the school's history, several shows, circus conferences etc. I was scheduled to fly from Dulles on Thursday evening, and return Monday morning.
It's only the second time I've ever done anything like this (the first being the 10-year reunion). So it was beginning to feel like a ritual - every 5 years, a weekend getaway from home and children, reconnecting with old friends.
When Greg and the kids dropped me off at the airport, I had an hour of anxious, exhilarating, confusing freedom. No oversized luggage, no little hands to hold, no one's time schedule to worry about but my own... it was an amazing feeling and I was deliriously excited about my weekend adventure.
Then they cancelled the flight. And since it was the last flight out that evening, everyone was bumped to flights the following day.
If I flew the next day, I'd arrive in the UK far too late - missing the main alumni reunion entirely. It made no sense to go, and I was forced to scrap the whole trip.
United Airlines was reasonably gracious, after I waited in line for two hours (!) They gave me a full refund when they heard my story, and put me in the Hilton for the night. Greg and the kids drove back down to D.C. this morning to pick me up. And, knowing I needed some alone time, Greg continued with his plan to bring the kids up to his parents' house. I'll re-join them tomorrow.
So I am here, in Baltimore, alone, recovering. Grieving, really, for the lost opportunity, and missing the friends who are gathering without me. It helps to have a quiet space, and to know that I can stay in bed all day if I want, or explore the city streets, or shop... and then tomorrow I will pick myself back up and get on with things.