Happy Fix: A Beach, A Boy and a Superlocked Trunk

dave-me-beach

 

My favorite place, hands down, is the beach. Sun, sand, shells, it’s heaven to me.  Yesterday, my Happy Fix was a trip to the beach with my family.

On the drive down, we decided to shake it up a bit.  Instead of heading directly to the beach, we decided to stop at a state park along the way.  It’s a park that is bordered by a sound and a river and promised to have some beautiful walking trails.  I don’t know about the weather where you are but it has been cold, rainy and snowy here.  Yesterday, which topped out in the low 80’s, was welcome relief from a winter that never seemed to end.

Once we got to the park, we stopped in the visitors’ center to get some information about the maritime trails so we could decide where we wanted to spend our time.  While my husband and I were in the visitors’ center, our son decided to join us.  He put his iPod and headphones in the trunk and proceeded to lock it which meant turning the lock in a direction I did not know existed.  When we came out of the visitors’ center and he told us that he locked the trunk, my husband and I looked at each other with the same bewildered expression.  You don’t really lock trunks, they just lock.  When we tried to open the trunk (did I mention that our towels, sunscreen, water, footballs….you get the picture…were also in the trunk with the iPod) the lock just slipped.

At that point we had a choice.  We could have gotten angry about the situation we were in or we could shrug it off and go on with our day.  I’m ashamed to admit this but in my earlier days, I may have lost my cool, said things I didn’t mean or let the situation we were in ruin the day.  I may have made snide comments designed to remind my son of the mistake he made disguised as being funny or sarcastic.

That was not the choice we made.  We let it go.  The most important thing about the day was we were in a place that we all love with a beautiful day ahead of us and we were together.  We told our son it was no big deal and we meant it.  We could pick up what we needed along the way.  The most important thing was to get on with enjoying the day.

About 10 minutes after the trunk locking incident of 2014, we got to a clearing on a trail that overlooked the sound.  While standing there enjoying the view, my husband noticed a fin breaking the water.  We were about 30 feet from a pod of dolphins that we watched swim with the current.  I’ve seen dolphins before but never this close.  It was truly magnificent and I’m so grateful we had the chance to see it.  Had we gotten upset about the trunk, we may have missed this gift entirely or we may not have been in the mindset to appreciate it.  In education we call this a teachable moment.  This was a moment where we made a conscious decision to bypass the suckiness of the situation and to fully embrace the glory of what we were seeing. 

We went the entire day without iPods, towels and footballs.  We bought sunscreen and water and were no worse for the wear.  Once we got home, we took a look at the owners’ manual and were able to figure out how to open the trunk again.  Apparently, not only did my son not break it but he figured out that you can superlock the trunk.  Who knew?

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The moral of the story is that you may not be in control of what happens in your life but you are in control of your reactions to events.  That will determine how things go for you.  Sometimes you need to superlock your initial reactions to events up and consider the consequences.  Being able to truly evaluate an event’s impact on your world and letting go of things that are not important is a gift you give yourself.  What kind of unimportant things can you let go of?  How can changing your reaction to life's little inconveniences make your life better? Leave your comments below.  Let that be your Happy Fix today!

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Missing out on life’s little moments because of an anger is definitely something we all need to work on more. I videoed my two little ones when they had taken my lipstick and put it all over their faces. I thought, I can get mad or enjoy this age and buy a new lipstick! It was great because now I have a wonderful video of my kids that is priceless! Happy Moments!

  2. This is one of those “I’m glad I learned it but I wish I had learned it earlier” lessons. The book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch really helped me appreciate the fact that you stuff is just stuff and the value in life is reflected in your relationships and experiences.