How do you handle anything that is disappointing? Do you run for the refrigerator? Do you sleep a lot? Do you buy a bottle of wine and have a pity party while listening to sad music or watching a sad movie?
The reason I ask is that the little town next to where I live has a fair that draws about half a million people each year. It is a true agricultural fair complete with contests sponsored by the 4H club and prize steer and tractor pulls. It is held every single year and has been for over 90+ years. It used to be a small affair but then they started to grow. And grow. And grow!
Now, the streets surrounding the fair grounds are lined with signs that say “Fair Parking – $10.00 as people who own homes in the area become entrepreneurs for the weekend from the time the fair opens on Thursday until it closes. Since I live fairly close to the town line, this impacts me greatly as if I am driving anywhere in that direction, the traffic and congestion clog the roads and there are detours all over the place.
As I was trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today, I was walking on my treadmill as I usually do and gazing out the window at the cloudy sky and I thought about the Fair and its organizers. The moment the fair ends (which will be today at around 5:00PM) the all volunteer army of people begin planning for next year.
These wonderful and giving souls work VERY hard organizing this monster event. They plan everything from the food to the entertainment to the transportation (school buses that shuttle people from lots a mile or two away from the fair grounds for free) to the port-a-potties. No easy feat when you are talking about this many people converging on a little town of around 7,000 people. The population grows to as large as one of the biggest cities in the state on fair days!
This year, the featured band was K.C and the Sunshine Band, a disco band from the 1970’s that you might remember if you are as old as I am. They pay these acts a lot of money to play the main stage (a lot of money by fair standards that is as I read it is around 15-20K for a two hour show) and as such, they depend on a good gate to help defray these costs.
Alas, it has POURED RAIN all weekend long, from the time the doors opened on Thursday evening and every day so far. The skies still look ominous on this, the final day. If the weather does not cooperate, I suspect that this year the little fair will be in the red. Add the economy into the mix where people are spending less anyway, and this could be disastrous for the event planners. But, next year, despite the take at the gate, the fair will be there as always in the last weekend of Sept., just like it has been for over 92 years as of this year.
I am hoping they get clear skies later on in the day to at least save some of the soggy fair attendees from the mud. It is kind of hard to enjoy a rodeo or a good tractor-pull under an umbrella sitting on bleachers.
The point of this post is that despite the terrible weather, the fair keeps on being held. Even if it loses money, it will be held next year just like it always has. The children will beg mommy for cotton candy and they will ride the ferris wheel next year, just as their parents did and their grandparents before them. I suspect the children who go today will bring their children to the fair someday as well.
When you are disappointed with your progress or your program, how do you handle it? Do you still plan for the next day or the next meal? Or, do you throw in the towel and shut down your ferris wheel?
Disappointments will happen on this journey. You might gain weight or you might blow it with a double cheeseburger and onion rings. But, you should plan to get right back to it, the minute the disappointment is over with. Otherwise, next year, there will be no “new and improved you” or no new wardrobe in a smaller size. There will just be more of the same of “wishing you had stuck with it and made goal”