My Facebook timeline has been blowing up this entire weekend because for the last five years during this time of year, I have spent the Labor Day weekend traveling, mostly abroad, on vacation. I swoon over the timeline photos of me in Germany, Rome (during the canonization of Mother Theresa), Paris, and Madrid – oh what wonderful times I had.
I made a decision five years ago that I would travel during this time to celebrate my birthday, Sept. 2nd. While my job affords me many opportunities to travel, I seldom made any time for myself to just totally unplug and enjoy life. Sure, I might stay an extra day or two at the end of a work-related conference, but that was it. I had not taken a “real” vacation other than a holiday stay at my parents’ home for a few days for Thanksgiving or Christmas since 2003.
This year, of course international travel was out, so I planned a short staycation in Dallas last weekend. It was a pretty uneventful stay and to be truthful I was really pretty disappointed. The luxury hotel was nice enough, but the service was lackluster (due to COVID-19, I’m sure). The clerks barely spoke and the smiles that hospitality staff typically wear were replaced with masks and tired eyes.
My hobby is interior design, so I visited two high-end home interior stores in Dallas, Z Gallerie and Restoration Hardware. Both were underwhelming, not at all the glamour that I had seen on YouTube videos of designers and influencers. The Z Gallerie clerk told me that they were not getting nearly the items that they usually get due to supply shortages and shipping slowdowns from COVID-19.
By the end of the weekend, I was ready to come home. I packed up quickly and checked out. In my hurry, I forgot my planner and a cosmetic bag. I ended up driving back the following day to retrieve the items.
I was so salty about my new reality, that I didn’t even care much about celebrating my birthday. But then, people that I truly care about showed up and showed out. My executive team surprised me with a Birthday breakfast (socially distanced, of course), the love of my life sent me flowers and a teddy bear, family and friends flooded my timeline with Happy Birthday wishes and I was reminded that I have a choice to be happy in whatever situation I find myself in or not. I choose HAPPY!
During this whole season of difficult situations, we all have choices to make.
Attitude and gratitude are choices. Love is a choice. Compassion is a choice. Service is a choice. Happiness is choice. It’s all a matter of perspective and choices. What will you choose to embrace today?