And so it goes.

8 Apr

Sometimes things don’t always go the way we plan. There is a saying, “If you want to hear God laugh, make plans.” We’ve all experienced times in our lives when we’ve made what we thought were good, tight plans, only to see them go horribly awry. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Everything in life is fluid and that is constant, which seems to be an oxymoron – fluidity is constant. But it’s true. We can’t predict what other people will do, we can’t predict what will happen, we can’t even predict the weather with any real surety. So we plan, and we hope that those plans will go the way we want them to.

I just returned from vacation. Vacation, as I’m sure you know, is a time when you’re supposed to relax, have fun, change locations, spend time with people you love, laugh a lot, recharge…those sorts of things. Yeah, well my vacation didn’t exactly work out that way. I planned this vacation because my job was very stressful and I really needed a break. I was tired and overworked, overwhelmed with all my responsibilities, and I really, really needed and wanted a week to kick back, and have fun.

I did change locations, and went to a beach to spend some time on the shore listening to the waves, watch the dolphins cavort in the surf, walk in the sand, feel the ocean breeze – all wonderful ways to spend the days. But the camaraderie of friends was sadly missing. Oh I went with friends and a relative, and had high hopes for lots of fun. But instead of fun there was tension, instead of relaxation, there was stress. Unfortunately, one person in our group was unhappy in her life, and you know that old saying that misery loves company? Well, she evidently made it her mantra for the entire trip. I tried to keep things light, because in a situation like that it doesn’t help to confront, and escalate the problem. I listened with patience to the complaints, accepted the criticisms with grace, and made my way through the week. It wasn’t all bad, and there were moments of peace, but it just wasn’t the fun I had hoped for. It wasn’t the break I wanted, and it certainly wasn’t the respite I needed. At the end of the week I was relieved to finally say goodbye and go home. When I got home I was exhausted, and wished I had never gone on “vacation.”

So, sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. Sometimes they don’t go well. Sometimes they go horribly wrong. But no matter what life gives us, we can choose to get bogged down in the mess we find ourselves facing, or we can take a breath, wait a moment, and choose to look up and be the light. My trip was not fun, but I’m happy that I chose to be the light while there. It wasn’t easy, but I knew if I let myself fall into the mire of the discontent of others, it would be worse. At least if I chose to be kind, to be supportive, I could feel good about myself. So with each rude comment I smiled and said something pleasant. With each complaint I listened with patience and offered a positive suggestion. I tried to be an example, and I tried to show acceptance and love.

We all have the choice every day to be the one to make things better. We don’t always have to defend ourselves, we don’t always have to point out where someone is wrong. Sometimes, we can let it go, and just set a higher example. This life is a gift. Every single day is a gift. It is best to rejoice more than complain, to comfort more than confront, to love more than to judge. Today when things go wrong, when you hear complaints, when you find disappointment, try to keep it in perspective. It’s not the end of the world as we know it, it probably won’t matter in a few days, and everything will be different tomorrow. Fluidity is constant. Look up. You got this.

%d bloggers like this: