From one outdoor enthusiast to another… we’ve chosen hobbies where sh*ts going to go down and you just have to let it go!
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 is National “Let It Go” Day! I know, they have a day for everything. But this seems like a wise opportunity to touch on some helpful reminds.
If you dwell on the mishaps and mistakes, you will miss out on the potential for fun. I know, I know, “things happen for a reason” bull turd, but it’s true. Next time you find yourself frustrated because chaos strikes… stop, breath, and take a look around. Something amazing is probably happening and you’re missing it.
Have you ever spent hours planning some kind of an adventure and it didn’t turn out as planned? The weather turned quickly, a ferry strike left you stranded on an island, your luggage didn’t arrive at its destination, your tire blew during the middle of your road trip. These things happen and how we choose to handle them can make a big impact. Even if it just impacts your mood for the rest of the day. Now it’s time to learn to let it go!
Let It Go – A Not-So-Secret Approach to Happier Adventures
I’ve felt the disappointment of a sudden non-predicted storm forcing me to turn around and head home. I understand the crushed feeling of not getting to the summit when you’ve packed all of your gear and gone all that way. I’ve had the toddler scream in my ear that he wants to go home. While these (any many others similar) events were tough to deal with at the time, when I look back on them, it’s not those moments I remember.
I remember getting stuck in a rock overhang during a flash flood and watching in awe as the lighting snapped in front of me and the thunder shook my body. I remember getting hit hard with sideways rain and golf ball sized hail during a solstice sunset hike. All I could do was laugh with my friends while we slipped and slid down the mountain side, racing back to the car, in the dark. I remember giggling with my child while we ran and played hide and seek behind the trees on the trail just to get him happily back to the car. In these dire times, I had no choice but to let it go and enjoy the flow. Sure I could have pouted and sat my butt down and screamed “I give up!”, and at times I wanted to, but I chose to change the outcome. Had I not, I may have not gotten up the next day ready to do it all over again.
Tip #1: Lower your expectations
Travel can be a big let down when flights are delayed, luggage is lost or strikes keep you from your destination. Or rather, keep you from what you anticipated based on the schedule you had planned in your head. Planning can be your enemy. Take this from a type A person who enjoys organization and a timely schedule. Over the years, mainly from having kids who constantly throw my plans out the window, I’ve learned to lower my expectations. Lowered expectations means no disappointment. That’s right folks, just going with whatever is thrown your way can actually be fun! Delayed flights can mean missed connections or shuttles, but at least you still got there right? I’d take a safely inspected, gassed up, de-iced plane any day over the alternative mishap. Luggage lost? Let’s go shopping! (Reason 101 why we only travel with carry on). Island ferry strike? Well, I could imagine worse places to be stranded. Let. It. Go.
Tip #2: Let go of the grudge
Holding a grudge against the person who kicked your seat every five minutes on the plane, or being angry at the store clerk who doesn’t speak English and shorted your change, isn’t going to mean anything when you’re on your deathbed. Let’s face it, we’re all going to the same destination in the end and I know personally what memories I will want to remember in those final moments. I don’t know a single person who looked back on their life and regretted “changing a situation for the better”. Change is hard, things are out of our control, life happens, but isn’t that the point? Life happens. It’s happening every day. It’s happening right now as you read this.
Tip #3: Feelings are contagious
People don’t remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. If you carry your anxiety, for the things that went wrong, with you, they not only effect you but they effect the people around you. Ever notice how to calm grandma gets the baby to stop crying?
If you find your attitude spiraling out of control, try this: In one sentence, pinpoint what made you upset in the first place. You’re only allowed one sentence. And once you’ve said it in your head, say it out loud. Wrap it up by asking yourself if you’re going to hold onto that and let it ruin your day, or if you’d rather let it go. If you choose to let it go, smile and move on. It’s hard at first, so practice it often. You’ll thank yourself for it.