The Beauty Lies in the Details

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I arrived at Denver Airport 30 minutes ago, took out my boarding pass, and noticed a key detail. Oops, the luggage allowance on this particular cheap airline is 40 lbs. It’s been 50 lbs on all the many other airlines we’ve used in the last two months. What to do?

I look at Niko, my husband, and tell him the news. He said, “No way. Our suitcase is much more than that.” We talk about it for a minute or so and then decide to smile a lot (this has been known to work wonders in many tricky travel situations) and forget about it. We don’t want to give the situation any more energy, because we know that the more we focus on it, the more likely the airline is to make an issue of it.

We arrive at the bag drop and the woman goes through the entire procedure without looking at the weight of the suitcase. We’re deliberately not focusing on it throughout. Then she picks up the suitcase to move it onto the bag travelator. It’s clearly a bit heavier than she expected, so she checks and asks me if we’d like to remove 8lbs of weight from our suitcase. Otherwise it’s going to cost us an additional $50.

We go away and have a look inside but it’s all just clothes. There’s no way we can easily remove 8lbs of clothes and put them in our small carry-on bags. We decide we’ll have to handle the $50, which seems ridiculously expensive, but it’s a very cheap airline and that’s their way of making extra money. In my mind I say what I always say when I have an unwanted expense, “There must be more money coming.”

I hand her my bank card and we wait for a while. It seems the payment system is painfully slow. She apologises to us for the wait and asks her colleague on the next bag drop station what she should do. In the end, after some fiddling and trying to make it work, they decide they’ll have to waive the fee.

As we walk away, Niko and I compare notes. He says that even after we accepted having to pay the $50, he requested not to have to. He told himself that even then it wasn’t too late for something to change. I, meanwhile, was maintaining my smile and refusing to focus on the payment. It seems that our combined approach worked.

For me, the fascinating thing wasn’t the result. I’ve experienced this kind of thing so many times that it doesn’t surprise me much. What intrigues me is the way it happened. It seems that we manifested every step of the way.

  1. We arrived at the airport quite innocent about our baggage and the weight allowances =>>= The first part of the bag drop procedure went absolutely smoothly without any comment on bag weight.
  2. We noticed that we had too much weight and might have to pay an additional charge. We gave some energy to it by talking about it =>>= She noticed the weight and decided to charge us $50.
  3. We decided not to give it any more energy and to do some simple things that have been known to create little miracles in the past, because we wanted not to have to pay the charge =>>= She couldn’t charge us after all, because there was no longer energy at all in us paying the $50.

Now this might sound like a silly example, but I’m noticing more and more often how the details of my thoughts and feelings translate extremely precisely into events. I’m not saying I could have predicted exactly what would happen; that doesn’t seem to be the way it works in my experience. I’m saying the patterns of actions and responses are precise. They give me insight into the relationship between what’s happening inside me and what life is doing, and show me how very influential my thoughts and feelings are.

If I expand this insight out into the big things in life, it becomes profoundly valuable, practical knowledge. Plus, it’s worth remembering that those “big things” depend on details, too.  


Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

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