It was supposed to be a nice day. No, the weatherman didn’t get it wrong. He called for rain. But, rain wasn’t in my plan. The script I wrote called for something different. Have you ever had it rain on your plans or expectations fall short? We’ve got “it” all mapped out. We know when and how we want a day, or an event, or our journey to unfold. And then… a proverbial rain cloud strikes.

For me, today it wasn’t an analogy but an actual rain cloud. My team from work planned a nice day volunteering at the coast cleaning up trash and debris from the rocky coast and beach. We picked the date weeks ago. In our minds, we had an image of how today was supposed to unfold. Volunteering in raincoats with rain-soaked shoes wasn’t what we had in mind. But as the day played out I found wisdom that we can apply to our everyday lives as we check our expectations against our realities.

Remember your why.

There will be times in life when the rain clouds roll in. We may be so consumed with the challenges that it feels like our shoes slosh with the muck that comes our way. Instead of focusing on the image from our expectations, we need to continue to be motivated by our why. Today our why was to leave the coast cleaner than it was and protect wild life. Protecting the fish or seals or other creatures that could be impacted by the debris if it were to wash back out into the water was our why. When life’s rain clouds try to distract you, remember your motivation or your purpose and press on.

Choose to do the right thing anyways.

It’s easy to want to curl up when life pushes rain clouds into our paths. But, we need to do the right thing, even when we might not feel like it. Today it would have been nice to stay dry but, we had a task before us that called us to get a little wet. Are there times when you need to have a tough conversation, or step out of your comfort zone to do the right thing? Are there times when you know you need to get a little messy to make a difference? Don’t let a little “muck” in your path keep you from doing the right thing. Get wet and do it any ways!

Keep your attitude in check.

Unmet expectations have a way of influencing our attitude if we’re not careful. When life doesn’t follow the script you’ve mapped out, keep an eye on your attitude. Are you able to adapt and adjust? Or do you allow bitterness to set in. One challenging day doesn’t make a ruined life. A rain cloud on our journey doesn’t mean we’ll never accomplish what we’d hope or that we won’t get where we’d like to go.  If you’re attitude heads south when your expectations aren’t met, vent a little, let go, then move on. You can pass though the feeling of disappointment but don’t set up camp there.

Enjoy where you are and who you’re with.

It’s far too easy in life to get caught up with what we wish were true or where we wish we’d be. We can focus in the future and miss the present. Or, we can focus on tasks and miss the opportunity to enjoy relationships. Where ever life has you, and regardless if you’re currently facing a rain cloud or a clear season, enjoy where you are and who you’re with.

By the time we finished our beach clean-up, our small group had collected 50lbs of trash. Our haul included a variety from balloons to plastic bags and broken lobster traps to fishing line. We left the coast better than we found it and enjoyed ourselves despite the rain. Our group grabbed a great seafood lunch and enjoyed some ice cream after the clouds broke. And, despite our initial disappointment in the weather when we arrived, we all agreed… the rain didn’t really bother us. I guess when you choose to do the right thing, you don’t really mind getting a little wet.

It’s your turn.

Have you ever had your expectations fall short of what you planned? Are you like me and find a way to map out exactly what you’d like to happen but find life doesn’t always follow your script? I’d love to hear how you adapt and keep going. And, if these bits of wisdom encouraged you, why not click to share. And, if you’re looking for some daily encouragement, why not like my facebook page or join me on Instagram.

Until next time friends, be blessed!

My beach clean up day: