I am a home body. I love being at home. I love my own bed. I love my own shower. And I love my routine. This isn’t a bad thing. I think it’s good to appreciate your living situation and daily life without needing anything extra-ordinary. But it can be a problem when the routine gets re-routed.
Last fall, we had a presentation to attend in Hekla, Manitoba, three and a half hours from where we live. It was going to be an early morning presentation, so we decided to drive most of the way the evening before.
That was going to mean a hotel stay. As one of the laws of physics state, to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In my case that law looks like this: As much as I love my own bed, I hate hotels. Equal and opposite.
Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to the whole thing.
As the day approached, we noticed just how crappy our attitude was about the whole thing, and we thought, “Hey, genius idea! Let’s practice what we preach. How about we make the most of it?!”
I know, talk about common sense. But as the saying goes, common sense is not always common practice.
We decided to look at the whole thing like an adventure.
Every time we felt the tension arise around the situation, we’d genuinely remind each other, “It’s an adventure!”
We did this over and over, until we were approaching the whole thing with a light-hearted sense of adventure and amusement.
We hit the road having done an internal 180. We were genuinely looking forward to the day.
Our genuine sense of adventure was challenged that night. When we arrived at the hotel.
First of all…the smell. It wasn’t just your standard hotel smell. It was worse.
The smell got worse the closer we got to our room and didn’t get better behind closed doors. By then we were on the phone finding out if there was another hotel around with an available room. The answer was no. We were stuck there.
Which wouldn’t be horrible if it was only the smell. But it wasn’t only the smell. The carpet crunched under my boots. There was something growing on the table, and it wasn’t a potted plant. The shower got me wondering if I’d be cleaner before or after.
Throughout the tour of the wacky and wonderful that was our hotel room, we were laughing, reminding ourselves, “It’s an adventure.”
We planned on perching on the edge of a chair and losing ourselves in some Netflix. No wifi.
Our resolve faltered a little bit. But within a few minutes we were laughing again, reminding ourselves, “It’s an adventure.”
So we went to bed. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I slept in jeans, work boots, and a hoody - with the hood up, touching as little as I could. If I could’ve slept hovering above the bed, I would’ve.
The next morning was a shower. Which honestly I don’t remember because my brain has blocked it from my memory as a self-protection mechanism.
Then we were off, covering the remaining miles to Hekla, where the presentation was going to take place. We had laughed so hard on the first leg of our “adventure” that our spirits were high.
The scenery was incredible. Hekla Island was beautiful. Louise did the presentation and rocked it. We even stayed hours longer than anticipated to go for a walk, exploring the beautiful island and taking in the fall scenery.
The whole trip turned out to be more than enjoyable - even memorable.
All because we turned our dread into a sense of adventure. We didn’t just tell ourselves to have fun. We didn’t fake it. We didn’t pretend. We transformed our emotion from dread and reluctance to anticipation and amusement.
It is only because of this inner transformation that we were able to laugh our way through the outer challenges and end up enjoying it all, the good, the bad, and the smelly.
What are you dreading?
How can you meet the challenge with a genuine sense of adventure?
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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