When Life Deals You Lemons: Improvise and Overcome

IMG_0136Since moving to North Carolina, I've been chomping at the bit to get up to the mountains and do a little trout fishing.  The pictures I've seen look amazing and the area actually reminds me a lot of my home in Oregon.

I have literally been trying to make it up to the mountains for the last three months and since my wife was out of town, I decided this was the weekend to do it.  I did all my research, found a popular place to go, ordered a copy of the NC fishing regulations and even contacted a fish and game warden to make sure I understood the rules. (NC has some interesting rules when it comes to fishing.)  I bought a license, some new tackle, packed a bag and made sure I had everything I needed to ensure the day was a success.  The only thing I couldn't guarantee was that the fish would bit.

I arrived at Wilson Creek around 10am and couldn't believe my eyes.  A beautiful, mid sized stream carved its way through a lush green canyon with deep pools everywhere.  Even having grown up in Oregon I felt like I was in a trout fisherman's paradise.

Once I found a good spot, I rigged up my brand new rod and started fishing.  It was slow going at first but after trying a few different pools I started getting a few small bites.  Nothing huge but enough to get my heart going a little bit.

As I continued to get even more excited I cast my line out into the water and the second I started to reel it back in, the bail broke.  Actually it just fell apart and several small but ever so necessary parts danced down my arm and into the swift flowing water.

All I could think was "seriously?!  It took me three months to make the time to get up here, I finally get into some fish and my BRAND NEW reel breaks?!"

I was mad to say the least.  I felt like my whole day was wasted and I had barely even begun to fish.  Thats when I heard a still small voice in the back of my head that told me to just do what I did growing up at my grandmas house.  I promptly found a short curved stick, trimmed the branches off and tied a line to the end of it.  I was limited to smaller pools close to the bank but at least I was still fishing.

So what's my little tall tale have to do with life after college?  The moral of the story, life isn't going to work out how you plan.  There will be pitfalls, hangups, make ups, break ups and a whole lot of circumstances that no level of planning or preparing will remedy.  You'll go to college and then struggle to find a job.  You'll finally get some money in the bank, and your car will take a dive.  You'll finally land your dream job and experience a little financial freedom and then you'll get the Dr's report.

Two of the biggest things I've learned about life since graduating from college is that, one, it comes in seasons and two, things will happen that you can't control.

The question is, what are you going to do about it?  Sink back into a cave and blame the economy?  Pound your chest and say, "I'm over qualified, I'm not going to settle for that."

Or will you take the cards you've been dealt and do the best with what you've got.  You can point fingers about the economy and a lack of jobs, about how you just can't catch a break, or complain why "this stuff" always seems to happen to you.  Or you can get out of bed, put your feet on the floor and make something happen.  It might not be what you love right away, but doing something is better than nothing.

The hard times will come again.  And again unfortunately.  And every time life throws you a curveball you have an opportunity to overcome an obstacle, find a solution and grow as a human being.  Adversity will either make you or break you.  Don't let your circumstances define who you are and what you do.

Whats a situation, big or small, that hit you out of left field and forced you to improvise? 

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