It was a Saturday afternoon, and my oldest daughter and I were on our way to catch a puppet show in Portland. We hopped in the car and headed downtown to watch the artistry of Tears of Joy.
We arrived at the theater with plenty of time to settle in, participate in a few of the crafts out in the lobby, and look at the puppet displays. I noticed an empty spot RIGHT IN FRONT of the theater. Jackpot.
(Here is where I should mention that I’m terrible at parking!) I tried. I failed. I decided it was best to move on, and find a different spot.
We circled downtown Portland for quite awhile, searching for another place to park. (Maybe now is a good time to mention that I’m
slightly directionally challenged….and that the GPS was in the other car….)
After 15-20 minutes, I found a spot. I pulled out my purse to grab change for the meter, and to my chagrin, found only dollar bills. Portland hadn’t yet introduced the debit card meters, so I was out of luck. I scrounged around the car’s change cup and found enough random coins to buy us about 70 minutes.
As we got out of the car, I quickly realized that I had NO CLUE where we were. I didn’t have a phone, so we started walking in what I guessed was the right direction. I spotted two women who looked friendly, and asked them for directions. They pointed me towards the theater and we started speed-walking the 20 or so blocks. (I told you – I’m directionally challenged!)
We arrived just as the lights were dimming – but we made it!
The show was incredible. The puppeteers of Tears of Joy are incredibly gifted. I loved watching my daughter delight in the show – watching the characters and joining in the group chants and songs.
As the show wore on, I became overtly aware of the time – knowing our meter was about to expire. I put the thought out of my mind, and enjoyed the last act.
When the curtains closed, I grabbed Hannah’s hand and headed out of the theater. It had begun to sprinkle, but like good residents of the Pacific NW, we simply put our heads down and kept walking through the light drizzle. We started to head for the car, chatting about the show. And then it started to POUR. I’m talking about a good solid Portland rain.
With about 18 blocks to go, the heavens let loose and left us drenched. In those moments, our reaction was everything.
It would have been easy to let frustration give way to anger, or to let complaints and negativity override the experience of the day. Negativity is a powerful force – stealing moments and replacing joy with bitterness. But you know what? Positivity changes everything. It’s amazing what a good attitude can do.
Hannah and I kept our heads up and smiled all the way to the car – all 18 blocks. We laughed. We ran. We skipped. We hopped in puddles. Giggling, we navigated downtown Portland and enjoyed what is to this day, one of our favorite memories.
We couldn’t find a parking spot. We got lost. We had to run 20 blocks through crowded streets. We were nearly late. We ran 18 blocks in the POURING rain. And you know what? It was one of the best days we’ve shared together.
Your attitude is everything. Your attitude determines your outlook.
What could have easily been a horrific afternoon turned out to be a cherished memory because we CHOSE to think positively about our situation. We get to choose how we think about and react to the events and circumstances in our life. There is so much power in that.
Choose to be positive. Choose the bright side. It changes everything. Let it change you.