How do you deal with disappointment?

Last week, my family and I experienced a monumental disappointment.

deal with disappointment

Love that we still have the EXPIRED passports…

The spring break trip (Las Vegas and Cirque de Soleil, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, Tucson and the Sonoran Desert Museum)ย that we’d been planning for months had to be cancelled at the very last minute.

Fewer than 48 hours before we were scheduled to get on the plane,ย our passports went missing. (Go now, check to see that yours are where you think they are; I’ll wait).

Not in their usual ‘safe keeping’ spot. Not in our home office. Not in the car, the luggage, the bedroom, the freezer (amazing how frequently things gets misplaced in the freezer…),ย or any of my many purses or gym bags.

dealing with disappointment

Nowhere to be found and nothing to be done about it in the time available. (Why do these things always happen on Saturday evenings?)

Yes, we could have applied for emergency passports and rebooked flights and hotels.

But at considerable cost and additional stress as we awaited the delivery of new documents; would they arrive in time? what if they don’t and we have to cancel anyways? how much more will it cost us? do the children need another two days of anxiety and uncertainty?

Rather than wallow in pity and self-blame, we (well, actually I; my husband is still ruminating…) chose to re-frame and move forward, quickly booking a 3-day local get-away so we had something else to focus on and telling ourselves that all of our travel research was not for naught; next winter’s holiday is already planned and ready to be booked when the seat sales start in November!

We enjoyed a wonderful ‘stay-cation’ (although, for the record, two weeks is really too long for spring break) and showed our children that lessening the psychological impact of disappointment is possible given a ‘can-do’ attitude and some quick thinking.

dealing with disappointment

What does all of this have to do with fitness and healthy living? Good question!

Perhaps you’ve experienced a disappointment somewhere along the road to your health and fitness goals.

I know that I’ve had my fair share ๐Ÿ˜‰

As in life, the road to health and wellness is paved with disappointments. You can let them hinder your progress or you can use them to fuel your determination to keep moving forward.ย You can choose pessimism over optimism. It’s up to you.

We all have to deal with disappointments. What’s your strategy?

Tell me about a recent disappointment that you’ve experienced and how you dealt with it (always happy to have more tools in my tool box!)

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  1. My most current disappointment was/is purchasing another dog after our faithful one passed three years ago. We have had nothing but trouble with her. Then, last summer on top of all the complaints I have had we went and brought home the mini dachshund thinking another pup would help? (Wow…how did that train of thought EVER even enter my mind???!!)

    Life went downhill faster then my saggy boobs!

    THis morning tops it all…….(we put both in our mud room at night b/c of ones newly acquired night peeing …she is only 3 what’s up with that?….and the other who is 11 months whines like a baby starting around 4:30….with the door shut we can’t hear it and I get up at 5AM any way to deal with him) BUT THIS MORNING I found POOP galore and diarrhea spread all over like the butter on my toast. GROSS!! ON their blankets, the floor and their paws.

    You an imagine how lovely our entire first floor smells!! Like the best used porta potty at a concert where they served only beer and Mexican food! Nasty!

    How am I dealing with this? I left a disappointing note to the family, cleaned up the mess, drank a cup of coffee and I am headed out to my cycle class. (While thinking this is the last straw and the dogs begone)
    Kathy recently posted…Maundy Thursday, First Communion, and My Babe is Sick!My Profile

    • Yikes! Kathy that sounds like a terrible mess! Hope it’s all cleaned up by the time you get home. Poop and vomit are not my strong suits…

  2. Oh no! But it does sound like you handled the situation much better than I would have. Kudos to you.

    I’m currently dealing with a bout of disappointment, as my lower left leg is really bothering me. What’s frustrating is I can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with it. Some days it feels like it’s getting better, only for the pain to return full force. I’m also bummed that it’s happening over my spring break, when I really wanted to rev up my routine because I actually had the time to do so. Oh well–I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay, and instead I can stick to some light workout routines and enjoy the extra down time instead.
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Steaming is the Key!My Profile

    • Michelle, have you checked in with a physiotherapist yet? That’s always my go-to approach whenever I have joint or muscular pain. Some things just don’t want to go away on their own and need a diagnosis and treatment to get past!
      But a positive mindset is also helpful; glad you know what else you can do while you’re healing!

      • Thanks, Tamara. I am going to wait one more week, and if I’m not feeling better, I think it’s time to make an appointment with some professional (but I’ve never had much luck with orthopedists). I have never heard of a physiotherapist. I’ll look into that–thank you for the suggestion! ๐Ÿ™‚
        Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted…Fridayโ€™s FiveMy Profile

  3. So sorry to hear that, Tamara. Disappointing for sure. But as you point out, it at least helps the kids realize that not everything works out, and you certainly made the best of it. But it still stinks big time!
    Carrie Rubin recently posted…The Introvert WhispererMy Profile

    • Thanks Carrie. I spent about 12 hours gnashing my teeth before deciding to get on with things. Big stinker-ooo.

  4. Huge bummer – I hope you have your passports safely in hand again!!
    Glad you were able to plan something else on the fly!! 2 weeks is a really long spring break!!
    When I couldn’t run during December & January because of a stress fracture, I spent the time doing all sorts of other low impact activities and trying to come up with some creative ways to work out and still let my body heal.
    Usually I have a bit of a pity party/tantrum before I begin to cope with disappointment – not very mature but it helps get the ugliness out of my system!
    Kim recently posted…Fun Friday!!!My Profile

    • Kim, nope. Still haven’t found them. We spent Monday morning getting new photos, forms filled out and standing in line at the passport office. Hopefully they new ones will arrive in a week or two.

      Sorry to hear about your stress fracture. Is it healed now? The hardest part about injury is the psychological toll it takes; really messes with your head!

  5. KymberlyFunFit says:

    Noooooooo! I feel so bad for you despite your reframing. Did you find the passports? And why do you have one US passport? Did I miss something on my phone version?

    • Nope. All gone. Cancelled and new ones applied for. Your eyes were not deceiving you; my hubby was born and raised in the US of A. He’s now a Canadian citizen, but was still travelling on a US passport until recently. This little disaster forced him to apply for a beautiful Canadian one, like the rest of us!

  6. Oh I feel your pain sister. My life has been a university course in learning to deal and move on from disappointment. That pit in your stomach is the worst feeling but it does go away….after a good hard run. I’m so glad you made the most of it and made different plans and moved on! Good for you!
    Tiffany recently posted…The Art Of Self Doubt: A Lesson From BlogWestMy Profile

    • Yes! I did feel physically sick to my stomach for about 12 hours. Couldn’t sleep or eat. Just kept trying to picture in my head where the last place I’d seen them was.

      Exercise certainly does help too; a heavy lifting session at the gym was just what I needed!

  7. So sorry about your trip. Disappointing for sure. You are so right about reframing though. And finding the silver lining. There’s great learning in every tough lesson.

    • Thank’s Marcia. My hubby is still having a hard time moving forward. I’m dragging him along ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Oh man that’s terrible! Did you ever end up finding them? I hope you are still able to enjoy your spring break:) When my family was traveling through Europe last winter, we were supposed to fly from Switzerland to Spain for a quick 2 night stay. But, I misread the flight time and we missed our flight:( It was super disappointing. But, I was of the mindset to move on and figure things out, so instead, we took the train and visited a couple extra places in Italy and had a great time. I told the family to thank me, since I probably saved us from something terrible in Spain. God’s plan maybe?;) Way to look on the bright side Tamara:)
    rachelle q (hikermom) recently posted…Free Rant FridayMy Profile

    • Thanks Rachelle. We did enjoy our spring break; lots of local day trips and the weather has been absolutely beautiful so at least we weren’t lamenting the lack of warmth and sun!
      Did you find dealing with the guilt of your missed flights the hardest part of all? I find guilt to be the most difficult emotion to deal with…

      • Yes! The guilt was the worst, there were definitely tears shed. I was the cause of my children not seeing Spain on their first trip to Europe. If only the rest of the family could have moved on as easily as I did;) They were not pleased with me, but they moved on eventually:) Every once in a while it still is brought up. Hopefully we will make it to Spain sometime in the future! Glad the weather is cooperating:)
        Rachelle Q recently posted…Free Rant FridayMy Profile

  9. I knew you had to cancel but not the back story – UGH!!! I LOVE how you made a positive out of this & a great lesson for the kiddos too!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!

    Lots of disappointments in life all along the way.. I have dealt with some better than others to be honest… Most times after I get past the initial pissed off, I can make it work for me! For example when the teeth issues had me out of the gym for more days than I preferred, I relished in that I got more sleep! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was eager to get back to less sleep & my weights though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But in general, there will always be these times in life – multiple times…
    A great post Tamara!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…Happy Easter & Sharing a Couple Recipes!My Profile

  10. And I found out you were in my city too late! I hope you enjoyed your mini holiday anway and I certainly saw that your daughter took some lovely photos! I looked for your family around the museum area when I walked past on the way to the gym the morning I read your post about going there!

    I have had lots of disappointments over the years but I always think that things happen for a reason and try to move on… always something better waiting around the next corner.

    And I do check on our passports every couple of months… I have had other friends that have had them go missing too. Odd.
    Elle recently posted…Yogi Clothing Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Elle for your kind words. I do believe in karma and that everything happens for a reason (although we don’t always know what it is at the moment…).

      My kids loved the wildlife photography exhibit at the RBCM. So much so that they each submitted their own photos for next year’s competition!

  11. I’m sorry your trip had to be cancelled but I love how you turned the disappointment around especially for the children (no doubt they’re watching and taking it in). I was signed up and ready to run a Ragnar Relay with a team of amazing runners that I couldn’t wait to meet. The decision to not run was a no brainer but none the less it was so disappointing. My approach after a day or so was to focus on my next running adventure.

    Dwelling on the disappointment was not doing me any good and like you my kids were taking note ๐Ÿ™‚
    jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness recently posted…Ask 700+ Runners || Making Time for FitnessMy Profile

    • Thanks for your kind words and support Jill! Sometimes life really doesn’t go the way we plan and learning to deal with disappointment is a good lesson for all… At least we had a beautiful, record-breaking warm week in Vancouver!

  12. So sorry about the cancelled trip. Yay you for carrying on! What do I do when disappointed? Generally there is a short period of whining, b****ing, and moaning, and then I carry on as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Got to do what you got to do, right? May as well do it with a smile on your face, (and maybe a drink in your hand.)
    Gaye recently posted…Does A Gluten Free Diet Help Relieve Arthritis Pain?My Profile

    • Ha! Yes, I did enjoy a ‘bevvy’ or two the first couple of days post-stress! We ended up having a wonderful (if not a little bit too long…) holiday from school and routine. Kids are back today and I’m feeling happy to be back at work!

  13. When it comes to disappointment, I try to not let it get to me. There are A LOT of disappointments in the industry I am in, if I allowed it to affect me, then well, I would probably have to find another industry to be in. LOL! I think about all the positives in my life, my amazing family, my health, the fact that I have a roof over my head, even the small things make me happy… Knowing I am going to have a delicious dinner that night, LOL! Also, when someone comments on my blog, that makes me forget about disappointment too! LOL!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ See, really, the small things are what cure me from disappointment!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Chelsea Handler’s First Stand-Up Comedy ShowMy Profile

    • Yes! So true. We have so many things to be thankful for! Thank goodness for small victories!

  14. ะ† used to be abl to find good advice from you articles.
    Brain recently posted…BrainMy Profile


  1. […] members underwent cancer-related surgeries, 2 children with never-ending head lice infestations, lost passports and a cancelled holiday, an anxious and fitfully-sleeping hubby, a super exciting, secret project that’s going to eat […]