Friday, December 8, 2017

Road Trip 2017: The Tale of Changing Plans and Expectations

Comparison. Expectations. Discontent.  I can be my own worst enemy and usually these are at the heart of it.  Everything we go to do can be lost to what we thought it should be or how we see others doing it.  We just took a family vacation to Flagstaff, Arizona that absolutely did no go the way we intended or expected.  I got some great pictures, my kids had some great experiences and Mr. Butler and I had some much needed time together for reflection and growth.  A successful trip it sounds like, right?  Yes, it was successful, but there was a ton that was just rotten and not how we planned time off.




The baby projectile vomited 4 or 5 times and prevented us from checking out a couple of surrounding towns like we'd planned.  After that day being so stressful we opted to stay in town the next day, which meant our Grand Canyon day was a lot colder.  We had fun at the Lowell Observatory and even came back later that night, but just as we finished a really neat demonstration, J threw up everything he had between the lobby and the bathroom.  Never before in my 7 years of being a mother had I dealt with so much vomit in such a short time span so by the time we got back from their MY stomach was feeling queasy.  So, since everything seemed to be crumbling anyway, I felt awful sick all night and finally willed my body to throw up just so I would feel better.  And I did. Mr. Butler and I both woke up the next day with headaches and feeling weak, along with come and go tummy troubles. Was it a stomach virus or some kind of flu?  Was it altitude sickness?  Honestly, I'm not certain either way.  It was all so weird and affected everyone differently (as in miss Z's case not at all!), but certainly not our idea of a good vacation element.

So, depending on my attitude, this could have been a disaster trip and waste of time or a successful time away where my kids got some unique memories and definitely a growth experience in my marriage and mental health.  The truth of the matter is that our perception of the way life normally goes for other people falsely feeds our expectations and then in turn influences our gratitude and attitude towards disappointment and unhappiness.  Poll those around you about their worst vacation experience.  There are all kinds of horror stories to be heard, but then somehow when it comes to our life we expect things not to be challenging.



There was one morning of this trip that I was just flat unhappy that everything was getting rearranged and in my mind just ruined.  As usual I had perfectionist ideals that were being thrown out the window and I wasn't happy with what was left.  Thankfully, one morning's attitude doesn't a ruined trip make.  At the end of the day I desire a healthy, close relationship with my family, a steady flow of fun learning experiences and more time to become the person God designed me to be.  In light of those goals, we had a fantastic trip and can't wait to do it again  - maybe minus all the vomiting!  So let's remember this:

1. Trips or life in general rarely go exactly as planned - and that's okay.
2. The ideal life we might see in a Christmas card or on Facebook isn't ideal or without trouble.
3. Be thankful.  Even be thankful for the vomiting.  ;)
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