If you are like me, a fun surprise can transform an ordinary day into a delightful adventure! However, a sudden interruption to a highly anticipated event can leave you extremely disappointed.
Several months ago, our family started planning a long weekend trip to visit my brother-in-law’s family at a lake house near their home in Indiana. As you can imagine, the details of our planned visit took shape as we got closer to our time together. They included a day at the county fair, a visit from a childhood friend, along with the usual lake activities.
Two days before the scheduled trip, two of us tested positive for the COVID virus. Suddenly our weekend plans were turned upside down.
In the whole scheme of life, our disrupted weekend at the lake house is just a small bump in the road. However, it got me thinking about how to effectively cope when our best laid plans don’t turn out as expected. Here are three thoughts:
- Pause – The first wave of emotion can be full of disappointment and even anger. It is helpful to take a deep breath and remind ourselves of the things we can still count on.
- Process – It might be helpful to talk to someone about your disappointment. Talking to a person you trust can help you move past your place of frustration.
- Pivot – A change of course can provide new opportunity. Start looking for what new possibilities might be available now that your plans have changed. You might be surprised what you discover.
We ended up with a quiet weekend at home together as a family. Nothing super transforming, but sometimes a pause in the middle of a busy summer can be refreshing. And, fortunately for us, our COVID symptoms have been mild.
When have you experienced newfound opportunity on the heels of a disappointing change in plans?