When Life Gives You Sewage…
Imagine this – you are in a country where you don’t speak the language. You are there for only a day and have a tour lined up. You exit your hotel and find the sidewalks are disappearing under several inches of water. You rush to a nearby vendor and purchase protective boots to go over your shoes. The water soon is to the middle of your shins and rising. It is cold, nasty and the boots start to leak.
You are in Venice, ladies and gentlemen, and this is the Acqua Alta. What would you do? Go up to your hotel room and wait it out? Follow the other tourists heading to St. Mark’s Square where your tour is? Intrepid travelers that we are, my boyfriend Tim and I head for the square. Do Venetians try and stop us? Yes! Does one dear man try to show me on his phone how high the water is and suggest we just get an espresso and wait for the tides to recede? Yes! Do we listen? Of course not! We power on convinced we can get to the square in time for the tour. (Just like those idiots who go into the haunted house despite all the warnings.)
It takes over an hour of slogging and when we get to the square, the water is thigh high. It’s impassable, we can’t make the tour. All that’s left is to slog our way back. For the first time in the 9 years we’ve been together, Tim gives me a look that says he’s had it. His expensive boots are filled with disgusting Venetian sewage water, he’s cold, and he’s completely over it. He wants to leave. That’s when I had to remind myself I was a motivational speaker! I had to snap out of it! What’s a little freezing sewage water in your shoes? We’ll buy new shoes! I could not let this man leave Venice without realizing it was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. He had to cross the Bridge of Sighs, had to stand in St. Mark’s cathedral and see the glistening mosaics, had to get some dry socks.
Things got better when I activated my motivational superpowers (or my inner Mary Tyler Moore). Sometimes we all need a cheerleader. We get in a place where we need someone to paint an amazing picture of the future. To remind us we are in the midst of a great adventure and all great adventures have their share of sewage. It’s what makes them adventures and not just trips. Next time your traveling companions in this journey we call life get crabby, throw your hat in the air and remind them of who they really are. Joy, my friends, is contagious.