We had been looking forward to this vacation for a long time…. Hiking is one of our favorite things to do, and seeing a new National Park every year is one of our goals as a family.
Vacation is always exciting- a chance to break the daily monotony and switch up the routine.
Vacations are the time when you get to plan exactly what you want to do, so you can have an amazing experience.
Holiday (for my UK people out there) is a chance to unplug, relax, and have not a worry in the world.
Well yes, but on this vacation I was reminded of something very important:
Life will ALWAYS hand you challenges, even on vacation. There’s no getting out of it, so we must learn to live with challenges in the best way(s) we can.
Let me explain…
We had this absolutely amazing trip planned: staying in a cabin on a mountain ranch, hiring a guide to take us on 2 full-day hike / bike tours, meeting with an old friend for some more hiking, and just being in Zion NP to experience all of its splendor.
Well, the day after we arrived, the National Park Service decided to close a road / entrance into the park. It happened to be the entrance that was 5 minutes from our ranch.
What was supposed to be a 12 mile simple and GORGEOUS drive for us to meet our guide and get into the heart of the park ended up being a 2.5 hour drive south, through Arizona, and back up and around to the other side.
This meant spending 4 hours per day in the car just coming and going from our hikes.
In the desert.
With spotty cell service.
And a 2 year old.
When we found out that this huge wrench was thrown into our plans, we were both pissed.
We complained to one another about it for a few minutes, and wondered “how could this happen to us on our vacation?!”
But then we decided to just ACCEPT the challenge and DEAL with it in the best way possible.
We switched our lodging to a hotel that was closer to the open entrance to the park.
Seems simple, right?!
Well it was…. But it very easily could have been the reason we complained for the rest of the vacation, had a crappy time, and used this poorly timed road closure to justify a bunch of not-so-great choices for ourselves and family.
This happens all the time.
Life hands us an unfortunate challenge, and we use it as an excuse to treat our bodies and minds poorly.
Binge eat junk food; give up on exercise; drink too much alcohol; avoid sleep; neglect self-care.
And we do all of this with a justification that life treated us poorly, so we deserve ________.
But ultimately that response won't serve us well over the long haul. Life will continue to challenge us, and that kind of response over time will create an unhealthy, unhappy, sad, and resentful person.
Instead of allowing a challenge to give us permission to stop trying, or treat ourselves poorly, we must acknowledge that challenges are part of life and it is OUR responsibility to learn how to best respond in a way that preserves our health and happiness.
It is possible and it isn't that hard. But it does take a shift in mindset and a break from the "norm."
If you would like some help and guidance learning how to stay happy & healthy in spite of the challenges life has thrown your way, I’d love to help out. Just reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat.