Finding Amusement Amidst Misfortune
No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.” Elbert Hubbard
We all do it year after year – work long and hard until we have passed the point of good reason. Then we pack up the family and head out for the once a year summer vacation, which is going to miraculously bring our life back into balance.
If only it were that simple. Just choosing a time that fits within everyone’s schedule is nearly impossible, as well as agreeing on where to go and what to do. Many employers expect employees to get as much of their work done in advance of taking time off and work late playing catch-up when they return.
It’s no wonder that when our best laid plans for a fun-filled family escape hit a few snags, we lose our cool. Whether the wind howls, the rain pours or someone suffers from food poisoning or heat-stroke, we will likely encounter some unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances which pose a serious threat to crush our enjoyment.
It was a yearly tradition for our family to take a trip during the summer. Over the years, we survived several predicaments while vacationing, including car sickness, bickering, illness, uncooperative attitudes, difficult relatives and even head lice. How? We were equipped with an arsenal of stories and a sense of humor.
Spring break 2000, our family vacationed in California and Mexico to celebrate our sons’ graduation from high school. It was a dream trip. In fact it was our first and only tour that went off without the usual calamity.
Arriving home on cloud nine, we were jolted back to reality. Our home had been ransacked. As we dealt with the violation of our privacy, we made a list of what was missing. Topping our list was Andy’s Playstation and games, Cassy’s treasured charm necklace and some of my jewelry.
My husband Larry buzzed all over the house in a panic, certain that the thieves swiped his prized possessions – his Nebraska watch, Nebraska wind-shirt, Nebraska winter coat and Nebraska caps. Once Larry confirmed that he was only missing two duffle bags which were likely used to haul away our stuff, his relief turned to offense, “What’s wrong with my stuff? It’s not good enough to be lifted?”
We all split a gut, “Guess the thieves are not Nebraska fans?” Laughing in the midst of our dilemma provided the relief we needed from the devastation of being burglarized. Andy started the ball rolling, “Wonder if the robbers will figure out that the only way the Playstation will work is to lay it on its side?”
Cassy chirped in, “I’m picturing their reaction when they realize that the 20 music CD cases they stole were empty because I took my CD’s with me on our trip.”
I was reminded that my best jewelry was also with me on our trip. Larry didn’t recover nearly as quick, “I find it insulting that only thing of mine that was taken were bags to haul away your stuff.” We laughed even harder.
What could have tarnished the memory of our dream vacation, over time, has provided us with many laughs as we retell the story. When you find yourself dealing with disappointments on your vacation, tell yourself, “Someday we will laugh about this.” And you will.
Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois, works with individuals and organizations who want to learn how to use the power of humor and the magic of laughter to handle the demands and pressures of work and home, adjust to constant change, deal with difficult people, cope with the unpredictable swift pace of life, product positive outcomes and have more fun.
Learning to laugh and “hangin’ on with humor” rescued Lois from the distress and despair surrounding her daily life, and initiated her recovery from a brain injury. Lois’ keynotes and trainings entertain, inspire and stimulate audiences to examine their own response to challenge and adversity. Hilarious personal stories, “Lessons from Lois” impart life-changing insights and equip participants with humor strategies and practical solutions to overcome the seriousness of their life challenges and feel happy.
Her universal message renews hope and motivates others to consistently do small things so they can achieve amazing results one day at a time.
©2012 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois – Permission to reprint or repost this article is granted by including the above byline and Lois’ contact information. http://www.lessonsfromlois.com