Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Split Personality of Vacation

Some people call me a Pollyanna (okay, I call myself that sometimes too). I prefer to think of this trait as being “positive” and “optimistic” and not “naïve” or “completely out of touch with reality.”

Any situation can be viewed from different perspectives leaving some people happy as clams (hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it) or Gloomy Gusses (and everything in between).

Vacation is rife with opportunities to see things in a positive light, letting one enjoy a break no matter what happens or to see all the obstacles standing in the way of a relaxing, enjoyable time.

Which would you choose? (In case you didn't guess, I chose Option B in each scenario).

Situation #1 (we’re going in chronological order here): On our way to the beach, we drop off our Princess Sassy at Other Brother’s house (Sassy is our Toy Pomeranian, and yes, she prefers to be addressed as “Princess”). Sister-in-Law engages in a very frank discussion (aka, intervention) about moving Robert into our house and lays out the reasons why it is not good for me, my health, my family or the health of my family.

Option A: Engage in an argument, be hurt and let this discussion temper the excitement of the beach (which is so close!).

Option B: Since I’ve known SIL for over 25 years, know she is coming from a genuine place of caring and of being a real sister to me. Wonder why the heck it took so long for Other Brother to tell her of these plans (okay, this was a minor distraction). Seriously consider every point she brought up and discuss the decision with Hubby again, revisiting each point (after vacation). We came to the same conclusion (moving Robert in with us but more resolved to have it be temporary if it affects our own health or well-being or family). Thank you, SIL, for making me think this through even more.

Situation #2: While I am sitting on the beach ten minutes after arriving to the coast, Robert calls to tell me he’s out of day time briefs (I had just visited him the night before and he was completely stocked with everything I provide for him. New Home provides the daytime briefs). I confirm the situation with the aide who tells me the shipment hasn’t arrived yet. House Manager is my next call and we have a discussion about (1) how in the world this could happen and (2) how she is going to get him more briefs (because putting him into the tape diapers instead of finding him pull up diapers takes away his independence and is not acceptable to me). After a discussion about why she can’t use his “P&I” account to go to CVS to purchase pull up briefs (it apparently takes a week to get proper authorizations), she agrees to get a few from Day Program that were there for back up.

Option A: Become angry, hostile and irritated. Sulk for the rest of the afternoon about the incompetence of whoever was in charge of ordering the briefs which completely distracts from the beauty of the day.

Option B: Recognize that I couldn’t be in a better place to solve this problem. Sitting on the beach, looking at the ocean, scouting the sea for sea lions while helping House Manager come up with a solution so Robert is dry and in briefs he can pull up and down when needed. I’d like to solve problems like this every day!

Situation #3: Good Lord, my step-daughter wants to get a tattoo!

Option A: Freak out, completely lose it with her, argue about the risks and regret of such a decision.

Option B: Freak out a little (on the inside). :-) Rationally discuss the ramifications of getting a tattoo and how it may affect job possibilities. Be thankful she chose her foot for a tiny tattoo of a cute ladybug. Buy her, Daughter, Daughter’s BF drinks and have a good time the night before the inking. Attend tattooing with her and take pictures (but ask for credentials of tattoo artist and a copy of the release). Isn’t that what mom’s are for? Freak out a little again (on the inside).

Situation #4: On the way out of town, get rear-ended by someone who swears he’s going to pull over “just up there” and then who proceeds to drive off never to be seen again.

Option A: Let this leave a sour taste in my mouth on our last day of vacation.

Option B: Be happy it happened on the last day instead of the first. Be grateful the car is not damaged so much as to not be drivable and that no one was hurt. Be thankful for the nice, sympathetic police officers (three of them for some reason). Feel a little bit of pride when Daughter also admits she thought the guy was coming back (it’s nice to know she has faith in humanity!). Be relieved Hubby is practical enough to know the guy wasn’t coming back and had the sense to get his license plate number. Be amused Daughter’s BF filmed the whole interaction with the police officers and plans to add it to the “vacation video.”

I love vacations and miss the beach (and sea lions) already!


Unknown said...

What a great post! I laughed, I got teary eyed, and felt thrilled to know such a positive person. I could relate to each situation and deal with things like that all the time. I too have to remind myself to stay positive, sometimes several times a day. You are a wonderful lady full of light and love.


Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

Trish -- you are so evolved (for a human!!). We do have the choice how we look at situations and react to them. You laid the perfect templet for "what to do" to stay positive (pawsitive!) in any situation --- love, love love it!

Has hubby, insurance or police tracked down the truck that hit you? Clearly, that driver does not possess dog-like thinking!

I hope your vacation was over-the-top relaxing, regardless of the challenges.

Heidi & Atticus
"commentary to give you paws..."

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Bill, I'm happy you enjoyed the post. I try to stay positive and put a positive spin on things - it works most of the time! (Still working on it those other times). :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Atticus, Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are feeling better, pup. :-) Vacation was really relaxing -- you can't go wrong going to the beach. The police got the guys address from running the plate number; insurance is tracking down a phone number and, hopefully, can get insurance info from him. If not, we proceed with fixing the car without his insurance. Some people . . . Thank goodness Hubby had the presence of mind to get the plate number. Get well, Atti!

Franziska San Pedro said...

You are so funny! You really made me laugh again and I like all your options :-) Sounds like what I do a lot. I have all these options mapped out in my mind, then I pick one and react much calmer than I used to 10 years ago (well that was just past my teenage life -I guess I was someone else then., lol).

Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Franziska, I think we were all someone else as teenagers! :-) I've missed you but know you are creating! Can't wait to see what you've painted.

Kathy Lowrey said...

For some reason I have the song, "Don't worry , B Happy" playing in my head ;-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Well, Kathy, you know me too well! I loved that song when it came out and still get happy when thinking of it. :-)