Well, I’ve promised you a crazy story for some time now. Actually, the first time I posted on twitter that I would tell you a crazy story, it was June 27th, and I was on my way to Palm Beach. Before I got a chance to tell it, though, it got even crazier. So here’s the story, as promised, along with a little lesson for all you business types
It started when my wife got tired of waiting for our honeymoon. So she just went and booked us a flight to Palm Beach…a hotel in Key West, and a car to drive from one place to the other. Seems simple enough, right? I work from home, so I can pretty much go whenever and wherever. And I’m easy like that – I go with the flow. My wife, on the other hand, is a planner. Without her, I’d probably just stay at home and work 24/7. Okay, so I’d probably go out and kayak, or hike or something – but I definitely wouldn’t plan a honeymoon!
Anyway, we left very early Saturday morning and headed from Toms River, NJ to the Newark Airport. Boarding time: 5:45 am. Yep. Early! I was still very sleepy (who wakes up at 4 am?? not me!). Donna took the wheel.
So we took off, got in our SUV and got on the road. And man, was it foggy! You couldn’t see more than 10 feet in front of you! Our plan was to stop at Donna’s parents’ house (15 minutes from the airport), drop off our car & get a ride to the airport. But the fog slowed us down, and we ended up calling her parents – at 5 am – and asking if they could BOTH come to the airport & get our car. We were just about to hang up the phone when a deer appeared right in front of us.
It was like a game of football – we swerved, the deer swerved, we swerved again…and BAM. We slammed right into it. So the fog was crazy #1. And this was crazy #2. Now, I cooled off pretty fast, and it’s a good thing, because my wife was COMPLETELY freaked out. I have no idea how she managed to keep the car controlled, but in truth, it didn’t feel like much happened – except for the fact that something flew up in the air, and she was sure it was the deer’s head.
We considered stopping – looking at the damage, looking at the deer – but thought it might be more dangerous with the lack of visibility. The last thing we wanted was for someone to hit us from behind. We kept driving.
When we got to the airport, Donna took a picture of the car. It looked much worse than it felt when we collided with the deer. I’m including a picture for your “viewing pleasure” ;-)…
So anyway, we walk into the airport – on time – and notice that there’s a LONG line to check bags. Long enough that if we waited on it, we wouldn’t make it to our flight. Heck, we went through so much to get there on time…we just threw out our shampoo, conditioner, body soap, sunscreen…and took an extra carry-on instead. That wasn’t so bad, but it sure added to the crazyness. So that was crazy #2 1/2.
Donna’s finally starting to calm down (especially since she realized it was our decal – and not the deer’s head that actually popped off the car) – and we’re in our seats.
And then the pilot lets us know that the fuel gauge isn’t working properly…and it’ll take about an hour to fix. That’s crazy #3. Also not so bad, but it adds up when your wife is already in a cruddy mood.
20 minutes later, we’re on our way. Smooth flight. And then, 45 minutes later, the pilot’s back on. Looks like the fuel gauge isn’t working after all. We’re gonna have to turn around and go back to Newark.
Not so bad, right?
Except that we fly around for 2 hours to burn fuel so that we’re light enough to land. 2 hours around Newark Airport, after 45 minutes in the air. That’s 2 hours and 45 minutes. The flight to Palm Beach is 2:30 hours. Hmmm…are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yep, crazy #4.
We land back in Newark and get on a different plane. And we have a nice, smooth flight to Palm Beach, where our friends have been waiting for, oh, about 4 hours to pick us up. And we head straight to the beach. Nothing like snorkeling right off the plane.
In fact, the whole purpose of our trip was to snorkel – every single day, as much as we could.
Now, if you’ve ever gone snorkeling before, you know that there’s a mask you wear – that covers your eyes and nose, and seals the water out. And you breathe through a tube. And if you wear glasses, you definitely want to take them off – because glasses kind of keep the mask from sealing…which means that you want to put your contacts on so that you can actually see the fish!
So anyway, we find a place to get changed, and we head off to the beach. And as we’re walking from the car, Donna suddenly realizes that she forgot her contacts at home.
Yep, crazy #5.
Not that you can’t overcome something like that. Her doctor faxed over the prescription to the nearest WalMart, and she had her contacts before the end of the day…
…and anyway, we wouldn’t have been able to do much snorkeling, since 2 minutes after I got into the water, a huge storm cloud rolled in, and we found ourselves running back to the car. But that’s not crazy enough to get a number.
Okay, so all’s well. Now, there’s nothing better than snorkeling and seeing some amazing things. But it’s even better if you can photograph it & actually show other people what you saw. So it’s Sunday, and we head off to Best Buy to grab a waterproof camera – the Olympus Stylus Tough.
And then we head off to the beach. Not 2 minutes in the water, and the camera is SOAKED. Filled with water. Useless. Crazy #6.
What’s worse, the Best Buy employee we bring it to that evening stares at us funny like…”you got water in the camera? We don’t cover that…” Another employee actually had to show the manager that YES, they do in fact carry waterproof cameras, and since it’s supposed to be waterproof, and we purchased a plan…it WAS covered.
So we got a new camera.
Okay, so are you thinking, “what else could go wrong?”
But actually, we had a great time. When we got to the hotel, we got upgraded to an Ocean-view suite with a beautiful view, our own private balcony & spiral stairs leading down to our own private beach.
And we snorkeled almost every single day – and saw some amazing things – and got them on camera.
And I have to add, the food in Key West is AMAZINGLY good – they spice things just right – though the best Key Lime Pie was in Key Largo – at Sundowners.
But I promised a “work from home” lesson, right?
So here are two.
First, despite all the “crazy” we went through, things were fine. In fact, things started being fine when we were on the plane, flying around Newark for 2 hours, and my wife finally calmed down. The thing is, if you let things rattle you, everything will rattle you. But there’s no point in freaking out about things that you can’t control. Just stay calm, and you’ll find a solution to everything. We weren’t hurt when we hit the deer. Our car got towed to the shop while we were away and we picked it up today. It looks great. We did finally arrive to Florida, and Donna realized early enough on Saturday that she was missing her contacts – so she was able to pick them up that same day. Best Buy replaced our water-logged camera, and we took some amazing photos – and videos – of our trip.
And we just had an amazing time.
And here’s lesson number 2.
I brought my computer to Key West. And I used it once – to get information on the catamaran that would take us to Dry Tortugas (highly recommended) – but I did absolutely no work. Didn’t even look at my email.
And when I got home, it took me about two hours to go through all the emails. And you know what? Things that I would waste my time on before became “not so important” in the grand scheme of things. I had clients to catch up with and work to do, and the squeeze page that 20 gurus wanted to send me to just wasn’t high on the priority list. Sure, I could learn a lot from it, but what really gets done when you’re watching 20 hours of amazingly-good-content videos every week? Yeah, not much.
So next time you look at your inbox and feel yourself getting pulled in different directions, pause and think – will this get me the results that I want today, this week, this month? And if the answer is no, leave it be. It’ll be there when you’re ready for it.