The Choice to be Resilient

Our 2022 started a bit rough, with a derailed holiday. A day before we were set to meet up with family on a beautiful Caribbean island our COVID tests came back positive, hindering our ability to travel. After a day or 2 of shock (we thought we had been so safe! Was our dream of swimming in crystal blue water really over? We weren’t even really sick!), we realized that we needed to re-envision fun for our family.  Since we were away from home, we packed up the car and drove south to a house with a pool we rented while quarantining.  Once our isolation period was over we were practically able to pick up our agenda where we left off, with just one extra day to fill—and we ended up having fun, between pool time, movies, burgers on the grill and treats.

After returning home I told a few friends about our adventure, telling them that we made the best of the detour. More than one friend replied that of course we did—making things work was my special skill. I laughed—was it? I mean, of course I can when producing an event or in project planning or a schedule, but in my personal life or when it was something happening to me? Is that true? I felt that my husband and I worked hard to make this new trip enjoyable, even while feeling a bit bitter that our dream family vacation was snatched from our hands. Sure, we had a good time, but it certainly wasn’t what I envisioned, even as I knew were incredibly privileged to have this opportunity to make the best of it.

It made me think about differently about resilience – not as a natural innate ability to not be bothered or even a mindset but more as a choice that you fight to make a reality. Similar to how we choose to be with our partner every day, we can make the choice to be resilient, even when it’s tough- or maybe especially then. Now that the resentment about our lost tropical trip is fading, I’m glad that I made decision to enjoy jumping from the heated pool to the jacuzzi and letting the kids stay up late to watch that (terrible) movie. And when I say it that way—was it even that hard of a choice?

Helpful questions to explore for yourself:

  • If you are in the midst of making a decision, how do you want to feel about this situation in the future? Does that change your decision making?
  • Is it easier to ‘make the best of things’ for your kids or business than it is for yourself? If yes, what makes it easier? What can you apply from one situation to the other?
  • Are there ways to practice resilient choices? How can you make a resilient choices today?