I just returned from a trip to the beautiful island of St. John. Beaches, amazing views, delicious food, and a laid-back vibe. I felt on top of the world! The trip home, however, was a DISASTER!
Severe weather in Washington D.C. diverted my flight to Richmond where we refueled and waited for Dulles airport to reopen. Ugh!
An hour later, we were given the green light and I arrived in D.C. only to find that I missed my connection to Indianapolis. Great, just great!
With the aid of an unusually friendly and helpful gate agent, I was rebooked on a flight the next morning and took a taxi to my hotel around midnight. Ahhhh, rest!
I’m enjoying my coffee at 6:30AM in the hotel lobby when I was informed that the driver for my airport shuttle had a family emergency and I should order an Uber. Ok, no problem, I’ve got this. Minor setback, all things considered!
My Uber was approaching the hotel when I received a text alert that my 8:45AM flight was CANCELLED. Seriously?!! I could have DRIVEN home from D.C. faster than this!
Another rebooking and seven hours later, I’m on my 1:15PM flight preparing to FINALLY depart and we’re approaching the runway. Suddenly, the pilot says, ”Bad news folks—our flight plan has been canceled.” No waaaayyyy!! UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE!
I was stunned. Like the wind had been knocked out of me. Does “The Twilight Zone” ring a bell??
Then he says, “We should know in 90 MINUTES whether we’ll be given a new plan…or not…please be patient.” But hey, at least he turned the seatbelt sign off so we could “move about the cabin” while we waited. How thoughtful.
45 minutes later and we had an alternate plan! YIPPEEEE!!! Cue the champagne!
Two hours later I arrive in Indianapolis, locate my “lost” luggage and start making the final leg home. I’m envisioning what “normal” will feel like and then….GRIDLOCK. Bumper-to-bumper traffic at a stand-still. Of course, there’s construction and you guessed it—rush hour! I had to laugh… Otherwise, I might cry.
Would I EVER make it home?! I had to fight against feeling overwhelmed, anxious and just plain exhausted. I mean, what a rollercoaster!! We’re leaving—we’re NOT leaving. The ups and downs!
It got me thinking about another rollercoaster lately–the markets. It occurred to me that this is a perfect metaphor for the wild, unpredictable, and unnerving behavior of our investment markets. This experience reminds me just how little control we have over our circumstances—or the markets.
So, WHY do I keep doing this?! I mean, it was only two months ago that I was stranded in an airport over spring break, and now this!
Then, I decided to breathe, pause, and focus on what I COULD control—my mindset.
Yes, my journey home was unpredictable and difficult, but would I let that stop me from future adventures to other amazing locales?? Absolutely not.
Market corrections and recessions are challenging as well, but will I let that stop me from investing for my goals?? Absolutely not.
Managing our thoughts about unfavorable circumstances is critical if we are going to weather the storms of life. I believe wholeheartedly that our thoughts determine our feelings, which results in our actions.
We must stay disciplined and remind ourselves that the pain we feel in difficult times is temporary.
To weathering the storm!
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