What's the Worst That Could Happen?

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A few days ago I flew to Colorado to represent Sonlight at the Spring Curriculum Fair in Loveland. It was my first of six events for the season. I had been to the Loveland conference several other years, but this was the first time I traveled there alone. Other years my husband had done the driving and we made a family road trip out of it. This year, for various reasons, I decided to fly. Time-wise it was much more efficient to do it that way, but there were many details to think about and plan. Things I usually depend on my husband to do for me.

First, I had to pack up my booth display materials and have them shipped a week in advance. Once I arrived in Denver, I needed to rent a mini-van. After that I had to drive an hour north, find and check into my hotel, and load up the 11 boxes of display materials to take to the convention venue. When I got there I needed to unload and carry in my boxes before I could start setting up my booth. After the convention was over it was time to tear down the booth, repack the boxes, load them back into the van, find the closest FedEx drop-off, unload the boxes again... and the most stressful part? Drive back to the airport, drop off my rental van, and make it through security in time to fly home that night.

Needless to say, it was a nerve-wracking weekend for me. I have a tendency to worry about all the things that could go wrong. What if my boxes didn't make it? What if I got lost? What if I had a flat tire? What if I ran out of time and missed my flight?

But you know what? That kind of thinking is crippling. If I dwelt on all the negative possibilities I would never do anything new or different. I would never go outside of my comfort zone. So every time I found myself worrying about what might go wrong, I would stop and think: "Okay. Suppose that did happen. Then what would I do? What's the Plan B?" Having a contingency plan helped calm me down considerably.

Despite the stress, the weekend went smoothly. I had a lovely time at the convention. I made it back to the airport on Saturday evening with an extra hour to spare. And the experience was good for me.

Last week my daughter had a couple of job interviews that she was nervous about. She was also invited to a friend's house she had never been to about 30 miles away. She needed to drive there alone and it was snowing. So she started worrying... Apparently, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all.

In trying to encourage her, I was able to say, "Let me tell you about my experience last weekend..." None of this, "Now, when I was your age..." Isn't it interesting how our comfort zones keep getting stretched all throughout our lives?

 Guess what? My daughter's adventures all went smoothly, too.

There's something very satisfying about doing "hard" things, isn't there?

Enjoying the adventure,
~Karla Cook
Lifelong Learner

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