Have you ever had a windfall of time blow into your life? I’m talking about time you thought was planned out and accounted for, but then something intervenes that scuttles those plans? That happened to me and my husband last week. We had a planned short weekend trip to see some family. Our bags were packed and ready to go, the dog had been dropped off with his sitter, the mail and newspaper were suspended and we were just about to go to bed before an early morning flight. But then, at really the very last minute, someone in the family canceled the trip. It was for a very good reason (which I won’t share here because of its personal nature), but I will say I was anticipating the trip with some anxiety and a bit of dread, and rather than take the trip along, we decided to stay home. And so, four completely unplanned, empty days stretched out in front of us!
I admit at first, it felt a bit like I was playing hooky from school. The first morning, a weekday (!), we slept in. Sheer decadence! Sleeping in without being sick!!!! Aaaand, the rest of the weekend went pretty much like that. We did retrieve our pooch so that we could enjoy him, too, but that was about as responsible as we got. By Sunday evening, we felt rested, refreshed and relaxed (alliteration, oui?).
I’m not sure there is a lesson here, after all it was serendipity that brought us those four days, and a bit of stress and pain for our family. But if I had to point to some area of growth I’d say it was my increased ability to pivot when things didn’t go as planned, and to embrace the windfall of time as a gift. Yes, I was disappointed and a bit angry at the situation, and very pissed at the person who precipitated it. But I didn’t let those feelings rule the day and I breathed a small sigh of relief at not having to deal head-on with difficult family members.
How do you deal with the unexpected? Do you rail against the fates that changed course? Or do you roll with it and make lemonade? When have you had a windfall of time our resources and what did you do with it?