Captain Cavedweller and I recently returned from a two-week, much-needed vacation.
For months, we’d both been looking forward to getting away and enjoying time together. Since September, I’ve been working more hours, stealing the extra time I needed from hours when I should have been sleeping. By the first of December, it had definitely taken its toll on me in mind, body, and spirit.
My weary state made the idea of a vacation even more enticing.
You know that saying about best laid plans… we’ll that’s kind of how things went on vacation. I thought (quite stupidly) that I could release two books, host a Facebook party, participate in three other parties, finish proofing a new book so I could send it to my first round of proofreaders, and maintain my daily social media efforts without it taking up too much of our vacation time.
Boy, was I wrong.
There were entire days of our vacation that I barely left the hotel room, stuck at my laptop as I tried to keep all those balls I attempted to juggle in the air.
Then, in one horrendous moment, they all crashed around me.
Because I’d been so busy with too many projects, obligations and commitments, I hired a company to handle the release of one of those books (a book I spent months working on and poured my heart and soul into). However, the company remained silent despite my attempts to communicate with them two weeks before the release. The week the book released, they failed to do anything to promote it. Nada. Nothing. On top of the book sales being pitiful, I felt like a big idiot for spending the money to hire them, not to mention putting my trust in them to successfully launch my book. Had I known they’ d take my money and do nothing during the release week, I would have gladly given up more of my sleep to do the promotion work myself.
Needless to say, the whole horrible experience put quite a damper on our vacation.
CC was wonderful, as always, reassuring me that everything was fine and not to worry about it, but I did worry. And stewed. And may have even suffered a few moments of being completely livid at the company who failed to deliver what they promised and myself for hiring them in the first place.
I can’t even put into words how much it made my heart hurt as I looked at the wasted opportunities… opportunities lost that would never come again because I depended on someone else to follow through on their promises and keep their word.
Then I realized being angry and upset and worried wasn’t going to change anything. It was too late to fix the book release debacle. Nothing I could do would enhance the sales. And I would just have to accept things as they were, no matter how much I hated to.
What I could control was my attitude about the whole thing. Part of that attitude adjustment was giving myself some grace… and extending some to the company that let me down.
Rather than dwell on all the negative things that happened on our vacation, I decided to focus on the good, fun things. I got to meet an online friend and her lovely family in person. They even invited us over for a wonderful meal that was a welcome reprieve from all the drama taking place in my world at that moment. We went to several rodeo performances and had the opportunity to watch a friend’s son win the championship title in his event. We had fun shopping at vendor events and eating at some great restaurants. And I got to spend time with my beloved Captain Cavedweller.
One of the best gifts we could ever give or receive isn’t wrapped in beautiful paper with bright, shiny bows. It’s the gift of grace – wrapped in love and forgiveness, mercy and hope.
The holiday season can be a difficult, trying, stressful time for many. While it brings out the best in some, it can bring out the worst in others. So I’m going to do my best to give gifts of grace, even to myself, but most especially to others.
May you open the gift of grace and let its light shine brightly in your heart.