When Things Don't Go To Plan...
I host a Community Radio lunchtime show and have just celebrated 3 years at the station. I was recently meant to be playing host to an expert I had "booked" for the show, I'd prepared a suitable playlist, organised a set of questions, as well as all the other tasks I need to do to make the show a success. On a typical week it will take me upwards of three hours to get content with which I'm happy. This is a self-imposed thing because I've set myself an ethos - everything must be uplifting and positive...but I digress!
A little orange warning light had started making itself known in my car so on the way to the studio I allowed extra time to call into the garage to book it in to be looked at. Appointment made, I go back to the car only to find it won't start. This isn't unusual in the damp weather so I waited and tried again. Success! However, the car wouldn't move!! To cut a long story short, I ended up having to cancel my show and all other plans for the day!
Initially I was gutted, not just because all my preparation had been for nought but mainly because the work my guest will have put in would also have been wasted. If I ever have to cancel a show, I can always use 80% of the material so I look at it as having less work to do for the next one...but will still use my usual preparation time to prepare for a future show! It then occurred to me that with Christmas rapidly approaching I could do with something special for my Christmas show. A quick message to my guest and they were able to do that day! Hoorah!
Whilst I could have done without the expense of a broken car and losing out on money from the clients I couldn't see due to having no transport there were so many positives. Firstly it meant I was able to spend some quality time with my parents who had been visiting. Secondly it meant I was able to more or less complete my Christmas shopping (my parents drove). Finally, it gave me the chance to tidy up my garden.
When things don't go to plan it is very easy to right the day off as a failure. It is very easy to curse the universe for allowing things to go wrong. It is very easy to just say "[INSERT NAUGHTY WORDS HERE] I'm going to mope around the house or watch telly. I can't go anywhere, I don't have a car so I may as well just do nothing." and while the is nothing wrong with taking the opportunity to actually relax (especially if you've had a very busy time of late) it could be the ideal time to do the jobs that keep moving to the bottom of your to-do-list.
A few things I remembered and learnt from this
1. Things can sometimes go wrong, that's the way of life. Don't get stressed about it, look for a way to turn it into something positive.
2. It's not the end of the world if you have to cancel things due to circumstances beyond your control, so stop worrying about it.
3. Everything happens for a reason but sometimes it can take a while to realise what the reason is.
4. Unplanned things sometimes turn out better than that which you had planned (the photo for this blogisode is a picture I took on holiday when we ended up walking for longer than planned...had the original plan of a short walk to blow away the cobwebs followed by some work before dinner (I'm writing a book) I'd have missed this stunning sunset!)
In conclusion, I think one of the most important things is to just stay calm, or more importantly, not to stay angry. This time of year can be stressful enough without adding to them by overreacting to things that don't go to plan. It's times like this that inspired me to write a meditation album for the Winter Celebrations. It covers a few different topics and takes you on a couple of magical journey's too. It's available now to download from our shop.