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2020 plans include open mind

Posted on January 9, 2020 | Comments

What was I thinking weather-wise to plan a mountain getaway Thanksgiving weekend? When I booked the cozy cottage in Idyllwild, I believed our usual SoCal fair weather would prevail. Instead the 10-day forecast had a snow icon for the onset of my stay. The Airbnb hostess assured me that chains are easy to use and to see the opportunity as an adventure. My life has been one BIG adventure. Why was the idea of spending time in the snow tripping me up? Well, plans to be out hiking each day weren’t an option without proper gear. With a shift in mindset, decided to go for the gusto—be curious and find out what it would be like to spend time in a mountain town with forests wrapped up in snow.

Driving up was uneventful. Thanks to a helpful host, she cleared a spot for me to park my car and took care of a couple other snow-related concerns. After settling in, walked to the town center for a Hallmark-movie Christmas-tree lighting ceremony and the next two days, enjoyed walking wherever there was a surface I could navigate with a hiking pole. Found my way to snow-covered Idyllwild Park where I reconnected with childhood memories of camping there thanks to the “Meadow” sign near the entrance. Loved playing in that field!

Christmas Day was also filled with plans. Instead, a bug gifted me with the flu quickly grounding me at home. Opted to “lean in” with acceptance and see what gifts Christmas day had for me. Took to heart a holiday card that said, “Wishing you a quiet place to know the wonder of Christmas.” Indeed, it was beautifully quiet. Delighted in reading a great book, watched it rain, wrote a long gratitude list, and appreciated my home-cooked meals. A truly lovely day.

For centuries, wise people from all walks of life have weighed in on the basic tenets of change—that our resilience in life can only grow stronger when we embrace change and manage these challenges in a positive way, rather than ignore the opportunities that change can bring to our lives. Granted, my changed plans were minor compared to some of life’s major challenges, yet, the principle of adaptation is the same.

We just welcomed a new decade, and, with 2020 vision, we can make bright new plans. It might also be helpful to keep in mind the caveat that just like the weather, “Plans are subject to change.” With an open mind, they can even turn out better! Happy New Year everyone!

Originally published, Orange County Register, January 9, 2020

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