When I planned our family's Spring Break trip I had one thing in mind. Sun. I didn't care where we went or what we did. All I wanted was sun.
We left Clear Lake Wednesday afternoon, full of anticipation and plans, my plans for what we were going to do on the trip. You see, I love to plan. Whether it's planning meals, putting together vacation itineraries or making arrangements for special events, I'm in my happy place. And, while I do enjoy the planning process, I've also learned to make room for spontaneity and changing plans, which I've discovered can also be lots of fun. But (for this trip) sun was not on the negotiable list--it was the list. After months of cold, extreme cold, I was due for some warm. We Iowans deserve some warm, right?!
Thursday morning we woke up in Joplin, MO and started the drive toward Jamaica Beach (near Galveston, TX). I checked the forecast and my heart sunk. There was not sun in the forecast at all for the entire trip. And temps were not supposed to exceed 66 degrees. Knowing the ocean wind always feels colder than the temperature anyway, the thought of 66 degrees and no sun was not pleasant. I could feel the disappointment setting in. I kept checking the hourly forecast as we drove, hoping by some miracle it would change. It didn't. In fact, by the time we arrived in Jamaica Beach the forecast had gotten even worse. Doubt, frustration, disappointment, annoyance. All the feelings were coming on strong. And then came self pity and regret. Why didn't we just stay in Clear Lake. What a waste of money on a stupid beach house when it's too cold to go to the beach. Maybe we should just go somewhere else and forfeit the money spent.
I feel a bit foolish reflecting on my thought process from Thursday and Friday morning. But disappointment is real. And honesty is good. And opportunities to grow are all around us.
Knowing the emotions I was feeling were controlling my mood and outlook I knew I had to change something, and the weather wasn't going to be the change. I'm not naturally a positive person. Shea is (sometimes annoyingly so ;)), but I am not. So, for me, a positive outlook is something I have to choose with intentionality. This means lots of self-talk. Lots of naming the things I'm thankful for. Lots of taking negative thoughts captive and replacing them with positive truths. I'm learning that a happy, healthy mind for me (if you remember the last Blog post) requires that I make positivity a priority--our thoughts are so powerful. Our thoughts do, indeed, become our actions, and eventually those actions reflect our character. I know I don't want to be known as an ungrateful or negative person. I know that's not my true identity. So I practice. I practice naming the things I'm thankful for. I practice being positive. And with practice, it becomes easier.
This morning as I sit in a beautiful hotel room overlooking the Main Street Garden Park area of Dallas I am grateful. I am grateful for safe travel. I am grateful for the health of my family, especially while traveling. I am grateful for financial stability that allowed us to travel. I am grateful for my children being amazing travelers. I am grateful for the 4 hours we were able to spend at the ocean beach and for the sunburn I managed to get through 17 layers of clouds. I am grateful I got to watch my kids jumping waves and building sandcastles. I am grateful we got to reunite with friends we knew from our time living in Germany. I am grateful for time we got to spend playing with some adorable neighborhood kids at a park in Galveston. I am grateful for delicious room service food last night (and getting my fix of greens). I am grateful for sleeping in. I am grateful for a break from my normal routine. There is so much to be grateful for.
So, we're going to bundle up and be thankful we're from Iowa and have winter coats in the car. And we're going to go explore Dallas. 51 degrees and cloudy, but we're doing it. See you Wednesday when we return!
NOTE: Simply Nourished and Better Body Movement are closed Monday 3/11 and Tuesday 3/12 for Spring Break.