Call it making the best of a bad situation. Call it turning lemons into lemonade. I call it screwing the beaten path 🙂

It’s summer, the kids are out of school and we live at the beach, which should mean lots of sand castles and boogie boarding. But I just learned that I will have to be in Atlanta for work nearly every week for the next 5 weeks. My first reactions?

  1. Crap. I better send Mahmood on a golf trip (stat!) so he’s in a good mood when I tell him I’ll be gone every week this month.
  2. No way. I’ll just tell my boss that I can only travel 2x/month, even if it means being less effective at my job.
  3. No way. I really need a new job that requires less travel – better start polishing up that resume!

For the record, I think that all of those responses are reasonable. But in each case, someone loses. I like it when everyone wins. I want to kick ass at my job. I want to be able to financially provide for my family. But I also want to be WITH my family. And I want my family to be happy. While my husband happily carries the load when I travel, I don’t expect him to be thrilled about being (essentially) a single father for an entire month.

My solution? Think outside the box. Screw the beaten path. Do something different that is better than compromising all around.

So… instead of wreaking havoc on my family and (what’s left of) our summer, I did a little looking and found a sweet lake house, just 45 mins from Atlanta. A bit of math, and it was easy to see that it would be much cheaper to pay for a rental house and car for the month than to fly back and forth every week.

Now, we get the chance to live on a lake (which we’ve never done before) and spend time getting to know Georgia. Yes, I’ll still be working, but at least I’ll be home for dinner every night, and we’ll have opportunities every weekend to swim, fish, boat, and explore the South.

It’s remarkable to me how much thought, creativity, and work (yes, work!) it took to make this happen. It would have been much easier not to do anything. But if I learned anything from our big trip, it was that really good things are not usually easy.

I realize that not everyone can make the choices that we’ve made (or would even want to) but surely there is something you’ve always wanted to do. Find that thing, and then find a way to work it into your life – even if it is hard, and even when it puts you on a different path than everyone else you know.