Roman Holiday, How to Accept the Good with the Bad

Posted on by Alyson Jones. Posted in Honest Conversations.

Rome was not built in a day, nor can all your goals be accomplished in a day!

“Why did it need to be Step #6? Of all the steps this was the one I was dreading.”

In my book “M.O.R.E. A New Philosophy for Exceptional Living”, I outline the steps that lead to exceptional living. These are not feel-good/be-happy steps, but rather steps that are based in reality and honesty. As reality is a cornerstone of the MORE Philosophy I should have known my big trip to Italy would have a fair dose of reality in it…and it did.

Step #6 is titled “Accept the Good with the Bad”. In this part of the book I tell the story of Brenda who went away on a much anticipated trip, and then became quite ill on her vacation. We now fast forward to my much anticipated trip to Italy to promote my book and attend a Collaborative Law Conference. My family came with me as I wanted to share the sights and sounds of Italy with them. Just prior to leaving, my son got a virus with a fever, but it had started to clear up by the time we were leaving. I was nervous, as I had many meetings planned and a very full schedule of activities for us all. I hoped we had escaped the bad, but I knew in my gut that MORE was coming.

When we arrived in Rome we fully dug into each experience, but alas that darn Step #6 was looming ahead. After all of my book promotion was done in Rome, we had booked a Vatican tour on our last day (with a private guide in order to get the most out of our time). Early in the morning we were woken by our very sick daughter. There would be no Vatican tour for her that day. I felt sad for her and angry that my well laid-out plan was being thwarted by Step #6 again. We had been so excited to share this experience together, but now that window of opportunity was closing.

The hard truth is that to be present in your life means you will have to deal with the difficulties and disappointments. Pain and beauty are all mixed up together. So although our daughter missed the Vatican she was resting in the seat of civilization, which is not a bad place to rest. An exceptional life is one in which we bounce back and adapt. Of course, there was MORE adapting ahead for us on our trip, and the specter of another Step #6 is always lurking around the corner, but we can handle whatever comes by being present in the good and the bad and continuing on our path of exceptional living. It also gives us a great excuse to return to Rome one day. I just know in my heart that we will tour the Vatican again, and this next time our history-loving daughter will be by our side.