Sunday Stories: Lessons in Letting Go, Part Two

Lessons in Letting Go, Part Two

Follow this link to read last week’s Sunday Story, Lessons in Letting Go, Part One.

One hotel chain has two locations in Fernandina Beach. I called to ensure I was making my online reservation for the one in downtown Fernandina near the bay. Assured I was, I selected my room, paid up front, and went on with life.

On the afternoon before the Amelia Island Book Festival, I arrived to claim my room. No reservation. I called the number on my confirmation and learned it was the other hotel where I absolutely did not want to stay. They would not cancel my reservation and refund my payment even though it was part of the same hotel chain.

I needed a room for the night, so what should I do? Let go, and stay at the hotel that had my reservation even though it wasn’t where I wanted to be? My mom’s saying rang in my ears, “Are you going to cut off your nose to spite your face?” Apparently so. I reserved a second room, knowing I’d have to pay for both. I refused to give that uncooperative manager the satisfaction of winning.

I asked for a manager, same story. For twenty minutes, I argued with the manager who wouldn’t budge. I could cancel my reservation, but there would be no refund. I was livid, and when I get really mad, I cry. I was not going to show this guy a hint of weakness, so I hung up.

Then, I called the hotel honors program I’ve belonged to for decades and went up the hierarchy with them. I finally talked to someone who was compassionate and understood I had been given incorrect information.

He promised to contact the local hotel and see what he could do, but if they wouldn’t cooperate, he could not resolve the situation for several days.

I felt so wound up. I couldn’t settle down. I walked around the historic downtown area, and it started raining, hard. Later, I went across the street to grab a meal to go and couldn’t get anyone to wait on me. I couldn’t sleep. The next morning, I had huge bags under my eyes, and I felt drained.

That day, I was to meet my literary hero, Jeannette Walls author of The Glass Castle, and I felt like a wrung-out dishrag. I had some breakfast and packed up to go to the festival. Then, I saw water leaking from my shoulder bag where I had the three books I wanted Jeannette Walls to sign. The books were wet, even my pristine first edition hardback a friend gave me years ago because she knew how much I loved this author.

Time for a talking to. Okay, Patricia, you have wanted to meet this author for fifteen years. So what if you paid for two rooms? You had too much fight in you to let go. You thought you were right, but you can’t do anything about it now. Get over it and go have a good time.

Thankfully, I was able to shake off the previous twelve hours. Meeting Jeannette Walls, talking with her, hearing her speak, and having her sign my soggy books made it one of my best days ever.

I often have the same battle with writing. I refuse to let go of a piece when it’s not working. I bang my head against the proverbial wall until I’m bloody. I try different approaches. I write and rewrite. I come at it from this direction and then from another, and still, nothing works.

It’s only when I remember the spiritual nature of writing (and life) do I realize, now might not be the time to write this story. Then, it’s easier for me to let go, relax, and write something else.

How about you? What do you do when you’re wrestling with a story? Do you let go and move on to something else, or do you battle through to the end? Tell me about your experience in the comments section below.

Remember always: The only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all!

Until next time, happy writing!

Proscript: Several days later, the hotel messaged me and said they had been able to rent my room, so I would not be charged. By that time, I had let go, and what they did or did not do no longer mattered.

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Norma Beasley
1 year ago

“Hello” everyone. I learned Patricia’s lesson long ago but it related to solving cross word puzzles. When I got stuck, I laid the paper down and went on to something else. Lo and behold, upon my return I had a different perspective and was able to enter words I hadn’t thought of. It’s hard to pull away when you want resolution in the moment.

Raffaela Marie Rizzo Fenn
Raffaela Marie Rizzo Fenn
1 year ago

Patricia, when I saw you that morning, you only mentioned that your books got wet and did not share all the bad things that had happened the night before. So, I know you had let go. Also, I want to apologize for our community’s lack of customer care and service. Two things. ONE Thank you so much for this lesson in letting go. I’m there now with the book I’m writing, can’t make it work, but another story in my memoir, which is supposed to be my third book, keeps popping up instead. Now I now feel I have permission… Read more »

Monique Cobbs
Monique Cobbs
1 year ago

First off, thanks, Patricia, for your inspiring and motivating comments. My method of coping with *%$)#@@ is to shut down the computer, go talk to the geckos outside and pull a few weeds in the process. Then I go fix a meal, have a glass of vino with it, and wait to get my inspiration when it decides to come visit – often when I read someone else’s writing. Ideas are free agents. They don’t appear on demand.

Etya Krichmar
1 year ago

Patricia, You did the right thing by letting go. I live by this motto, “Some things are out of my control, and I need to let go.” Otherwise, I will be stuck in the past forever, and I want to live in the now, so I can move forward. To answer your question about being stuck in writing. I usually know when it happens. I feel it in my heart and soul when I sit in front of my computer. Still, I type my story, but not liking what I see, I give up and leave my sanctuary room. The… Read more »

Etya Krichmar
1 year ago
Reply to  Patricia

Writing is spiritual. I agree with you. Thanks.

1 year ago

I love how real you are in your stories and draw us into the emotion. Thank you!

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