The finish line disappeared when the buyers pulled out of the deal. Like a runner in the lead with the finish line in sight who unexpectedly trips and falls flat on her face, there’s no quick recovery or win in that moment. That’s how I felt 10 days before I was scheduled to return to Australia.
The world turned upside down as I scrambled to create a new plan full of uncertianty and angst. The sale of my parent’s house didn’t come through, which conflicts with several other situations I’m dealing with. At that disappointing moment there was only one reality I could plan for. The house would have to be taken care of during the winter because I needed to get back to Australia.
Plan D – Don’t Dwell On It
I’ve made many plans on this journey and there have been many twists and turns along the way. I’ve been through plan A, B, and C or more with this house, but I’ll just call this change “plan D” for simplicity. “D” for “Don’t dwell on the mishaps, the obsticles, or the loss of what was expected.” That’s easier said than done.
However, it seems that it’s an important life lesson that I need more practice of. I’m one of those people who always asks myself questions like, “Why did this happen? What could I have done differently? What do I do now? How can I manage all these issues that this change has caused?” Even when someone else has made a mistake that’s impacted my life. I often feel like I’m the one who has to pick up all the pieces and glue things back together.
But the lesson I’m learning here is how to advocate for myself, and how to ask for help or restitution without being a victim. Mistakes, problems and set-backs are all unavoidable parts of life and asking “Why?” often doesn’t solve the problem. At least that’s true for me, because asking “Why?” often leads to blaming myself or others and thinking thoughts like, “If only… (somebody could have done something differently). Sometimes thoughts like “If only this didn’t happen” can lead to holding grudges, losing confidence or feeling resentment. So I’m learning to not dwell on what didn’t happen and to not get caught up in my lost expectations.
What new possibilities are becoming available?
My new question is, “What’s possible now, what are my options?” It’s a question that needs input from others. It’s amazing how little bits and pieces of valuable information can come from different people but seamlessly create new possibilities. I have a tendency to worry about problems I don’t know how to solve. I can become anxious and lose sleep when there are too many issues to wrap my brain around, but I’m learning to let go and have faith that things will work out for the best.
After spending eight months cleaning out and preparing my parent’s house for sale it was easy to feel devistated when the sale fell through. So I’m deeply grateful to many friends and my family who were supportive. I’m also grateful for the uncomplicated processes of the small town that allowed me to easily set up winter maintenance. And I’m grateful that I got on the plane because I definately needed a break and a fresh perspective.
Slow Down and Breathe Deeply
There’s nothing like a long international flight and trekking through several large international airports to give you a different perspective. Oh, but maybe there is; yes, getting COVID in the process of traveling has definately given me a new perspective. This is a truely weird illness, and if this is the light version then I’m deeply grateful that I avoided the previous strains.
The pandemic made the world slow down for awhile. It forced everyone to look for new ways to live, work, play and exist. Some people found new opportunities and made positive changes while others were eager to go back to the way things were before. For me it was a chance to be a little more relaxed toward life’s usual pressures and demands. To slow down, breathe deeply, appreciate where I was and what I had, and reevaluate.
When I left Australia last March to go to New Hampshire it felt kind of like going back to the past. But the past is always gone, it’s only memories and nostalgia that we experience in it’s wake. I grew tired and weary from dwelling in that wake for too long. Now that I’ve returned to Australia and I’m experiencing the new reality of COVID, I’m once again forced to slow down, look around, and appreciate every moment I can breathe deeply.
Change is inevitable, plans go awry, disapointments will happen, but there is always a way forward. Sometimes it’s best to wait and see what happens.