Do you remember the one about my grandfather passing, my basement flooding, and my boyfriend breaking up with me all in one week? Seriously, it sounds like the set-up of a (not funny) joke, doesn't it?!
Last week, I had a doozy of a day.
~8:30am~ I had my first-ever mammogram. (Hello, 40.)
~9am~ I had an MRI to investigate my recent left foot pain, perhaps due to compensating for my recent shoulder pain. (Hellooo, 40!)
I already had the appointment for the mammogram. Why not schedule them back-to-back? (Facepalm.)
~11am~ I came home for client calls, only to find the entire building shaking as the City ripped up the front sidewalk for the next couple of hours.
You've GOT to be kidding me, right?
But, seriously... Why was I surprised?
There are a lot of moving parts in all of our lives. Sometimes, we're going to get hurt. Sometimes, we're going to lose our keys. Sometimes, the ATM's gonna eat our debit card.(Sometimes, all of those things will happen on the same day.)
It's not because life's out to get you. It's not because you have it worse off than anyone else. (When we think those kinds of thoughts, they keep us down longer.)
I've been thinking...that one of the reasons we get "thrown for a loop" so often is because we're *expecting* smooth sailing.
It's like waking up with partial amnesia every morning. Taking our showers, getting in our cars (or on the train), expecting uneventful days...
Do we not remember yesterday and the day before that?
Why do we *expect* everything to be easy?
What if, instead of being surprised when the going-gets-tough, we thought it was normal?
(What if, when everything's going smoothly, we truly appreciated the ease, instead of taking it for granted?)
I'm not advocating that we go through life "waiting for the other shoe to drop."
I'm advocating for realism -- which will help with resilience.
Stuff happens...pretty much on a daily basis.
There are challenges all along the scale of 1-10. Of course the 7/8/9/10 challenges are going to significantly impact us. (It's taken me time to move forward after my extremely rough last year.)
~ That said, sometimes, we react to the 1/2/3/4 challenges as if they're 7/8/9/10 challenges.
~ And, sometimes, we let the 7/8/9/10 challenges define us for longer than necessary.
No matter how big the challenge, what would it be like to know that life's tough, but you're strong?
What would it be like to remember that you're not alone, that the person next to you has their challenges and that you've got yours?
What would it be like to take a step back and see the grand scheme of things? We don't learn from smooth sailing. We learn from rough seas. While this can be a tall order at times -- how can you see the challenge in terms of what it may be teaching? You're strong, not despite life's challenges, but because of them.
What would it be like to wake up tomorrow, to take your shower, and get in your car (or on the train)...to know that something unexpected probably will come up, that that's part of everyone's life, and that you can totally handle it?
When have you been surprised because you were expecting everything to go smoothly? Let me know in the comments below.
Sheila Devi is a Career Transition Coach. She helps her clients learn to be more resilient. As a result, they find greater ease in their career transitions (and in life in general).
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