This March, my daughter, who is doing a semester abroad in Costa Rica, had plans to take a trip with her friends over Spring Break to a few neighboring countries in Central America. Since it coincided with her 18th birthday, her father and I sent her the funds as a birthday present.
As the date got closer, she announced she had spent the money that we had sent her for her Spring Break trip and she could no longer afford to purchase the ticket. I was wondering if she actually thought we were going to send her more money as this was out of the question, I can’t begin to tell you how this triggered me into my old ways of reacting instead of thinking and questioning, and before you knew it we were in a heated discussion over how she managed her finances.
I told her I'm sorry about what happened but there was no way I would be sending her more money. What I was willing to send her, however, was me. I would be happy to fly down to Costa Rica and spend Spring Break with her. This felt like a win-win solution to me.
What started out as a trigger and argument turned into one of our best vacations to date, but even more surprising is that it also allowed me to attend a Teal Swan Retreat on healing and inner child work that I would have never attended had she not spent the money we had given her. It allowed me to visit Costa Rica, a country I had never been to, and to attend a retreat that I had long wanted to attend.
These are the moments that we ask the universe: was this how it was intended to be all along? Was there a lesson for us in both the spending of the money and the positive opportunities that then evolved as we moved toward a Plan B? And it only continued to get better. After our friends heard I was going down, they announced that they had a house near the beach in Costa Rica and that we could all meet up there, which we did. Six of us enjoyed a beautiful few days together at their amazing home. We spent a few days with her college friends, whom I got to know for the first time and enjoyed a stunningly beautiful hike to the beautiful Rio Celeste waterfall. And at the retreat, I made several new friends and gained insight into the inner child aspects of healing work. We even made it to Nicaragua for four days where we stayed in a gorgeous tree house at an eco lodge that sat in the middle of a lake on an island with nothing but nature, kayaking, and a view of the beautiful Mombacho volcano - a true nature lover’s paradise.
As I reflect back on the amazing two weeks we spent together over Spring Break and the fantastic experiences that ended up evolving from a situation that began as a negative, it makes me think of how differently that discussion and those two weeks could have ended up.
Life is often about finding out how to take our most frustrating moments and turn them around. It doesn't always turn out quite as wonderful as it did this time around, but with even small shifts in how we process the negative, we can come up with a new way of thinking that prevents a situation from turning into a total disaster. I will forever be grateful that we were able to turn Spring Break into something we could both enjoy!