One day, a traveler was walking along the road, journeying from one village to another. As he walked he notice a monk tending the ground in the fields beside the road.
The monk asked "Hi, How are you?”
And the traveler replied, "Well! Excuse me - do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"No, not at all" answered the monk.
The traveler queried, "I'm traveling from the village in the mountains to the village in the valley and I was wondering if you knew what it was like in the village in the valley?”
The monk responded, "Well, what was your experience like at the village in the mountains?"
The traveler answered, "It was dreadful. To be honest, I'm really glad to be away from there. I found the people most unwelcoming and when I first arrived, I was greeted coldly. I was never made to feel part of the village - no matter how hard I tried. The villagers keep very much to themselves and they don't take kindly to strangers. Tell me what can I expect in the village in the valley?"
The monk said, "I'm sorry to tell you but I think your experience will probably be much the same there." The traveller hung his head despondently and walked on.
A little while later a second traveler was journeying down the same road and he also came across the monk.
"Hey" he said. “I'm going to the village in the valley, do you know what it's like?”
The monk replied, "Yes, I do, but first tell me … where have you come from?"
The traveler answered, "Well, I've come from the village in the mountains."
The monk enquired, "…and how was that?"
The traveler explained, "Well, it was a wonderful experience. I would have stayed if I could but I am committed to traveling on. I felt as though I was a member of the family in the village. The elders gave me much advice and the children laughed and joked. The people were kind and generous. I am so sad to have left there. It will always hold special memories for me…. And what about the village in the valley?"
The monk answered, "I think you will find it much the same. Good day to you"
The traveler enthusiastically replied, "Good day. Thank you." And journeyed on.
Let's apply this to where you are right now with your fly in fly out circumstances.
Here's the facts:
Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, "My dream life is to meet someone special … have children … create a life together … and Gee – I really hope he is hardly around so that I can live this partnered life all by myself.”
Nobody dreams of this. Nobody wishes for it. Nobody says it. Ever.
Yet, for the same set of Fly In Fly Out circumstances:
Some thrive and some don't.
Some flourish and some don't.
Much like the travellers in this story, it's your acceptance of your circumstances, your attitude towards them and your approach in how you deal with them … that makes the difference.
These elements – Acceptance, Attitude and Approach - is what determines whether you survive or thrive.