As grandmas, we’ve all experienced the disappointment of cancelled plans when our grandchild gets sick. I’ve experienced plenty over the past decade, so you’d think I’d be able to handle them. But recently, some cancelled plans caused me great angst and I went through that process of indecision and then acceptance all over again. We must learn to handle life’s disappointments with each new experience.
I had plans to visit a friend on Bainbridge Island, Washington for five days but my husband developed pneumonia. As he recovered, I felt hopeful that I might still be able to go and for a few days I clung to that possibility. Finally, I accepted the reality that I could not leave him, and a feeling of peace replaced that horrible state of uncertainty. Once I made a decision, I felt tremendous relief. I went back and read a post I wrote: “Dealing with the Disappointment of Cancelled Plans.”
How do you deal with the disappointment of cancelled plans? Read on for a few tips to get you through those inevitable disappointments that happen during the holiday season.
Tips for Dealing with Disappointment
- Let yourself feel down. Allow yourself to experience whatever it is you’re feeling but try not to dwell on it. Experience it, sit with it and then move on.
- Get some perspective and see the big picture. When faced with a big disappointment, perspective can be tough to come by. It’s helpful to vent to a good friend to help you see the big picture. It also helps to make a list of everything that’s going right in your life.
- See if there’s something you can change. Sometimes the initial sting of a disappointment makes us feel helpless, but on closer inspection we might find that there is something we can do to prevent or lessen the disappointment. Give some thought to what’s really at the heart of your disappointed feelings and see if you can seek satisfaction, inspiration, or motivation elsewhere.
- Revise your thinking if change isn’t an option. If you want to handle your disappointment in a positive way, you have to change your thinking. Consider the disappointing situation carefully and find a way to re-frame it in your mind. Make a list of why this disappointment is actually a positive thing and you’ll start to see the situation from a new perspective.
- Believe in your ability to have hope. Keep reminding yourself to have hope and know that, despite the fresh pain of a new disappointment, you always have the ability to hope for good things coming your way in the future.
Once I got past my own disappointment of cancelling my vacation to Washington, I decided to make the most of my five unscheduled days at home.
- My husband and I watched the San Francisco Giants win the National League Championship and move on to the World Series, which they also won!
- I gave myself an entire day without plans and just noticed what was in front of me. I ended up clearing piles of papers off my desk and felt euphoric.
- I mentored some middle school girls who are learning public speaking.
By the end of the weekend, my disappointment had faded and I realized how grateful I was for the rare gift of “down time.”