Labor Day weekend has arrived and we pull into our campground to check in. As the girl looks down the list of sites, I see a name next to ours that doesn’t look familiar.
“Hmm,” she said. “Hang on one second.”
She disappears into the back room. Returning a few seconds later, she says: “We have record of you canceling your reservation.”
“Really?” I said. “That’s odd, because I didn’t.”
“It’s ok, we have a couple of other open sites.” She shows me a site map and points out the two availabilities that we can choose from. Neither looks like a great option – near facility buildings and at intersections of lots of roads.
“Which one would you choose?” I ask her.
“Oh, I’d choose D-32. It’s a bit more private than the other.” Not as private as our original reservation, I think to myself.
“OK. Let’s do that.”
She gives us our paperwork and off we go. We’re pleasantly surprised at the generous size of the site when we arrive, and begin setting up our tent and chairs. We’re not entirely thrilled that it’s right across the road from the bathroom building (although I’m less bothered by that than Melissa since it’s a shorter walk in the middle of the night!)
Neither of us has camped in a while, but we remember enjoying the adventure of it. OK, Melissa more than me, but I’m certainly game for adventure, even though I’m more of a mint-on-the-pillow kinda girl.
Melissa takes the lead, and together we get the tent up, and the pads, sleeping bags, and pillows arranged, before both plopping down on our pile of pseudo-softness with pride.
After dinner, cooked on the open flame of the campfire, we head in for some sleep before a full day of hiking.
“I gotta say this is pretty comfortable for blankets on the ground. Not bad at all.”
Melissa smiles with relief. I know she feels responsible for our good time this weekend, given that she’s more the camper.
About two hours into our night, cars driving on the three gravel roads that converge right around our site wake us up. Then the slamming of the bathroom doors adds to the cacophony. We shift and shuffle, trying to settle in. With eye mask on and ear buds in, I’m able to fall back to sleep – for an hour or so. The next time I look at my watch, it’s 2:02 AM. OK. I’m ready for it to be morning now.
The sun finally breaks and we’re both groaning as we try to sit up, exhausted from only a few hours of sleep. Yeah, this site is not gonna cut it. Not to mention, our backs are telling us we’re way too old for tent camping.
We head out for breakfast and start brainstorming new accommodations. Where are we going to find a reasonable place to stay, on a holiday weekend, at the last-minute, in Bar Harbor, ME? We’re both feeling bummed because we’ve been so excited for this time away and it feels like it’s turning into a total bust as we spend two hours calling motels and hotels after eating a very mediocre breakfast.
Just then – literally – my phone chimes. It’s my Tell Me Later reminder app with a message: “Things are always working out for me.” I’ve set up the app to send me several positive statements at various times every day, and I never know which one will pop up. Perfect timing, you sneaky little app!
“Hey, look!” I say to Melissa, as I show her my phone. “Maybe everything will work out for us when we start believing that it will.”
Since we’ve been striking out with motels and hotels, I log onto CouchSurfing to see if there are any hosts in the area. I find one young woman who is available to host people. What are the chances of her seeing my last-minute request? Can’t hurt to try. I send off a note.
As we drive down the road, I see a vacancy sign at a motel. We pull in and inquire. They have one room available. “But I have to give you the key and let you see it first,” the woman at the desk says. Well, that’s not a good sign.
We head down to take a look and find an old, outdated room, but clean enough. Besides, we have our sleeping bags, and the bed has to be cleaner and softer than the ground. We’ll take it! Maybe things are working out for us…
Back we go to the campground in hopes of getting a refund for our three nights there since we got stuck with a crappy site. We walk into the office and notice the huge sign “No Refunds.” I point it out to Melissa who shrugs. “Hey, everything is always working out for us, right?” she says.
We speak to the owner who very quickly and willingly apologizes for their mistake and hands us cash right out of the drawer to refund us the full amount. Yahoo!
We pack up our soaked tent and chairs (it had poured rain overnight) and take off to finally start our day. We can’t check into the motel for a few hours, so we figure we can get a short hike in beforehand. Suddenly, my phone chimes again. It’s a message from the CouchSurfing host saying she’d be happy to have us stay with her for the next two nights! (If you’re not familiar with CouchSurfing, people host you for free, though there’s much more to it than that. Check out the link for more info, after you finish reading this, of course).
I call the motel and ask if they’d allow us to cancel the room as our plans have changes. The woman agrees. Yes, things DO always work out for us! Now we’re getting three nights in Bar Harbor, ME at no cost to us!
When we arrive at our new lodging, we’re blown away. The house is awesome, the guest room exquisite, and we basically have the place to ourselves. Not to mention, there’s a fluffy, beautiful, and super-friendly cat loving us up. Thank you, Universe!
The rest of our weekend goes off without a hitch. We have great weather, beautiful views from the tops of our hikes, and breathtaking photos from our trip, all thanks to a relatively simple perspective shift.
Do you find yourself saying things like “It figures,” “Oh, that’s just my luck,” or “This stuff always happens to me”? What if you were to change that thinking to “The Universe always has my best interest at heart,” “Things are always working out for me,” or “I easily handle any curve ball thrown my way”? If my experience is any indication, a new perspective can work wonders!
The message that displayed on my phone really helped to turn things around for us this weekend. It’s not that good options magically appeared. They were always there, but our limited thinking was making it difficult for us to see them. Once we shifted our perspective, our vision and options opened up.
So, what perspective would you like to work on changing? What are some ways you can get started? Share and get some support in the comments below!