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Through the Wringer

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 - Joe Kiedinger

On the evening of June 10th, I was up north near our cabin in Tomahawk, WI. As I headed out for a couple of drinks with my neighbor, I noticed the wind picking up and whitecaps forming on the Spirit River Flowage. I didn’t think much of it and even relished a moment of excitement when the power went out. Drinking warm beer by candlelight was enchanting for a few minutes. When we decided it was time to grab a bite to eat and then call it a night, all seemed calm.

Then came the dawn. My neighbor called me and I woke to a rude realization. A tornado had hit our property—the location of our family cabin as well as our new retreat cabin which has been under construction the last several months. We estimated about 30 large trees had fallen, but it turns out the number was much closer to 60. To top it off, our much beloved pontoon boat was upside down in the water, her sea legs pointed toward the sky. Totaled. I nearly fell into the “woe is me”s.

But, you know what? Absolutely nothing good comes out of feeling sorry for yourself and dwelling on the negative. That’s the easy road. What takes courage is perseverance. Because it’s not what happens to you in life. It’s how you handle it. 

After the initial shock, Danica and I took a moment, reframed our thoughts and decided what this event was going to mean for us. Because events have no meaning. Only the meaning we give them. We decide if things are good or bad. We decide if we’re going to react or respond. We decide what comes next.

We decided this happened for a reason and that more good things are coming because of it. And, guess what? We were right.

More to come in an upcoming WOW.

JOE KIEDINGER

ACTION PLAN: What do you need to reframe in your mind? Have you been stuck in a negative headspace, feeling sorry about yourself or a past situation? Stop yourself when you get into that old familiar cycle and decide to see the positive. Your perspective is your greatest ally.