My husband and I just got back from a quick overnight work trip to Walla Walla. We left at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, and drove straight to a local salon to start shooting a bridal party getting ready, and worked straight through the day, until around 10:30 pm. (We own a photography company and were shooting a wedding.) Our little trip was straightforward, and entirely work-related. We woke up this morning and headed home. Not even 36 hours after we left home, we arrived back home….It was a quick little trip with a LOT of work involved…and yet, it was perfect, and filled with memories. Know why? We made the most of every minute and treated the little problems along the way like “adventures” or opportunities for memories.
I won’t lie. I love shooting weddings, and never quite get over what an honor it is to be included in someone’s big day in the capacity that we are. (We’re pretty much with the bride and groom more than anyone else that day.) However, weddings are hard work! It is a long day without much down time, and you’re constantly moving and working your shots. However, since my husband and I get to work together, we treat our shoots like little dates and make the most of rare time together without the kids and away from home. We try to catch each others’ eye across the room as though meeting for the first time. We treat the 3 minute Diet Coke break we manage to sneak in as though we are having drinks at the Four Seasons. The piece of garlic bread and last piece of watermelon we manage to snag from the catering remains (that we scarfed down on the back of a golf cart!), was like a grand meal at the finest restaurant. Watching the wedding guests dance and sing along to the dj is like ultimate karaoke (Where we were able to stop and crack up wondering “Why on earth do so many people know ALL the words to Moulin Rouge?”). Bottom line…WE HAVE FUN IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.
You can turn an outing to the grocery store into magic time with your kids. A quick drive down the scenic highway can be like local Disneyland. Make a big deal out of the nothings (in a good way!) Point out the trains, the animals you pass, the clouds, the water, the little towns….If YOU are having fun and seeing the good in everything, your kids will to! If however, you choose to see the drive through basically nothing as just that, your kids will pick up on your boredom and inherit your bad attitude. What type of vacations, road trips, and car rides do YOU want to have? Be the example…Turn those little family trips and otherwise “boring” car rides into magic. SEE THE GOOD.
Here’s another example for our little trip. We had our bride books us a hotel room. (This was prior to our change in destination wedding policy.) Trip Advisor ranked our hotel dead last, and some of the traveler comments likened it to a “crack den.” Joy. However, after a really long day (and a fun day), I didn’t want a sour attitude to bring me down. We were going to make the most of our circumstance. Yes, there was a TON of hair in the bed. Yes, I would have worn flip-flops in the shower. And yes, this morning my husband wakes up and goes, “Oh hey, there’s a big booger on the wall.” But, even now, I can’t stop cracking up at those things. Those things didn’t matter because David and I were having fun, and darn it, we were going to have fun no matter what. (And you know what, it was a comfortable bed and a place to stay!) SEE THE GOOD.
Today as we made the drive home down the gorge, we marveled. We took in all the beauty, rather than focusing on the lack of civilization. We had “adventures” through small towns looking for rest stops and places to eat. We saw the giant pelicans, mountain goats, and breathtaking views of the water as things of beauty and things to remember, rather than thinking about being home…being bored…We laugh about only being able to find “The Cowboy Show,” or the screaming preacher (think Pollyanna) on the radio. We made it fun. Today as we were coming out of a McDonalds (the only restaurant we could find), I looked up at the cliffs, felt the warm breeze, and thought, “this was a great vacation.” When really, it had been a long day of work and a car ride down the gorge. My attitude influenced my perception. See the good. What kind of day will you have? How will you interpret the next time you get lost? The next time you drive through an old town or find yourself on a long car ride? What will YOU see?