A Pouting Confession and Lesson

A Pouting Confession and Lesson

I’m not sure how inspirational this week’s thought will be, but at least it’s honest. I was all dressed up with no place to go. But first, my discovery:

Q: Do you know what’s worse than unpacking from a trip?

A: Unpacking from a trip you didn’t take.


My bags were packed, my thermal lunch tote was filled with carefully-chosen snacks, and my favorite bling was tucked safely into my trusty Sparkle travel pouch, ready to accessorize each of my outfits.

I was all set to wrap up my crazy schedule with a big trip from Baltimore to Philadelphia, the one I’d been planning for 11 months!

I had a driver to take me there and someone to take care of my precious puggle, Tripp. I had an accessible room booked, my conference sessions selected, and even set up a meeting to reconnect with a friend (and now author) I’d last seen 40 years ago when he was a seminary intern in my father’s church. Most importantly, though, I was going to meet the publisher of my father’s book at an author reception where for the first time I would have the chance to represent both Dad’s book and mine.

I was beyond excited.

Then it snowed. Really snowed. And I had to cancel my trip.

For what seemed like an eternity, I sat there, staring at my suitcase–filled with plans that would never be. Life was not cooperating with me and I was ticked.

Somewhere in my mind, a small voice tried to break through my funk. It was not WISE to go, Becky. The roads are horrible. You could get stuck. It was not safe. This was the right choice. Move on. Get over it.

But I wasn’t ready to move on or get over it. So I sat and fumed some more.

Finally I called my sister to inform her of the change of plans. Disappointment morphed my news into a complaint instead, and I ranted to her, and then to my kids, my friends, and even on social media.

Suddenly, I realized I was pouting. How childish, I scolded myself. Then I looked up the word and found a strange relief.

When you pout, you’re expressing annoyance or displeasure. It’s a sulky kind of gesture, one that involves a facial expression more than words — in fact, a pout is often accompanied by a moody silence. (Vocabulary.com)

Check! Not a peep from me as I practically stared a hole in that suitcase. And, although I didn’t look in the mirror, I’m sure I wore a pout as I “updated” my family, friends, and anyone online who happened to read my post.

Somehow, the definition comforted me. Even though it was probably a childish reaction, I felt better afterwards. Pouting gave me time to silently absorb the situation and then express my reaction to it.

I couldn’t push straight through to acceptance; I had to pout first.

I smiled at that thought, wheeled my unpacked suitcase into another room, and shut the door. Pout time was over, its purpose complete. I messaged my friend that I would not be coming. Then I took a deep breath and called the publisher. I was shocked at her response.

“Why don’t you send me a flyer about your book and I’ll share it at the author reception?”

“Oh my,” I stammered. “Thank you! I’d love to.”

And I did.

My friend confirmed the flyer made it to the reception. Despite the snow, we still connected.

How about you? Have you ever caught yourself pouting? Did it help you learn to accept a disappointing situation? Tell me about it, I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Thanks for your comments about our family’s classic Turkey Trauma saga. Adam and Maggie had a great Thanksgiving with no shattered glass!

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  1. I am so sorry that your trip got canceled due to snow! Unpacking is bad enough even when you have fond memories to ponder as you’re doing it. I do have to say though that I am grateful that your October trip to UNC did not get canceled. My daughter met you, listened intently to your 7 minute story, bought your beautiful book, read it, loved it and best of all, shared it with me! You are an inspiration and my daughter and I are blessed to follow you. Have a great day!