Predicting the future has never been an easy thing to do, but these days, it’s become completely impossible. If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it’s that life is uncertain and plans are often nothing more than optimistic hopes. And I have to say that I really, really, don’t like living this way.
One of my coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulties has always been to have something…anything…to look forward to. Dreaming of our annual January vacation on the beach is what gets me through the cold and dark Winter days, and even something as small as knowing I have dinner reservations at my favorite restaurant can lift my spirits on a particularly stressful day.
I’m never happy to see Summer end, but knowing that the holidays are coming has always made it easier to accept. Yet who knows if I’ll be able to host a family Thanksgiving dinner this year, or if we’ll see extended family at Christmas? These days, it sometimes seems that looking forward to something is a sure-fire way to make sure it doesn’t actually happen.
Which is why I very deliberately didn’t think much about the family weekend getaway we had planned for the end of September. My husband and I had booked a house at a nearby lake community for three nights and invited our children and grandchildren to join us. I knew it would be great fun if we managed to pull it off, but I waited until the very last minute to begin buying our supplies and packing our things, just in case.
And miracle of miracles, it all worked out. The house had a gorgeous view of the lake and plenty of room for everyone, and the weather was great. We found time to relax and unwind, while some of us golfed, fished, visited a nearby winery, made crafts, went horseback riding, played games, or went for walks in the woods. The lake was warm enough to try the paddle boards and I even managed to go kayaking without falling into the water (another miracle).
All in all, we had a wonderful time and it’s a weekend I won’t soon forget. Finally being able to “get away” for a while was great, and spending quality time with the people I love was even better. But perhaps the greatest gift of all was realizing that, even in these crazy and uncertain times, sometimes the things we look forward to really do happen. And knowing that gives me all the hope I need.