Monday, February 23, 2015

Rolling with the Punches

The college acceptances have been coming!  This is an extremely exciting time for all of our High School seniors.  Bec has heard back from the colleges that she applied to and it is getting closer to the actual college selection process.  Debbie and I enjoyed going to visit the various colleges with our girls and realize that this process will be ending soon.  The last round is currently under way – the College Acceptance Days!  This is a chance for the schools to give their last big pitch and have prospective freshmen and their parents meet with them and students.  We recently made a weekend trip to Rhode Island for one such event and had the weekend well planned.  Saturday night was a free night, so we were planning a nice Valentine’s dinner.  On Sunday, we had a wedding to go to and knew what time we would need to leave to make it home, relax a bit, get dressed and make it to the wedding with time to spare.  Things were falling into place for a great weekend.  Winter Storm Neptune, however, had other plans for us.

There is an old Yiddish saying “Der mentsh trakht un got lakht” which translated means, “Man plans and G-d laughs.”  We have all spent time planning, whether it is a kid’s party, a family event, a project plan, or home construction plans when something happens outside of our control to impact us.  More often than not, the unexpected and least controllable is Mother Nature.  Debbie and I have planned backyard parties where the days leading up are spent looking at all of the weather forecasts possible to make sure that the weather works with us.  Sometimes you have to expect the unexpected.  In the business world, we build assumptions into our planning.  When the economy had the downturn in 2008, many projects, both corporate and personal, felt the impact.  While some dead ends were created, the opportunity to roll with the punches existed.  Sometimes, we need to step back, re-evaluate, modify our plans, and then continue on our way.  All of us know people that are rigid in their schedules and have difficulty in adjusting when things do not happen as expected.  In boxing, being able to roll with the punches means that you see the punch coming and can lessen the impact by rolling the punch instead of standing firm.

It ended up that the school, once it saw the weather forecast, planned various contingency scenarios to handle the storm and the crowd.  For us, we needed to cancel our dinner plans and inform some people that our schedule changed and we would be late on Sunday. The children ended up hanging out and some new friendships were developed, while the parents sat and spent the evening talking in the hotel lobby where we were all staying.  Meals were provided for us while we waited for the snow and extreme winds to pass.  We made it home, albeit late, for the wedding.  By rolling with the punches and being flexible, we ended up having a great, memorable weekend.