Today in my “sent” mail I found an email I sent to some of my family in November 2013 in which I recalled seeing a solar eclipse in totality in 1979 and I stated, “The next one is in 2017. Let’s go!”
I since tried a couple of other times to drum up interest and failed.
And then August 21, 2017 drew nearer and I was recovering from surgery that consumed my entire summer and no one else was interested but even if they were the hotels were all booked up or required a 3-night stay minimum.
And the ubiquitous “they” issued dire warnings about people getting stranded because there would be so many people and traffic would be so bad that grocery stores shelves would be emptied, McDonalds would run out of food, cell service would be disrupted, and gas stations would run out of gas.
I had one friend from Idaho predict that people would die.
So I felt smug in my wise decision not to settle for 90%.
Until Wednesday. I became curious and googled my brothers in Idaho and Oregon’s zip codes and realized that at least one of them was in the path of totality. I figured if I left at 6am Thursday morning I might miss the worst of the traffic. Then I could hunker down at his house and leave for my return trip sometime later this week.
And then my coworker shared stories of how grocery stores in Idaho had lines out the door since Monday and were already sold out of milk and bananas.
Turns out I could have left at 6am Thursday. Or 6pm Thursday. Or any time Friday (although, as is typical, it was a little messy and slow during peak Friday hours). Or Saturday. Or Sunday.
Or even this morning, but that would have had to have been well before dark.
The mayhem and disorder, at least from what I hear, BECAUSE I WAS NOT THERE TO SEE FOR MYSELF, never materialized.
The experts were wrong.
And I learned something important.
Next time I want to do something, important–like maybe twice in a lifetime important–I shouldn’t worry that no one wants to go with me. Or that “they” are predicting the worst. If I really want to do something, I should just do it. Even if it means I have to do it by myself.*
*my coworker told me today that her little mom drove all my herself to some campground in Wyoming and pitched her little tent and watched the eclipse in totality all by herself.
[Day 158 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]