I was on vacation and the planning for my trip took some time. I had to find a flight that was within my budget heading to my preferred destination on a certain day. Then, in order to get home, I had to find another flight on a certain day.

It worked. I had flights arranged and managed to get to the airport with all my crap packed in a suitcase that didn’t weigh too much. Twice. The planning of the logistics for the trip was managed but it had almost nothing to do with my vacation. It was simply a means of getting back and forth from here to there so I could vacation.

First I spent time with my sisters. This has become a yearly event we have dubbed Sistercation. We get together from across the country and spend time in the same room together doing all sorts of nonsense. It isn’t necessary to have a full agenda for our time together. We are fluid in our ideas of what is a perfect time.

For instance, we were going to the teahouse for lunch. The hostess sister thought there were no local teahouses, but we found one. It was so local she had never noticed it as she drove past. But we found it on the internet and off we went on our “teahouse” day. They were closed for their vacation and wouldn’t be back for a couple weeks.

This left us adrift and hungry and yet, we managed to find an even better place for our lunch. It was marvelous and we had the perfect time. Our destination changed, but our time together remained and we managed to enjoy it.

Living in the moment means you don’t plan every possible move. You are not a chess game and no plan has ever survived engagement. As soon as you begin to implement your carefully laid plans, you are open to derailment. See Robert Burns or John Steinbeck.

Instead of focusing on what just went wrong (teahouse closed until after all the sisters were gone) we winged it. We just set out to find a different place to have lunch and found a quirky and delicious alternative. There was a bit of disappointment when we saw the sign, but it did not keep us from having a wonderful afternoon.

Some derailments are a lot larger than a teahouse closed for a couple weeks. Focusing on the problem and bemoaning one’s fate and the vagaries of life can consume you. But if you focus, instead, on a solution, you have a chance of making things even better. Nothing is going to improve by itself. You have to step up and make the changes you need.

If you focus solely on the bumps in the road, you will miss the beautiful wildflowers, sometimes called weeks, growing off to the side. Life is full of misfortunes, some small and some large. But between the setbacks are wonderful snippets of adventure and accomplishment. Looks for those along your way and you won’t be so disgruntled by the pitfalls.

The journey can be magical if you stop looking down. Glance up at the stars, eat lunch somewhere else. It matters, not to anyone else, but it does make your trip more fun.

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