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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rude Surprises – What Do We Do With Them?

Of all our worst routine revelations it seems the one of unexpected delay is often the most annoying. Recently, whilst ‘shooting on location’ with my wife (she’s a wedding and portrait photographer) we received word from the event organiser that due to flight cancellations there would be a significant delay, possibly in the magnitude of several hours. We had just travelled about one hundred kilometres to be there.

‘Okay, what now?’ seemed our collective sentiment. Our first thought however was, ‘Let’s date.’ So, we found a coffee shop, took stock, and then found a lovely tree to read, talk and even sleep under.

The problem with this sort of delay though, with scant information to go on, was we weren’t sure if the wedding would even take place—the groom was several thousand kilometres away over in Adelaide for all we knew. And you can’t have a wedding without a groom!

Thinking broader though, we don’t tend to react well to these sorts of piffling inconveniences, do we? I know I was tempted to spit the dummy in that initial moment. Open-ended delays are the pits especially when you’re so far from home and the fact there’s little that can be done about it. But another truth is these things are destined to happen to all of us from time to time.

When we’re placed in situations and must face certain undeniable realities it does us no good to cuss and complain. (Of course, most of us know this, yet we’ll still often let fly—if nothing else within ourselves. Life is funny—why is it that we overreact and then have cause only later to reflect humbly over our childish “reactive” antics?)

Yet, life rewards the opportunist—the person who can, in the instant of their frustration and confusion, dream up a blessing out of the awkwardness creating the inner discord.

Not surprisingly, the world is still a gorgeous place underneath the haranguing situations you and I perhaps have found ourselves in.

Here’s something to remember:

Rude surprise; blessing in disguise.

For my wife and me it actually proved a good little sojourn; it’s not like we didn’t need a little time together anyway. Time like this is always welcome. The wedding did get under way eventually, and even sooner than we’d originally thought; so all ended up well.

When we draw upon the resources we actually have on us, and we’re driven by the thought that this interruption can actually become a blessing in disguise, there’s no limit to what we might extract from the otherwise calamitous circumstance.

Surely a key learning can be: dream up your own answer to your “present” debacles of the future.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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