I had an experience last week that helped me (re)learn how important one’s outlook is. A small (or Titanic-sized) shift in perspective changes everything. Here’s what happened.
Many years ago (in 2019), we purchased tickets to see a Norwegian music group called Wardruna. Paul and the kids love them and I thought it would be fun, so we got tickets. Then came 2020 so obviously we didn’t get to see them that year. The show got postponed to Oct 24.
On Oct 24, 2021, we were heading out to see the long-awaited performance. I thought it was a little strange not to have received any info about the venue change, but that didn’t phase me (or send up any red flags).
I searched my email for more info and noticed that something was amiss because Oct 25 was a Monday, but the show was supposed to be on Monday, Oct 24. For a moment, my heart dropped because I’d done something like that before. We had opera tickets one year and went to see the show, only to discover that it had been the week prior and so we had missed it. I really didn’t want that to be the case for Wardruna.
After a little digging, I realized that I hadn’t thought to check the year of the performance. They postponed it for two years, not one. The concert date was all set for Monday, Oct 24, 2022. At least we didn’t miss it. We were just a whole year early, so we went back home to wait for a year.
Fast forward to last week; the real Monday Oct 24, 2022. My trusty calendar reminded me that the show would start at 8:30pm, which I thought was a little late for a school night, but oh well. I figured we could all be in bed by 11pm.
After dinner, I popped on my computer and noticed an email saying the show had been delayed. “Not again”, I thought. “What day are we going this time?”
Turns out that highway travel was not ideal that day and so the show had been delayed not to another day, but to 10pm that night. “Are you kidding me?” I said to my family. (I really like my 10:30ish bedtime.)
The kids looked at me pleadingly. They didn’t want to miss the long-awaited show. After a long weighing of pros and cons in my head, I conceded that we could go, as long as we left early. As in 11pm at the latest. It was settled.
And then Zoe got sick. (“Are you kidding me?” my mind repeated.)
What ensued was a blur of trying to figure things out. Would Paul and Oakley go? Would we all stay home? Should I ask for a refund? Should I go with Oakley? Would Zoe be well enough to go? (That one was answered quickly and repeatedly with a resounding no.)
While we were trying to decide, we told Oakley to go have a shower so he would either be ready for the concert or ready for bed. I said that we would all probably stay home.
While tending to Zoe, Paul and I decided we would all stay home and so I requested a refund by email. Then Oakley came bounding down the stairs, all spiffied up, looking his finest. My heart melted and even though I really value my bedtime and a full night’s sleep, I decided I would take him. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And yet, I was still not really on board. Being the one who cared the least about the concert and the most about being well-rested, I wondered how I ended up going. Plus, Paul’s good friend, who had been trying to get tickets for years (it was sold out) was going to come with us and use Paul’s ticket. “How did this happen?” I asked myself. (Truly it happened because I don’t deal well with anything stomach flu-related and Paul does, so he was being very valiant in giving up his spot to be with Zoe.)
My resistance to the whole situation was evidenced by my getting grumpy about trying to find the venue and parking on the University campus (even though I attended said University for 6 years). I pretty much left in a huff with Paul trying to assure me that I would easily find where we needed to go.
En route, Oakley guided me using the map app and he was so excited that I realized I needed to shift. It became obvious that we were actually on an adventure that Oakley would likely remember for the rest of his life, so I didn’t need to be the downer being grumpy about not getting enough sleep. “It’s just one night,” I told myself, “and I do fine with a little less sleep here and there.”
That little (monumental) shift changed the rest of the night. I started to look forward to the show and opened up to enjoy the night. Good thing, because had I stayed grumpy, there would have been some things that would have made the night even worse.
For instance, the outrageous parking prices. Or the remarkably growly, remarkably cacophonous metal music playing in the lobby while we waited. Or the fact that the concert didn’t even start until 10:30. Or the mind-boggling assortment of people waiting to see the show (not that I mind light-up devil horns, pentagram jewelry or people wearing full Viking regalia replete with furs from head to toe, it’s just that I would have allowed that to make me feel even more out of place without the attitude shift).
Paul’s friend and Oakley were so excited and so happy that I rose up to their level. The benefit of letting go of my expectations was that we did indeed have an adventure. Wardruna turned out to be quite epic. The voices, the foreign instruments that I couldn’t identify, the lighting effects and the music itself were all so captivating that I was wowed. Plus, the glowing expression of delight on Oakley’s face was totally worth it.
It was a great lesson in going with the flow and having a positive attitude along the way.
May you have a week filled with adventure and optimism.
With great love and effortless courage,
>Creator of Courageous Self-Care
>Cooking up some exciting announcements over the next few weeks (and hopefully some pumpkin loaf too)
>So happy that Halloween is over (not my favourite holiday)