Reversal of Fortune

I find it amazing how sometimes what seems like a major setback can become a real boon.

This past week, friends of mine from high school stayed with me to go to the Olympics. On one occasion, one friend and I were trying to get curling tickets for a particular day. The online system didn’t have any for a reasonable price, and we couldn’t find any available in town. So on the day of the event, we went to the curling venue, thinking we’d be able to score a couple from people desperate to sell theirs — after all, we’d seen such people at every other event we’d been to. But alas, on this one day, at this one event, there were no tickets anywhere to be found.

But then we saw that the curling venue was right beside the Vancouver Curling Club. And we thought — what better place to watch curling. So we went in, and watched the game on a big TV with some other diehard curling fans and a pitcher of beer between us. So it turned out all right.

But it didn’t end there. While we were hanging around, the German Women’s curling team came to the club to practice. We also discovered that for a small fee we could go curling later in the evening — something we used to do occasionally, but hadn’t in forever. So the rest of our friends joined us and we curled for an hour. Then a media crew came into the club with an NFL player and the USA Men’s curling team for some sports feature, and we watched them for awhile.

So, we went from no curling tickets to a great time at the curling club, seeing sports celebrities, and having a chance to curl ourselves, which we would never have had otherwise.

On a completely separate occasion last week, two of us had tickets for a skiing event at Whistler, so we had planned on all going up that day to see the village and hang out. We bought our bus tickets, and were all ready to do it — when the event was delayed for a few days because of weather during a training run.

Rather than let the day — and our bus tickets — go to waste, we went up to Whistler anyway. Furthermore, we brought skis with us, bought lift tickets, and actually skied Whistler and Blackcomb, and took the Peak 2 Peak for the afternoon. Then we came down, exhausted but happy, and hung around the village to take in the amazing atmosphere, listen to live music, and watch Canada win its first gold medal — which resulted in wild cheering in the streets of the village, chants of Go Canada Go, and spontaneous national anthem singing.

In both these occasions, we replaced a major letdown with one of the best days of the week. It’s amazing how sometimes these things just work out. Call it fate or fortune or whatever you want — but really what it takes is the right attitude to change a bad situation. We didn’t give up on our plans. We adapted, we took initiative, and we found something better.

You can always find something better, you can always turn a bad situation around. You just can’t let it get to you. Stand up, take the initiative, think outside the box, and try to remember as many clichés as you can. They’re clichés for a reason — they’ve worked.

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