Lost Luggage and How I Chose to See the Good

Lost Luggage and How I Chose to See the Good

There are two words we all dread at the airport. Lost luggage. And yet, Saturday afternoon, as we waited at baggage claim, those were the words we heard. My husband and I had just landed in Chicago, after leaving Rome earlier that morning. We had an incredible trip. Ten days in absolute paradise, with experiences that felt right out of a movie. And two words, lost luggage, threatened to topple all of that.


If you’re a regular reader of Dr. Allison, you know how I feel about self-talk and mental gymnastics. No matter what is going on around us, we have the power to direct our thoughts. We have the ability to think differently than our brains default mode. It’s hard as hell, but it’s totally possible.



A few weeks ago, I talked about how we can direct our thoughts to the good stuff and what went well, so in that moment, looking at the empty baggage carousal, I stopped. I took a breath. And I chose to focus on the good.


We landed safely in Chicago.


They had great movies on the plane. (Hidden Figures, La La Land, Moonlight!)


I got an aisle seat.


They had sparkling water, which is my favorite airplane drink.


The person in front of me didn’t lean their chair back at all. (Hello leg room!)


They held our connecting plane in Berlin, after passport control took forever. We could have been stranded in Berlin, but we weren’t.


They had USB chargers in every seat, which meant my phone was fully charged when we landed.


I carried on all my makeup and toiletries, so no matter what happens with our lost luggage, I can still go to work looking like a human on Monday morning.


I was actually able to sleep for a few hours on the plane, which almost never happens. (Score!)


There were no crying babies or loud kids on our plane.


Customs was organized and quick. (How often can you say that?)


My husband and I laughed at our ridiculous customs photos until our sides hurt, a fun little memory to end the trip.


OH MY GOODNESS Y’ALL. LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS THAT WENT WELL. Yes, our luggage was lost, with little info on where it might be or when we might see it again. No doubt, annoying. But that was one thing on our ten-hour journey. One thing! There were twelve positive things! Twelve to one? That’s a pretty good ratio. It took some effort and brain work for me to get there, but with intention, it’s possible.


Our brains don’t tend to see this ratio naturally. They tend to give all the attention to the negative. But we have the power to choose to think differently, no matter how tough or tricky it might seem.


Do you tend to focus on the one or two negatives in a situation? If so, definitely check out this post to learn how to turn this pattern around and start seeing the good.


    1. Dr. Allison

      Oh my goodness, YES; I said that to Matt 100 times! We had friends without luggage their first two days in Italy. So so grateful that wasn’t the case with us. Make that 13 positive things then! 🙂

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