Have you ever planned a great day of summer activities and then woke up to rain? It’s disappointing and upsetting.
I remember planning an outdoor birthday party for my son (age 7 at the time). I was all ready to host ten of his energetic friends for about 3 hours doing tons of fun activities outside. And then it rained. We had to be inside and I had nothing planned for inside our small home.
We played charades for about 10 minutes before the kids became bored and started asking "what is there to do?" I looked at my wife and said "Hmmm…. two hours, fifty minutes to go! Now what?" Well, we got creative and found lots of indoor things to do but for a few minutes, it was sheer panic.
I wanted to host the best birthday party for my son and made great plans so it would happen. But, as fate would have it, my plans were scuttled.
Has this ever happened to you? Perhaps you planned an activity with your children when your plans were "rained on". Perhaps your teenage child decided to go to a friend’s home or your ex spouse called at the last minute to change weekends. Maybe you had to spend "your weekend" helping your son or daughter complete a school project or study for exams when you had planned some special event with them. It’s frustrating. When you are divorced, time with the kids is very special and you always want to make the most of it. Right?
Thinking back to that birthday party, I had a choice. I could have become angry and frustrated making the party a disaster or I could have chosen to make the most out of the situation. On that occasion, I chose wisely and made the most out of the day. In the end, it was a great birthday party. Everyone had fun.
I haven’t always chosen wisely. Sometimes I listen to the other voice in my head: the negative voice. I seek to find blame, become angry and get very upset. I make the day a disaster by my own attitude.
When you are divorced, it is especially tempting to get all riled up when your ex spouse scuttles your plans. I try to remember that when plans get changed that I have a choice: make the most of it or make things worse.
Wouldn’t it be great if every time our best laid plans go awry, we choose wisely and just made the most of it?
Tomorrow, we are planning on spending the day canoeing with the kids. I hope it doesn’t rain. But if it does…I won’t be "ready" but I hope I make the most of it.