This was our first day of the trip:
I don't know if God was testing me or someone had just ticked off Mother Nature but my mission to have a "drama free" vacation was certainly being put to the test.
It started when we arrived at the cabin and the temperatures starting falling below freezing. Although the cabin was beautiful - it did not have a great place for the dogs to walk and relieve themselves. Actually it had very little flat spots at all - I mean, we WERE in the mountains. The cabin had three levels and although it DID have a mountain view, it wasn't as unobstructed as I would have liked. My "perfect view" of this vacation, after all, was a secluded mountain cabin right in the middle of the Smoky Mountains with mountain views all around. What I got, however, was a cabin nestled on a mountain in a "cabin community" with other cabins sitting all around. Remember my previous post? My "perfect vacation" never quite plays out in reality the way it looks in my head.
As I was sitting in the cabin on that first night contemplating my "disaster", I looked up to see my son and husband having the time of their lives playing pool in the loft. They were oblivious to the disaster going on in my head. They were simply having a good time.
And then I remembered my promise - my promise to change my attitude and just enjoy life for what it was. God has been working on my attitude lately and I am quite certain I have tested His patience to a great degree!
So I chilled out - and forgot about my "expectations" and just enjoyed time with my family. My daughter and her fiancé arrived at the cabin later that evening and when she told me how much her fiancé loved the cabin, I knew my concerns with creating the "perfect" vacation could be laid to rest.
For the first time ever, I had made absolutely no plans except tickets to a dinner show that everyone wanted to see. But that was it. Every morning we got up and planned the day as we went along. Now I won't say that was easy for me - the "PLANNER" in me wanted to create a daily schedule right down to bedtime.
But I can tell you that for the first time ever - I felt FREEDOM! So the weather was bad - we stayed inside and played pool and sat in the Jacuzzi tub. So the mountain view was obstructed - we drove into the mountains and got the view first hand. And so the dogs had no place to run - we took them to the trails for some (cold) walks.
Our attitude can change everything about our lives. I understand I am only talking about a vacation but I used this example to make a greater point - we don't always have the power to change our circumstances but we DO have the power to change our attitudes.
This vacation means nothing in the scheme of life but it did give me a great opportunity to change my attitude and learn to relax just a little bit.
I have faced some huge disasters in my lifetime - including being on the brink of financial devastation - but learning to have the right attitude in the midst of the storm can be the key to making it through.
I remember one time when I was competing for Mrs. Illinois International, a judge asked during the Interview Portion of the competition where I saw myself in 5 years. My answer? "Happy". I told her I just wanted to be happy because often times when dealing with depression happiness seems elusive.
Well, that Interview was over 7 years ago so it took me a little longer than I had hoped but I think I am finally learning to master this "happy" thing. Choosing to be happy won't make the hardships go away. We will always face burdens as long as we grace this Earth. But having the right attitude in life can certainly help to enjoy it just a little more.
God has a way of teaching us in ways very unique to ourselves. He used my love of travel (and my need for perfection) to show me that life doesn't always work out the way we planned.
And that's (perfectly) okay!