Hey friends! I hope you had a great ending to your summer.  For those of us on the East Coast we are already starting to feel that fall weather.  Us New Englanders love Fall and pumpkin flavored…..everything…

Last week I was invited by the American Heart Association to the “Value in Healthcare Initiative” they hosted in Washington D.C.  I love Washington D.C. and am always blown away by the incredible Smithsonian Museums that are free to everyone.  I got to attend the Museum of American History and the Zoo, but did not spend nearly enough time in either.  Just tried to make the most out of my time there!  The conference was awesome and I had the opportunity to meet other patients, volunteers, cardiologists, and professionals that share many of the same passions that I have.

I left the conference and it immediately started raining and violently thundering and lightning which didn’t give me a good feeling about my 10:10 PM flight getting out on time.  I remained optimistic but as I walked through security and got in line for food I heard a ding on my phone notifying me the flight was delayed an hour to 11:10. Minutes later I heard another ding. Flight is delayed again.  No one’s flights were getting out due to the weather. The airport was packed.  It took me 45 minutes to get into a restaurant and everyone was just in a mood due to the delays and cancellations.

It got me thinking about “situations” and “responses.”  Every day we are placed into “situations” that we have no control over.  Some are good.  Some are bad.  Regardless, we don’t have control of those situations.  My situation in that moment was being stuck in an airport for hours not knowing when and if my flight was even going to take off or not.  Everyone else in the airport was in the same situation.

Unlike situations, we have complete control over our “reactions” to these “situations.”  Our reactions to our situations are extremely important in our everyday lives.  Do we allow a situation to have a positive effect or a negative effect?  Do we get frustrated, angry, and confused by our situations or do we allow our situations to have a positive impact on our lives? Again, everyone in the airport that night was in the same situation.  Everyone’s reactions were different.  Some people were visibly angry, yelling at the airline attendants, being rude to the servers in the restaurants, and not being friendly to anyone.  Some people were fine and just got some food, drank some beer, and hung out.

Personally, my reaction (after being pissed off for 10-15 minutes) was to eat dinner and make the most out of my time and get a bunch of work done.  I fired off emails to each person I met at the conference.  I caught up on our golf tournament registrations. I read a few articles that I had been meaning to read.  I started organizing myself and our program for the upcoming basketball season.  I got a ton of work done in those 4 hours that I was unexpectedly sitting there.  If it hadn’t been for all that free time, I honestly am not sure some of that stuff would even be done now.  Looking back, I think my response (getting work done) to my frustrating situation (being stuck in an airport) allowed that situation to have a positive impact on my life.

Now, I don’t want to blow this out of proportion.  Being stuck in an airport really is not that bad.  There are WAY WORSE situations to be in.  I just used this as a recent example in my life.  Think about the situations in your life or that could possibly occur in your life…..being in the hospital, getting sick, losing a relative, having to move for a job, going through a divorce.  All of these situations are much worse than being stuck in an airport but the reality is no matter what the “situation”, make sure your “response” creates a positive outcome for your life.  Control what you can control……

You’re amazing!