Last weekend Russ and I had a no-kid, restful, romantic getaway. We set the dates well in advance, dreamed big (Mexico!), adjusted our expectations (Coeur d’Alene), and then made plans for a great weekend.
It lasted just about 12 hours, and much of it was spent sleeping. I could have easily let disappointment sink me emotionally and create tension between us. Thankfully, Russ and I are professionals when it comes to dealing with the unexpected.
It’s easy to write tips for a successful weekend getaway, but I’ve been a mom for nearly 30 years, so I’ll impart a little wisdom from the trenches. Here are 5 tips for an (Un)successful getaway because, let’s face it, it’s going to happen some time.
Five Tips for an (Un)Successful Weekend Getaway
1. Be flexible | As much as we love to plan, illness, travel problems, and even work schedules may change everything. Last weekend, we dropped our sons off with friends. Two hours later their little boy had a fever; he grew sicker through the night and by morning they took him to the doctor who was nearly certain he had influenza. There is so much flu going around, the clinic was out of tests, so it isn’t confirmed, but we’re going to trust his judgment.
2. Have a sense of humor | I’ve always admired women who could laugh in challenging and disappointing moments. I tend to be too serious or feel things too deeply. I’ve gotten better at this over the years – and this weekend, once we got over the initial disappointment, Russ and I got creative and began figuring out an alternate plan. Which leads to my next point.
3. Redeem what you can | Rather than say, “If we can’t have the weekend we planned, we’re packing up this instant and going home!” we said, “Okay, we need to go home today, but we’re here at this beautiful hotel, and we can ask for late check out. What should we do?” We settled the boys in our room with food, tv, and my cell phone, and headed down to the restaurant overlooking the lake where we had a lovely breakfast. Then we took the boys swimming in the pool. After checking out, we headed to Cabela’s where the boys enjoyed the huge display of animals and fish, camping equipment, and other gear, and Russ finally spent a gift card he’s had for three years.
4. Plan ahead | I like to pack light and spent quite a bit of time figuring out what to pack for this trip which included a nice dinner out, snowshoeing, and casual, comfy clothes too. Since we still hope to get away, and I hate to repeat my effort, I carefully laid everything on the bed as I unpacked and took a picture of my clothes before putting them away. Then I unpacked my outdoor gear for snowshoeing: jackets, hats, gloves, boots, etc. and took a photo of those too. If we manage to get away this winter, it will be a breeze to pack again!
5. Be Thankful | I could focus on the negative or look at it this way: we went out for dinner, we had one night alone, our friend’s son was diagnosed quickly and got good medical care, we had unexpected special time with Ebenezer and Wogauyu, Russ got new shoes he’s needed for a long time, and we had a (sort of) quiet Sunday at home. Those are all huge blessings and I choose to be thankful.
It’s challenging to press through disappointment when plans don’t go as we hope. It’s not easy to be flexible in our thinking, but anchoring on unhappiness will only produce more unhappiness and then bitterness, as we seek to put blame somewhere or on someone.
One of my goals for 2017 is: Seek joy, search for beauty, be thankful. We had a perfect opportunity to practice it this weekend, and we did a fine job.
Do you have a story to share of plans that went awry? Any tips you can add to the list? I would love to hear from you.
Happy Monday, friend.
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