Last week I celebrated another trip around the sun. After consecutive weeks of illness and other interruptions to our family's routine, I was ready for a celebration and a fresh start to the year. While my husband was traveling on the date in question, my mother made a special trip to D.C. for the occasion, and I was determined to make the most of her visit. My daughter had the day off school, and I envisioned a leisurely day with my two favorite girls - taking in a new art exhibit and perhaps a park visit - followed by an elegant evening out on the town. But that isn't quite what happened...
Despite her reputation (and reality) as one who NEVER gets sick, my mother awoke that morning more than a little under the weather. She spent much of the day resting in hopes of a quick recovery, but to no avail. Feeling terrible for her (and a bit sorry for myself), I began mapping out an alternative plan. Instead of sharing a fine dining experience, I would treat myself to a rare evening yoga class and a quiet solo dinner at one of my favorite neighborhood spots. And as I did so, I quickly shifted my focus to plans for the following day. When my husband returned to town, we would enjoy a night out on the town. But that isn't quite what happened...
His flight arrived right on schedule, and I began previewing the online menu in anticipation of the meal we would enjoy. As evening approached, I retreated to my room to dress for dinner, but no sooner had I donned my little black dress than I received a call from our sitter. Her daughter was sick, and she wouldn't be able to come. Feeling bad for her and her sweet girl (and more than a little sorry for myself) I immediately shifted back into planning mode - scanning the calendar for a future day to celebrate. But as I considered the options, it occurred to me: maybe this is exactly how it was supposed to happen...
Viewed through a different lens, a great yoga class, good food and drink in a comfortable setting, and an opportunity to enjoy an evening all to myself was a rare treat! And a quiet evening at home with my family after a busy stretch of travel and other commitments was a refreshing end to the week. More importantly, I completed another memorable year and have the opportunity to continue the journey.
Sometimes life unfolds just as we hoped, but when it doesn't, we have an opportunity to take a closer look and see things differently. Next time you find yourself facing the unexpected, can you change your perspective? What might you see?