This was the lesson I learned just this last week. Being a classic type A personality, I like it when things go as planned. I do not like it when things shift at a last-minute notice. I had my trip for the beach booked nearly nine months in advance of the time I would go. I had a photo shoot with my company lined up for my time there as well. I was ready. I had been thinking about that sun hitting my face and the sand between my toes for a solid two weeks as I bulldozed through work stress. It was the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. Then the inevitable happened. A hurricane. It is also good to note here that I don’t even pretend to keep up with the news. I had no idea it was even headed for the coast. I had already packed my two teenagers and myself to leave the next morning when my photographer reached out to me to inquire on my plans in light of the hurricane watch. Wait. What? I looked at her text and then checked the weather (I know, I know…I should have already done that). That is when I realized that there was indeed a hurricane watch and they were predicting it to hit straight onto the beach I was headed for the next day.
What did I do? I cried. Literally. I was so upset because I felt like I needed this time away more than anything and I was so upset by the thought that I might have to cancel. I knew I could brave it and just go down there hoping it turned its course, but I had kids in tow. I knew the responsible thing to do was to cancel the trip. I called the hotel which granted me to cancel with no fee. I contacted the photographer who cancelled the photoshoot and refunded me the money I had paid. I sat there and pouted like my two-year-old toddler. I texted my mom to tell her the news and that is when she came back with “your dad said, don’t let the storm win…go to the mountains.” I stared at the text. Booked a condo in five seconds flat and the decision was made. Mountains would be where we went. I unpacked all of our swimsuits and beach towels for some hoodies and slacks.
Sometimes we need to be reminded. Don’t let the storm win. It might just mean you need to change directions. It might be a warning trying to get you to alter from the way you were headed. It might mean that you needed to shift and change to get a better outcome. Whatever the reason…change can be good. It took my dad who personally loves the mountains over the beach to remind me that I only needed to shift perspectives. Shift directions. Shift the way I see it all. The whole when life hands you lemons, make lemonade cliché. I could have continued to sit on my couch and throw a pity party. I could have been a grump all week because I was at home with no sand in between my toes. Or…I could choose to not let the storm win. I could change perspectives. I could look for more creative solutions. I could choose change the way I saw it all. I could go a different direction.
We went to the mountains. I had a marvelous time. I enjoyed the view and the fall leaves changing colors. I soaked in the mountain breeze. I reminded myself that it is all the way we perceive it. We can choose to not let the storm win. It is within our power to shift our perspective no matter what it is. Bad marriage – what lessons did we learn. Failed friendship – what new friends are we supposed to find. Lost job – what better one is out there for us to land. It is a lot about perspective. It is a lot about choosing to not let the storm win. It is a lot about looking for creative solutions to the problems. It is a lot about a mountain vacation instead of the beach because that is the way the wind blows sometimes.
Until next time…don’t let the storm win.