“Letting in the Good” Even When Things Are Not Going As Planned

The Brown Couch at the Airport

We had just started our vacation and so happy about this time off to re-coop and spend some time with each other as a family.  As we were walking toward our gate at the airport we got a text from our airlines saying there was going to be a 3 hour delay. Not the way we envisioned the start of our trip. We were exhausted from a very busy week and the rush to get off and frankly it was a bit of a bummer.

I was thinking to myself “I really just need to lay down for a bit.” Had been planning on trying to sleep on the plane, which actually normally does not work out too well for me. But that was the plan. We went no more than around the corner and my husband spotted a brown leather couch straight ahead in a quiet spot away from the gate areas. A little closed coffee shop “oasis”. Perfect! We settled in. Of course I got the recline position with my husband being a wonderful pillow to lay up against. As I lay there I started thinking maybe this is what I needed – a place to lay down and rest as I probably would not have been able to really rest on the plane. We talked and were together in this unexpected time & place. It was actually really nice to cuddle up for a bit and catch up, without any pressing agenda. And take a little cat nap, feeling all safe and cozy up next to my husband in a quiet area.

As I truly let go and relaxed, I started noticing small things around me, a woman who was traveling with her little dog and it being given its own special water in a little bowl. The sweet little puppy dog prancing and excited about his water break. The lovely Indian Sculpture that was close to where we sat, had the late day sunlight streaming in across its features, creating a halo around it.

Right before we boarded our plane 3 hours later we were told that due to lateness and delay, we would need to spend the night in Seattle opposed to traveling on to our destination. Not in the plan. My first reaction, was “Another delay! What is going on here?” Well what was going on was a mechanical problem. I came to the decision to be grateful for not being on a plane that may have a safety issue and getting an unplanned bonus day trip into Seattle. We had at one point thought about doing this, so we ended up getting our original wish after all. So we boarded and I got out my favorite peppermint tea and enjoyed the night lights from above. Don’t see those everyday.

The “good stuff” is all around us, even when it does not come on our time-table or in the package we might envision it in. Or unfold in the way we planned.  We just have to be open to seeing the good and letting it into our very imperfect, human lives.  


Tanna at Fairbanks Botaninal Garden August 2017 off the path by some blue flowers


Here I am a little bit off the path checking out some of the beautiful flowers around me on my  vacation.  Was it a “perfect vacation”. No. More delays on the way back, but you know we had lots of “good things” to happen. Some of those unexpected and just as powerful as the planned ones. Here is to stepping off the path and making your own happiness in whatever the circumstances.   


Professional Disclosure: This blog is offered as educational information and is not offered as professional therapeutic services. This is not intended to serve as treatment. For professional help contact your local mental health professional. Strom Individual and Family Therapy is not liable for any action or non action you take in regard to this article.


That was not in the plan . . . how to roll with the flow!


Taking a recent vacation made me think about how our plans many times do not go the way we think they will. You are correct that my vacation did not go exactly as planned or envisioned in my head.  But I adapted, shifted and had a great time.

Yes things do not always go as we expect. This can be with a vacation or a family outing or a date night or really any kind of activity that we have planned to do together as a couple or as a family. I am a big planner and I believe in thoughtfully preparing for outings with our loved ones. On the other hand somethings spontaneous, let’s go . . . can be very romantic or real fun for a family. So I guess a balance is nice. We each will have our own style.

Regardless if you have a PLAN or you are doing a spontaneous outing, being able to roll with the flow is important. Our lives are so busy and complex and things shift quickly. Plus, the biggie here is that we can not control everything around us. We can not control that the restaurant is out of our favorite dish or that the air conditioner breaks on our fun day trip or that a thunderstorm appears out of no where and you have to cancel or shift your outdoor outing.

So how can we better ROLL with the FLOW? 

  1. First of all accept that our planned or spontaneous event may not or probably will not go exactly as we had hoped for in our head.
  2. Acknowledge your upset feelings or those of your loved ones. It is ok to be upset or disappointed. The key is WHAT WE DO WITH OUR UPSET OR DISAPPOINTMENT.
  3. Accept and then say it is OK that it did not go exactly as we wished. We can still have fun and enjoy regardless of the hiccups or bumps in the road.
  4. Remember we are capable of adapting and shifting. We are amazing human being with the ability to make the best of whatever the situation.
  5. Shift to what you can do at that point. And know you can be ok with it.
  6. Use your positive mindset to create a place of acceptance and regrouping. 
  7. Sometimes if we look we can find these unexpected needed shifts can open up opportunities that were not there before. Some folks would say there are no accidents!