Sometimes things don’t always work out the way I plan. Today is my birthday and I thought it would be fabulous to go to the Waterloo Farm Museum and check out Blacksmiths, Soldiers, and Log Cabins Weekend. A picnic lunch was prepared and lots of my family members were planning to attend. Except . . . the day dawned with rain. Lots and lots of rain. Enough rain to ensure that any outdoor activity was not going to happen.
Undaunted, we got busy putting together Plan B. Even though not everyone was able to go, my aunt, oldest son, daughter-in-law and three grandkids met at the Impression 5 Science Center. There were all kinds of activities and fun things for kids to do. The grandkids kept us all on our toes as all three of them headed off in different directions to check out all the exhibits and play with foam blocks and Legos. The picnic lunch was consumed indoors, but it was almost as delicious as it would have been outside.
Afterward, I had the opportunity for a short visit with some of my cousins and their adorable daughters. For dinner we had some delicious chicken noodle soup that had been simmering in the crock pot all day. It was the perfect meal since the temperature never got over sixty degrees and we felt wet and chilled.
There’s an old Yiddish proverb that says, “Man plans, God laughs.” So often I think that I am in control and that things are going to go exactly as I have planned. Sometimes it does work out that way, but more often than not, I get thrown a curve ball. The simple truth is that I am not in charge of the world and that the only thing I can really control is the way I respond when things don’t go my way.
It would have been easy to feel disappointment, anger, and frustration and let unseasonable cold and rainy weather ruin my birthday. I could have ranted and pouted and been miserable to be around. At the end of the day, however, all that is accomplished by acting that way is alienating all the people that I love and being consumed by bitterness.
Would we all have had more fun if we’d gone to Waterloo? Probably. Would I have preferred to spend the day outside in the sunshine instead of inside a building? Absolutely. Even so, I choose to be grateful, grateful that I have been alive for fifty-five years, that I have two great sons and two beautiful daughter-in-laws, and that I have three grandchildren and a fourth on the way. Grateful that my parents are still alive and that I have three dear siblings and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Grateful that I have a job and am healthy and have known what it’s like to fall in love with someone. Grateful that I have a place to live and clothes to wear and a car to drive and food to eat, friends and family that texted me birthday wishes all day long, and a ridiculous black and white dog. It’s not circumstances that make a person happy or content, it’s simply a choice. Today I choose gratitude and hope that you will too.