What Does Santorini Have to Do with Your Happiness?
Ah, the Greek Isles … the whitewashed villages with the cerulean blue domes … the crystal clear sky with the sun beaming down.
Our Greek Islands cruise left out of Barcelona … with stops in Mallorca, Sicily, Mykonos, Rhodes, Athens, Santorini, and Malta.
Santorini was special. But, let me tell ya, the sun doesn’t always shine there.
Oia (pronounced Eyah) is the little whitewashed village in all the photographs.
We walked the paths into all the nooks and hideaways. Viewed the views. Bought a couple of prints for our place in Mexico and some gifts. Had superb stuffed peppers and lamb. Took lots of pictures. It was fabulous.
But it was also gray, and rain started coming down lightly as the hours passed Hmmm … time to catch the bus from Oia back to Fira where the boat is docked.
But the line is too long!
A single cab appears out of nowhere. Take it.
Back to Fira in plenty of time to ride the gondola down to the dock.
Plenty of time if the line weren’t a quarter mile long!
What to do? Take the stairs! 588 stairs to be exact, down the sheer cliff face, switching back and forth endlessly.
But that light rain is now a pretty significant downpour, and the stairs are acting as a perfect funnel for the rainwater seeking the path of least resistance.
It’s okay at first, but with each switchback the water gets deeper … the force of the water stronger. You can tell what it was like at the top in this video someone posted online.
It’s five times worse near the bottom. We can’t even see the individual steps anymore, and it’s like a firehose is
trained on our ankles. A deluge.
My partner, Tom, holds onto me with one hand and a small umbrella with the other … and somehow manages to keep from falling and soaking the prints we just bought.
One older man breaks his ankle. Our friend falls twice.
We pick our way down one tentative step at a time.
But we make it!
And here’s the thing.
There wasn’t one moment of upset.
Concern? Oh yeah.
A few switchbacks from the bottom, we didn’t know if we were going to be swept off our feet and carried downhill in the torrent. It was really dicey.
But, we enjoyed it. We laughed and hooted more than we fretted. It was an adventure, an experience we’ll never forget.
And it turns out those who rode the gondola said people got testy in line with lots of pushing and yelling.
So … we made two choices that afternoon.
We chose to take the stairs. And that brought us to a pivot point. Choice number two: Be miserable in the awful conditions or see the good in the situation and make the best of it.
We chose to have fun.
Of course, making our way back to the boat under perilous conditions and arriving looking like drowned rats isn’t what we were hoping for when we envisioned this trip.
But, you know what?
Life often changes the script on you and you reach a pivot point where you have that crucial choice to make.
Something’s changed in your world. It’s not what you bargained for.
You can bemoan your fate and act like you’ve been cheated or victimized.
Or you can say, “New set of circumstances. Let’s go with the flow” … sometimes literally … and find the positives in the experience.
This isn’t just what you do when your once-in-a-lifetime trip takes a left turn.
You face these kinds of pivotal moments everyday …sometimes several times a day … around issues large and small.
And how happy you are in life … and each moment of your life … largely depends on the choice you make.
It’s the same simple choice every time.
The secret? Learn to recognize and acknowledge those pivot points … and choose to be happy and positive as often as you possibly can.
Like always, because the decision is completely and solely up to YOU.
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