Most everyone knows what a hassle the ferry trip over to“The Island” can be. My experience last weekend was no exception.


Friday evening I was off to Nanaimo for another educational event to improve my business. I left plenty early to catch the 7 pm crossing. Alas, traffic was stop-and-go for a good portion of the trip, both sides of the Port Mann. I thought the world’s widest bridge was supposed to fix that.


Then came the North Shore, and more traffic congestion. Finally arriving at the terminal much later than planned, fretting that heavy Friday night traffic would likely keep me sitting there until the 9 pm ferry, I got a bit of good news; I’d still make the 7 o’clock. Except that, at 7 I was still sitting in the parking lot waiting for the considerably-behind-schedule ferry. My mood on the crossing was not pleasant.


Coming back was a repeat. Conference over, I left immediately to catch the 7 pm return ferry. Should be busy at the end of a weekend, I figured. Not so; I was the sixth vehicle in line. Nobody in the market quay, either. At 6 pm, the market now buzzing with people, we discovered that our 7 pm Queen of Cowichan ferry was still in dock at Horseshoe Bay. It finally arrived just before 8 and by 8:20, three hours after arrival at the terminal, we’re off to Horseshoe Bay, passing the next in-coming ferry a few minutes out of port.


The weekend was sandwiched by the ongoing trial of the officers responsible at the sinking of the “Queen of the North” ferry a few years back, the one that claimed two lives. When I considered that problem, my ferry frustrations seemed pretty trivial. And I realized that, despite delays both ways, I did not miss a minute of the conference, nor sacrifice any productive time at either end of the excursion. And, I did get a little more worthwhile reading done during the delays than I would have otherwise.


I also thought of the bigger picture. In business, in life generally, events seldom go exactly as planned. Even if ours are perfect plans, factors totally out of our control could screw them up. Life is filled with bouncing back from the unexpected. And making it work.


Sometimes it doesn’t matter much; sometimes it matters, big time.


In our business we deal daily with those who are trying to rise above the curve-balls life has thrown at them. Those committed to putting to bed past problems, whether self-inflicted or beyond their control, for good. Those determined to get into home ownership even though they can’t yet get a bank mortgage.


And some of them are succeeding.