The plan was to take this week off and use it to get some much needed down time and relaxation.  I was going to use it as a mini refreshabattical and recharge my batteries, get a fresh perspective on the upcoming months and years, and maybe even have some fun.

I had intended to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and actually get to spend time there without feeling rushed; take a few walks around Lake of the Isles or Lake Calhoun – maybe sit on a bench and just watch the people go by; spend a few hours in the garden; go to a daytime Twins game at the new stadium; sit back with a drink on the front porch in the afternoon and say hi to all my neighbors; go camping for a night with my four year old son; take some time to do some fun reading and writing…but then, real life comes crashing in.  A client  decides that they finally need to finish some compensation plan books that we started in January – and now there are changes that require significant rework.  Tenants call and complain about sash cords being broken – and need them fixed now (even though they’ve been that way for a few months).  Dissertation committee needs to have a draft of Chapter 5 – sooner than expected.

So much for my relaxing week.

I have to say that I started to feel pretty bummed out about this yesterday.  I had these expectations for this week and those expectations were definitely not being met (not even close to it).  Then I started to really think about it – was this week that bad?

I mean we are doing some cool work on those plan books and we got some new business out of it.  Its good to get the window sashes fixed and it took a lot less time than I thought it would – and the tenants are happy.  My dissertation is on track and I’m on the final run to finish it up.  I realized that this week is like going to a movie that you have super high expectations for and coming out disappointed because it didn’t meet up to those high expectations.   However, when you think about it later,  the movie was actually pretty good.  In fact, it was really good (for me this was the first Lord of the Rings movie – such high expectations to begin, then such a different experience that I felt let down, and now one of my all time favorite movies).

So I’ve done an attitude adjustment.  I might not be able to fully take this week off.  I still have a lot of work to do.  But why can’t I still go to the MIA and spend a morning there?  What is stopping me from taking a walk around the lakes?  There really isn’t any reason that I can’t go out in the garden this afternoon for a few hours.   The Twins are out of town this week (woops – couldn’t have done that anyway).  I can definitely have a drink on my porch – it just might be a little later.   My son and I can go camping in the yard tonight if we want to and I can read some books or do some writing after he goes to sleep.

It is amazing what a different perspective can do to one’s outlook and overall state of mind.  In looking back, I’m sure this will be one of the best weeks of the year (just like that first LOR movie).

So to all of you who are stuck in someplace that you would rather not be or doing things that you would rather not be doing, think about how to change your perspective.  It might not make everything meet up to your expectations, but it can definitely help in making you enjoy that time more.