Last August, Philip excitedly proposed we go to Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday. I am normally the vacation planner in the family so I was thrilled he had this idea. We booked the last hotel we could find and looked forward to July 1 with lots of anticipation.
We were excited about spending the day on Parliament Hill with other Canadians from across the country in celebrating this once-in-a-life-time event. We planned to watch the concerts and see the ceremonies throughout the day culminating in the massive fireworks display at 11:00pm. We brought lawn chairs in anticipation of a long day and went the day prior to scout out the hill. We spent the time to go through the elaborate security lines ensuring we understood what we could bring with us, and see for ourselves what the set up would be like for the big day. We were told to limit what we brought to the hill and expect line ups of 3 or more hours to get through security so were told to come early.
It was 6:45 am, as we got into a taxi that next morning heading to the hill expecting to be on the hill by the 9:30 AM. It was already raining and the weather forecast was calling for rain all day- culminating in a tornado watch, high winds and more than 50 mm of rain in the evening. That anticipation and excitement was turning quickly to dread. What if it poured all day? I didn’t even bring rain pants. I thought “I am going to be cold and miserable all day”. This isn’t going to be any fun at all.
Part of me thought that if the weather got really bad we would just leave. But I know Philip, and he was intent on sticking it out to the end, regardless of the weather. Since this day was so important to him, and I wanted to support him in his excitement, I had two choices. I could either go with a smile, and enjoy the day or I could go and complain and be miserable and ruin it for both of us.
In that moment I chose to go and have fun. We were so early (or perhaps it had something to do with the rain keeping everyone else away), we got through security in no time. We arrived to Parliament Hill by 7:30 am waiting for the ceremonies to start at 9 am while the rain pelted down, our Gortex raincoats soaked through despite the umbrellas held over our heads. We were so wet, that we poured the water out of our shoes. We would look at each other and smile and giggle at the absurdity of it all. It turns out there were lots of people like us who chose to go and have fun despite the weather. We met some wonderful people from all over the country and bonded over the shared experience.
By changing my mindset, we were able to create another wonderful memory that we can savour, enhancing our enjoyment and life satisfaction. It sounds simple but isn’t always so.
When was the last time you faced a challenging circumstance with a smile? How did it turn out for you? I would love to hear your story.
Oh and as I looked at the photos to find some to attach, I found it amusing that all the photos I had taken were when it wasn't raining! It was almost as if I wanted no record of the rain. Philip managed to capture a few in the rain so I included those to give you a different perspective. Enjoy!