For months, I had been planning for my annual 6 weeks in Europe travels. Two years ago, I was planning to celebrate my 60th birthday in Italy, but covid had other plans for me. So, we adapted and drove to Oregon and did our best to stay safe and have fun.


Last year, still a bit nervous about covid travel, we came to Germany and pretty much stayed local, safe, and had a bit of fun. Again, adapting to the circumstances and choosing to make the best of them.


This year would be different. I was going to Italy and finally having the birthday trip that I envisioned. Not a milestone birthday, but it would be special nonetheless. We would visit some friends that we hadn’t seen in many years and some friends from the States would be joining us to celebrate with me. We would have some fun.


My back had other plans….


The moment we arrived at our charming Airbnb in Apulia, Italy, my back went into a strained, sprained, spasm and I was in severe pain. I couldn’t sit or lay down comfortably and I ended up being on some powerful pain meds the entire time. It was challenging to do all that I had planned to do while being in such pain and discomfort.


But I was happy. And I was surprised how happy I was. Surprised because the heat, the pain, and the fact that I couldn’t do a lot of what I had planned to do would normally have me sad and cranky. You know how folks can act when they are in constant pain or are disappointed that their plans didn’t come to fruition. The old version of me would have been depressed about dealing with the constant pain (which I still have as I write this).


Years of coaching and personal development work has changed my reaction and response to events such as this to one of patience and compassion. The circumstances required some adaptability and I didn’t lose sight of practicing gratitude for the situation. I needed help. I asked for help. I accepted help. And I didn’t apologize or feel guilty for it.


Being compassionate and resilient also requires self-compassion. It was my special time and I made the choice to be happy while in pain and enjoy my special time. My intention, my purpose, was to have a beautiful birthday in Italy doing what I wanted to do with the people I wanted to spend it with.


There was no wavering from that purpose. I was persistent in the self-care needed to create that experience. I was patient with myself and others as we dealt with my limitations. I practiced gratitude for everything about this situation.


It was the perfect birthday trip and I’m grateful for choosing to make it so. Did I feel the emotions of sadness and disappointment with the painful sleepless nights? Absolutely!


If you are struggling with clarity of purpose, if you are running low on patience and tend to give up on yourself or others as a result, you are missing out on joy and success. You don’t have to. There is power in coaching and I can show you what that looks like. If you are ready to develop new, positive habits so that you can better weather the bad times in life, book a time with me at so that I can show you what’s possible.

Ready to take control of your life and win every day?