I have to laugh too. I'm supposed to be at my family's summer cottage in Lily Dale, New York, but life events have delayed my travels. The disruptions have been pretty impactful and I could be upset (I have had my moments), yet mostly I am grateful for the life that I have.
Just the other day I was reminded of a book by Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In it Fulghum relays a story from his early twenties, when he worked at a countryside resort. Learning that the same employee meal he had eaten all week, "two weiners, a mound of sauerkraut, and stale rolls" would again be served at lunch the following day, he lost his temper and complained to his co-worker.
After listening to Fulghum's tirade, Sigmund Wollman, a survivor of Auschwitz, replied, "Lissen, Fulchum, Lissen me, lissen me. You know what's wrong with you? It's not the food and it's not the boss and it's not this job...You think you know everything but you don't know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire - then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy."
Smoothing the lumps
Whenever I find myself becoming upset about a change in plans or some other inconvenience, I try to shift my attention to potential blessings or positive aspects of the situation, or of life in general (gratitude is a great energy shifter and mood enhancer). Or I might intentionally turn around in my mind the unpleasant situation: "All right. I know what I don't want (or don't like), so what is it that I want (or would like) instead?" And then I focus my attention on the thing that I want, why I want it, and how I expect to feel when I have it. And I try to spend at least twice as much time thinking positively than I did negatively.
Any day now I expect to make the trip to Lily Dale, and I promise to take it lumps and all. I will count it a blessing to spend time in the place where I grew up, especially if I get a chance to enjoy the lake! I expect to take walks in nature every day, and that always feels wonderful. I look forward to connecting with my friends and family there, and spending quality time together. I'm also excited to be leading three workshops, and maybe attending one or two myself. In fact, I highly recommend that you make a pilgrimage to this mystical, magical place over the summer too. And if you do, it would be fabulous to see you there....