Getting the most out of life come what may

By Nina Steele 

My husband and I booked a short break in the Lake District just before Christmas. We are keen walkers and had been to the area many times before. We had planned our walks in advance and were looking forward to spending whole days walking and enjoying ourselves. What we had not taken into account however, was that the Lake District is prone to flooding around that time of the year and this year was no exception.

Instead of moaning about the situation and feeling sorry for ourselves, we decided to do whatever we could to still have a good time. My husband has never been bothered about walking in the rain, if anything, he quite likes it and so it was more about me. We had planned to stay for 3 nights with 2 days spent walking. As it turned out, those two days were when the heaviest of the rain fell.

We had fun walking the first day and I unusually enjoyed getting wet and even found myself singing in the rain at some point. On the second day however, I let my husband go on his own while I stayed in our room writing and watching a film. Although the weather was not on our side, we managed to have a good time overall and having very kind hosts did help as well.

I suspect that had this happened a few years ago, I would have complained the whole time and made a real fuss. However, as I grow older and acquire more experience, I have come to get used to the fact that sometimes, things don’t happen the way we plan and unless we are able to change the situation, there is no need to spend too much time and energy complaining.

We often make ourselves miserable because we don’t like whatever situation we find ourselves in. We have an idea of how things should be and if they fail to meet our expectations then our life falls apart. I remember the times in the past when I would kick a fuss about pretty much anything, not realising that the more I resist what is the more unhappy I become. It was always someone else’s fault that I was upset. Oh dear! Once I realised that my state of mind was up to me, and it took me a while to understand that, I was quick to change my ways.

That the two days we had set aside for walking were the worst days that week in terms of rainfall made me smile. As we were leaving, the sun started shining and the forecast was that the remaining week would be rain-free. The Universe will always test us to see how much progress we have made as individuals.

We make all these noises about having changed and then a situation arises and we are put to the test. If we behave exactly as we did before then we obviously still have a lot of work to do on ourselves, however if we accept the situation and see it for what it is, namely a chance for growth, then we are on the right path.

My husband is my teacher in many ways in that he generally tends to accept situations quicker than I do. I tend to question things more and that is not a bad thing in itself. It becomes a problem when you find yourself constantly on the warpath even when situations do not warrant it.

And so acceptance was big on my list of things that I needed to work on. This is what I mean by you make your own life. I identified one of my weaknesses and set out to improve it and although we never stop learning and continue to do so until the time when we take our last breath, the key is to always keep growing.

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